Top 10 Most Popular Basketball Leagues in the World Outside the NBA

most popular basketball leagues

Basketball is a widely celebrated sport that has gained immense popularity across the globe. While the NBA (National Basketball Association) stands out as the premier basketball league, there are several other leagues that captivate fans with their exceptional talent and thrilling gameplay. In this article, we will explore the top 10 most popular basketball leagues outside the NBA.

Basketball has become a global phenomenon that extends far beyond the borders of the United States. Many countries have established their own basketball leagues, each with its own unique style and dedicated fan base. While the NBA undoubtedly reigns supreme, there are numerous other leagues that showcase world-class talent and provide exhilarating basketball experiences.

1. NBA – The most popular basketball league in the world

Most popular basketball league - NBA

NBA, as we all know, is one of the most popular basketball leagues in the world. In North America, NBA is a professional basketball league. Well, NBA is one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. The league is a total of 30 teams, precisely distributed as 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada. NBA is the leading men’s professional basketball league in the world. The league came into being in New York City in the year 1946, on June 6, as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). After merging with the competing National Basketball League (NBL), it changed its name to the National Basketball Association in the year 1949, on August 3.

The NBA is an active member of the USBA because its national governing body for basketball in the United States, The USA Basketball (USAB), is recognized by the FIBA (International Basketball Federation). The NBA is the third wealthiest professional sports league after the most famous, National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) which is famous for its revenues, and among the top four in the world.

2. EuroLeague: The Pinnacle of European Basketball

second most popular league - Euro League

The EuroLeague is widely regarded as the pinnacle of European basketball. It brings together top clubs from across the continent, offering a high level of skill, intensity, and competitiveness. Teams like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, and CSKA Moscow consistently deliver thrilling matchups, making the EuroLeague a must-watch for basketball enthusiasts.

3. Liga ACB: Spain’s Premier Basketball League

Third popular basketball league - liga ACB

Spain’s Liga ACB is recognized as one of the premier basketball leagues in the world. With a rich history and a strong tradition of producing NBA stars, the league showcases a captivating blend of talent, tactical brilliance, and passionate fan support. The fierce rivalries between clubs such as Real Madrid and FC Barcelona only add to the league’s allure.

4. Turkish Basketball Super League (BSL): Rising Powerhouse

The Turkish Basketball Super League, commonly known as the BSL, has rapidly emerged as a competitive force in international basketball. Turkish teams have made significant investments in their rosters, attracting top international players and adopting a fast-paced, physically demanding style of play. The league’s popularity has soared in recent years, attracting basketball fans from around the world.

5. Chinese Basketball Association (CBA): The Asian Giant

The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) boasts the largest basketball fan base in the world. With its vast population and growing interest in the sport, China has become a major force in international basketball. The CBA features star players from around the globe, and its electrifying atmosphere during games creates an unforgettable experience for fans.

6. Australian National Basketball League (NBL): A Growing Force

The Australian National Basketball League (NBL) has experienced significant growth in recent years. Known for its high-flying athleticism and competitive matchups, the NBL has produced talented players who have made their mark in the NBA. The league’s accessibility and strong fan engagement make it an exciting platform for basketball enthusiasts in Australia and beyond.

7. Greek Basket League: Birthplace of Basketball

Greece holds a special place in basketball history as the birthplace of the sport. The Greek Basket League reflects the country’s deep passion for basketball, with enthusiastic fans filling arenas and supporting their favorite teams. Notable clubs like Olympiacos and Panathinaikos have achieved tremendous success both domestically and in European competitions.

8. Russian Basketball Super League (VTB United League): East Meets West

The Russian Basketball Super League, also known as the VTB United League, brings together teams from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and other Eastern European countries. The league showcases a blend of domestic and international talent, resulting in diverse playing styles and strategies. With powerhouse clubs like CSKA Moscow and Zenit Saint Petersburg, the VTB United League continues to solidify its standing in international basketball.

9. Argentine Liga Nacional de Basquetbol: South American Passion

Argentina’s Liga Nacional de Básquetbol exemplifies the country’s rich basketball culture and passionate fan base. Known for its physicality and fast-paced gameplay, the league has produced exceptional players who have made their mark on the global stage. The fervent atmosphere in Argentine arenas adds an extra layer of excitement to the league’s matchups.

10. Philippine Basketball Association (PBA): A Hoops-Crazy Nation

Basketball holds a special place in the hearts of Filipinos, and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is the country’s premier professional league. The PBA features intense rivalries, passionate fans, and a vibrant basketball culture. It has become an integral part of Philippine sports and serves as a testament to the nation’s deep love for the game.

11. Brazilian NBB: The Thriving Brazilian League

Brazil’s Novo Basquete Brasil (NBB) has witnessed significant growth and development in recent years. The league showcases talented players, energetic crowds, and a dynamic style of play. As basketball continues to gain popularity in Brazil, the NBB provides a platform for showcasing the country’s basketball talent and nurturing its future stars.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is the NBA the only professional basketball league worth watching?

No, there are many other basketball leagues outside the NBA that offer thrilling gameplay and showcase exceptional talent.

Which is the most prestigious basketball league in Europe?

The EuroLeague is widely regarded as the pinnacle of European basketball and features top clubs from across the continent.

Can you watch games from these leagues outside their respective countries?

Yes, many basketball leagues offer streaming services and international broadcast deals, allowing fans around the world to enjoy the games.

Are there any notable players who have emerged from these leagues?

Yes, several players who have competed in these leagues have gone on to achieve great success in the NBA and other international competitions.

How can I stay updated on the latest news and results from these leagues?

You can follow the official websites, social media accounts, and news outlets dedicated to each league for the latest updates and insights.


While the NBA stands as the epitome of basketball excellence, there is a world of captivating basketball leagues beyond its borders. The EuroLeague, Liga ACB, BSL, CBA, and NBL are just a few examples of the top basketball leagues that captivate fans worldwide. Each league brings its own unique flavor to the sport, contributing to a global tapestry of basketball brilliance. This topic is subject to change, therefore our website does not claim that the information is accurate.

Chethan HC

Hello, I am a passionate and dedicated writer with a deep love for Basketball. With years of experience in both creative and technical writing, I have sharpened my skills and developed a unique representative that resonates with readers. I am constantly seeking out new opportunities to challenge myself and grow as a professional writer. In my free time, you can find me lost in a good book, traveling to new and exciting places, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature. I hope you find my blogs informative. Have a nice time ahead, Thank you...!

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