Here in Australia basketball is big, perhaps even more popular than the NFL and while most people would think the teams from the major media markets are fan favorites, it took just a few minutes of interacting at some local courts to find that’s not the case.
A trip to the local basketball courts in New South Wales, Australia and a talk with some young players in the area made it quickly evident Toronto has a big fan base outside of Canada.
After winning a title last year, most of the youngsters believe Golden State is the team to beat this season. After the way the Warriors have started the year, it makes perfect sense as they have destroyed the opposition with a 6-0 record to start the year and an average win of nearly 20 points, but the biggest surprise was the answer for the next best team in the NBA.
Toronto had just defeated Oklahoma City on its way to a 5-0 mark, best in franchise history and more than a majority of the young players had the Raptors as the next best team in the league. It was also surprising to learn that most of these young basketball players knew of the disappointment of losing early in the playoffs last year and that the front office added players that would help with the defensive problems the team suffered through during the loss to Washington in the opening round last season.
It’s difficult not to get caught up in young enthusiasm, but the kids are correct, this team is fun to watch and after a tough road win over the Thunder, there’s no doubt they will climb the power rankings and maybe find a few more fans in other small areas around the globe.