Basketball exists outside of the United States and it is played at a very high level. International leagues have got better through the years and with the popularity of basketball surging in the past decade many of the players in these leagues are homegrown. No longer is it only destination for players who couldn’t make it in the U.S. Below is a list of the top basketball leagues in the world.
The National Basketball Association
Rather obvious but necessary to add to the list. The best players in the world compete to play here.
For the past decade Liga ACB of Spain has been the best basketball league in the world besides the NBA. The popularity of the sport in Spain and the strength of the Euro has allowed the team’s to pay competitive salaries and attract top talent.
Greece may not be known for creating basketball legends but the competition is stiff. Panathinaikos and Olympiacos are reliably Euroleague contenders every year. Many NBA players and former NBA players have played in this league.
Israeli Super League
The Super League of Israel is arguably well known and difficult only because of Maccabi Tel Aviv which has been one of the most successful teams in Euroleague history. A lot of international talent comes to play in this league because of the high pay and liberal policy.
Chinese Basketball Association
Many people know this league as the league of Yao Ming and where Stephon Marbury and Gilbert Arenas went to play. Since Yao Ming left China to play in the United States, China has exploded in popularity allowing teams to play high salaries to more players.
Honorable Mention: Euroleague
Euroleague is the Champions League of soccer equivalent. Games are played simultaneously with their home league’s season so the league is kept short. However, it does pit the best clubs (teams) from all over the region against one another.