How is basketball like a game of chess?

4/24/2009 – Our beloved game has been used to promote a variety of human activities: financial institutions use it – ad nauseam –, car sales people too. Even in Victorian times it was a popular image. Now the National Basketball Association (NBA), North America's a professional men's basketball league, has picked chess to convey a message. Check out the newest chess promo for the NBA on TNT.

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NBA chess promo

The National Basketball Association (NBA) was founded in 1946 and is composed of thirty teams: twenty-nine in the United States and one in Canada. It rose to international fame when two rookies, Larry Bird and Earvin "Magic" Johnson, joined the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. Bird led the Celtics to three titles, and Johnson led the Lakers to five. In 1984 Michael Jordan, the Garry Kasparov of basketball, joined the Chicago Bulls, and together with Scottie Pippen led the Bulls to six championships in eight years. It helped that Jordan was quite obviously able to fly.

The 1992 Olympic basketball Dream Team, the first to use current NBA stars, featured Michael Jordan as the anchor, along with Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, Charles Barkley, and Christian Laettner.

Today the NBA has figures like the German Dirk Nowitzki and the 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m) Chinese giant Yao Ming dominate the NBA. Yao earned 51 million U.S. dollars (357 million yuan) in 2008. It is a sobering thought that the entire professional chess circuit – FIDE, world championships and all – costs about a fifth as much as a top NBA player. Maybe we should try tossing chess pieces into peach baskets?!

With that in mind here's the promo for you to watch:

Let us not leave it at that, but take a trip into the fascinating world of basketball:


Great Moments in Basketball – in five parts, with historical footage

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