Which is more socialist? Professional Soccer or the NBA

I was reading over some previews for the World Cup final game and realised that the Spanish National team is made up almost entirely of two club teams. At one time, 7 players on the Spanish side play on Barcelona during the season. Now, look at the current Miami Heat roster and you have three guys who could play for the American national basketball team. The problem is that Miami currently has 5 players currently signed on the team with no cap space to fill out the roster with even a second tier player (their 4th and 5th best players are Mario Chalmers and Kenny Hasbrouk).

In other words, the salary cap hinders even a hint of what Barcelona and Real Madrid can do. Consider also that Barcelona can field 7 players on the Spanish national team and still have Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry, and Zlatan Ibrahimovich. The only reason Real Madrid don’t have more players on the Spanish team is that they have too many international stars on their team (C. Ronaldo, van der Vaart, Higuain, and Kaka, etc.). This is an impossible thing to pull off in the NBA as evidenced by the Heat, who might not really be good since they have no bench… literally! They don’t have anyone on their bench and have very little money to get one.

Does this mean that the sport of soccer is more capitalist or that basketball is a socialist sport? No, you dipshit! It means nothing about the sport itself. There’s no reason to think that the NBA couldn’t copy the same model as the Spanish football league (which looks very similar to the Scottish Premier League, the Budesliga, and the Dutch league, where one team rules the roost because it has more money than the other ones). But somewhere along the way, the NBA created a system where the owners thought they might maximise profits by spreading the wealth around. When the Miami Heat aren’t good, no one goes to the games. So they add a salary cap to make it more difficult for the Lakers, Celitics, Mavericks, etc. to hoard great players by overpaying them. It’s an interesting model that seems to challenge the libertarian assumptions of stupid people like Marc Thiessen. But it says nothing about the sport itself.

All sports have rules that limit action, otherwise they would not be sports. Almost all sports, when played at the highest levels, can be entertaining to a knowledgable audience. I’ll say more about this later. Since living in Canada and Scotland, I’ve had to defend baseball and basketball over hockey, soccer, and cricket as worthy sports to play and watch. All sports can be boring to the uninitiated.

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