Basketball is ranked as one of the world’s popular and widely watched sporting events and many fans now can get their fix by watching a whole host of matches streamed live online.
Basketball still remains more popular in America but there are many leagues across the world now competing to become as bigger than the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The NBA remains the pinnacle of the basketball world and the NBA has featured many famous players, including Wilt Chamberlain, who originally played for the Harlem Globetrotters; all-around stars Oscar Robertson and Jerry West; more recent players Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal and Karl Malone.
But the three players who are regarded as the biggest names in basketball history are Larry Bird, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, and Michael Jordan.
Many players aspire to play in the NBA, but first they need to cut their teeth in smaller leagues around the world and those leagues are heavily featured in Bet365’s live streaming schedule.
The four biggest tournaments that are covered live online are the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, the VTB United League, the PBA Philippine Cup and Liga ACB. A wide range of these matches are streamed live online each week.
The Euroleague is deemed to be the highest level tier of professional basketball in Europe with teams taking part from up to 18 different countries. This competition is ran by ULEB, a Europe-wide consortium of leading professional basketball leagues.
The main teams featuring in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague include FC Regal Barcelona, Real Madrid, Caja Labora, Panathinaikos, Fenerbahce Ulker and Brose Baskets.
The VTB United League is the professional league for basketball that is run in Russia and was founded in 2008. Since their inception the league has gone from strength to strength and their goal is to unite the leading clubs of Eastern and Northern Europe to play in just one major competition.
In the first season in 2009-10 teams from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Ukraine were involved, before Finland, Poland and Belarus were added the following season. In 2011-11 16 teams will now feature in the tournament with the Czech Republic and Kazakhstan being new members.
The PBA Philippine Cup does not allow teams to hire foreign players or imports to try and make the tournament as equal as possible.
The Philippine Cup is the most prestigious tournament in a PBA season and the current holders of the title are Talk N Text. If a team wins three consecutive tournaments, the franchise gets to keep the trophy and not the replica.
The Liga ACB is Spain’s professional basketball league and is currently ranked in the top three of European national domestic leagues in ULEB rankings system. The ACB league contains 18 top teams including Real Madrid, FC Barcelona Regal, Cajasol Banca Cívica, Asefa Estudiantes, Gran Canaria 2014, Caja Laboral Baskonia, Valencia BC and Unicaja Málaga.
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