5 Reasons Why Basketball Is the Greatest Sport

5 Reasons Why Basketball Is the Greatest Sport
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At one time or another, I’ve participated in pretty much every sport out there. Soccer, surfing, rock climbing, football, hockey, snowboarding, basketball, skateboarding, bowling, mountain biking, volleyball, kayaking, golf, baseball, tennis. If you can name it, I’ve probably either played or at least given it a shot at some point.

Now, there’s endless debate about what is the best sport of all. In fact, a group of friends and I were talking about this just the other night. Our conversation reminded me just why, for years, I’ve believed that basketball is the best all around sport (despite it not being my personal favorite on the list, as I love surfing beyond belief).

Here are some of those reasons.

1. It’s a team sport, but one player can make a huge impact.

Basketball is a team sport, but you have a greater opportunity to shine and have an outsized impact on the outcome of the game. Compared to other team sports like football, soccer and baseball, there are fewer players on the court at any given time as well as fewer players on the roster overall, meaning that one person has higher potential to come in the game and play a significant role.

2. Basketball is one of the cheapest sports to play.

One basketball and two hoops (sometimes even just one!) are all you need for a game that could work for up to ten people at once. In most sports, each player has to have some kind of personal equipment. In baseball, everyone needs a glove; in football, you need helmets and pads; in golf, you need clubs and balls; you get the idea. The same could be argued for soccer where you just need a ball, but you most likely need cleats and shinguards, and a soccer field is hard to come by.

3. Physically, it’s probably one of the best for the human body.

Most professional athletes are in pretty darn fantastic shape, but take one look at basketball players, and it’s easy to make an argument for them being in some of the best physical shape of any athletes on the planet. Basketball works your whole body, and it’s evident that an incredible amount of athleticism is required to excel at this sport.

4. In basketball, you can play one-on-one or up to ten people at once.

Basketball is awesome because no matter how many people you have, you can play. If you’re on your own, you can still shoot the ball, which is extremely therapeutic. One-on-one is a lot of fun, so is two-on-two, and so on, all the way up to five-on-five.

5. The NBA is easily the coolest sports league.

Overall, the NBA is by far the coolest professional sports league. Arbitrary? Wait! Hear me out. There are so many stars in the NBA and celebrity just surrounds the league. Sitting courtside at a NBA game is a whole see-and-be-seen event in itself. Music, style and fashion are also such huge parts of the NBA atmosphere that trends are oftentimes started by top athletes.

A Few Reasons Skateboarding Should Be More in the Spotlight

A Few Reasons Skateboarding Should Be More in the Spotlight
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I’ve been skateboarding since I was four years old — that means, I’ve been skateboarding in different capacities for the better part of twenty nine years. From the moment I stepped on my first Vision Board in 1987, I’ve been a fan.

Skating, to me, means so much more than just playing around and what some might call a “silly” hobby. It has helped to define who I am, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. From shortboarding at local skateparks and parking lots, to bombing down hills on longboards, here are a few reasons why I think skateboarding is such a wonderful, positive sport.

1. Skateboarding is incredibly creative.

Skateboarding is one of the most creative activities I can think of. It’s just you and a skateboard, and you can create whatever it is that you want. The whole world is your canvas, and echoing many skateboarders that I’ve met over the years, you can express yourself however you choose. No two skaters see something the same way. Where one person sees an opportunity to hit an air and pull a flip trick, another sees an opportunity to grind on the trucks, while a third skater sees a board slide. Your options are endless. Just type skateboarding into YouTube or Instagram, watch a few videos and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

2. Skateboarding is fantastic exercise.

Not only is skateboarding fun, but it’s a great physical activity. It’s athletic in nature, you’re up, you’re moving about. Anyone who has ever skated for even a little bit knows how quickly you work up a sweat. You’re constantly running and jumping and putting your body through the ringer. Take a look at some professional skateboarders and you’ll see that many of them are in awesome physical shape. Also, what’s great is that you can skate pretty much anywhere outdoors, and even if the weather isn’t too favorable, there are many indoor skateparks too. It’s like tennis in that regard; you can skate year round!

3. Skateboarding is a relatively cheap sport.

On the whole, compared to other sporting activities, skateboarding comes in fairly cheap. A full setup for top of the line equipment for a shortboard and even some longboards can come in below $200.00. There are also plenty of good options in the $110-120 range. There are special shoes you can get to skateboard if you get really into it, but they aren’t totally necessary, depending on what sort of riding you’ll be doing. Once you have your basic equipment, then you just go out and skate! If you choose to hit up the skatepark, many are free and if you have to pay a pass, it’s usually just a few bucks. My favorite — one of the oldest and best parks in the world, Kona Skatepark — is located in Jacksonville, Florida, and runs just $10 for a daily pass.

4. Skating is great for transportation.

This is one of my favorite perks about skateboarding: It’s great for travel around a town. Where it might take you 20 minutes to walk somewhere, you can usually skate it in four to five. I used to skateboard to class in college, and now I skate all around NYC. What I especially like about skateboarding is that when you arrive at your destination, you just pick up your board and carry it with you. There’s no parking, and there’s no unstrapping it from your feet. What’s easier than that!

5. Skateboarding is an alternative to other trouble.

If I had grown up without skateboarding, I might have ended up partaking in more… um, shall we say negative pursuits. There is a stigma against skateboarding — cue images of drugs, rock and roll and all that jazz — but the majority of skaters are positive kids just trying to have some fun. Also, the competition in skating is more intense than ever, and as the Internet puts more of a spotlight on the sport, there is a growing generation of skaters who are into eating healthy and trying to improve their sport and their art. Once you get a closer look into the sport, you’ll find that most skaters are kind, creative and passionate people.

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Lance Weiss is a comedian, writer and producer in NYC. Live show dates at lanceweiss.com.