Anonymous
Last year

Bballers accepted as being better athletes than AFL guys?

So Ben Simmons tweeted a day or so ago that he would love to play a year for Essendon before he retires.

Tongues were wagging, Essendon fans were in Dreamland, imagine that they all said.

It got me thinking, is it universally accepted that basketball players are superior athletes to AFL players? And if so, how do we capitalise on this to make our sport more popular, considering AFL is the number 1 game.

I was thinking, what if the best players in the AFL tweeted that they'd love one year in the NBL (let alone NBA) before they retired.

If Dustin Martin and Tom Mitchell said, hey Melbourne United, save a spot for me. Melbourne United fans would probably be like: mate, can you even hoop?

You know what I mean? There's a certain stereotype/aura about basketball players that they are athletic, versatile, coordinated and move well for their size.

If so, why aren't more people flocking to our games?

Topic #44165 | Report this topic


Isaac  
Last year

AFL guys would have superior strength and stamina, but basketball generally requires better ball handling skills, finely tuned plays and ultimately ability to hit a more difficult target that might be hard for those coming the other way to adjust.

I don't think you can base an argument on the way a basketball player can more easily transition to useful football player.

AFL is going to continuously be a devastating rival for the simple facts that it is a very entertaining/flowing game, goals are very rewarding (similar to the excitement at a goal in soccer), and there's no competition at international level. A combination of a couple of these things gives it that "national sport" edge that won't go away.

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Luuuc  
Last year

Yeah, surely the average b-baller has more speed, agility and hops than the average footballer.
But then again, one hip-and-shoulder from Liam Ryan and Ben Simmons might not walk for a month, whereas the average footballer is better built to take hits, because that's what the sport demands. The first thing that usually happens to speedsters in the AFL is they're told to hit the gym and put on some muscle.

Why aren't more people flocking to our games? Maybe part of the reason is that when some athlete with serious skills and agility makes a great play in our game he just gets called for a charge.

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Food for thought  
Last year

There is no competing with the AFL. It isn't a fight you'd even want to pick. Funnily enough we're gonna do better running adjacent to the NBA than we are the AFL. Footy is just too ingrained in Australians. It is a apart of our national identity. Could we leverage some of their popularity? I don't really know. Having players cross over from our side hasn't done much for us. And any AFL player that speaks of crossing to us is only going to be joking.

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Luuuc  
Last year

Like Craig Moller?

Reply #712004 | Report this post


Isaac  
Last year

Luuuc, that suggests an interesting hypothetical which I think came up on the forum years ago - what would happen if you just did away with the charge. It was just a no-call or something. The defence got enough from disrupting the play and the ball usually spilling free.

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Anonymous  
Last year

You guys are missing the point a bit. I'm not suggesting basketball overtakes AFL in popularity and becomes our national game.

But there's a chasm between the level of interest in the games in Australia yet at the same time there's the apparent incongruous perception (or reality) that basketball players are extremely good athletes and better ones than AFL players.

Mason Cox doesn't even know what AFL is and within 3 years is performing at a high level on the game's biggest stages. Wasn't he the best player in the preliminary final?

If you're purely a footy fan, you might watch Cox and think, geez those basketballers aren't bad athletes, are they? Can that lead to more people watching our game?

Reply #712007 | Report this post


paul  
Last year

"But then again, one hip-and-shoulder from Liam Ryan and Ben Simmons might not walk for a month."

Have you stood next to Ben Simmons? The man is a physical specimen!

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Luuuc  
Last year

So it's either a blocking foul or a no-call?
I suspect that once everyone acclimatised, it would tip the balance too far the other way. eg. Nate Jawai makes a hard cut to the basket, receives the ball, and either everyone scatters for him to dunk it or carnage ensues.

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paul  
Last year

I like the sound of that!

Reply #712014 | Report this post


Luuuc  
Last year

Yeah, paul, you're right. Ben is not the best example. There would be plenty of NBA guys who would have no trouble in the AFL. Some people have the genes and skills to be great at whatever sport they chose, and basketball is a great choice for them because why make a million a year when you can make 20+ million a year.

Reply #712015 | Report this post


paul  
Last year

I know what you mean though Luuuc, some NBA players struggle with Delly diving on a loose ball!

It's an interesting discussion around 'better athlete'. There are so many different athletic attributes, how do you decide? The top basketballers around the world are elite when it comes to vertical leap and change of direction etc.

The interesting thing about Aussie rules is most players don't have elite speed (like an elite soccer striker), endurance (like an elite distance runner), vertical leap (like an elite basketballer), strength (like an elite rugby forward) or agility (like an elite rugby back), but they are pretty good at all of them.

Probably the one area Aussie rules athletes stand out in is speed endurance, that ability to accelerate over and over for a two-hour game. That's pretty rare.

What strikes me as remarkable for basketballers is their mix of speed, power, skill and size. No other sport I can think of can match that.

Reply #712018 | Report this post


ANON  
Last year

There is no chance that the strongest AFL guy is stronger than the strongest NBA player. Sorry. The biggest player in the AFL recently was Arron Sandilands who was 120kg and 6'10’’. If he stood next to Shaw he’d look small and would get broken in half.

If you buy a Buddy next to LeBron, it would be an athletic no contest.

Pat Mill would have the cardio to put run any of them .

A SA PL Basketball from sturt made the crowd rookie list and came 5th in the time trial. And he wouldn’t be anywhere near the best basketball athlete on offer.

Hue Greenwood was a point guard in Basketball who wasn’t even a great athlete compared to a Mitch creek and looks big and athletic on a Football field.

Reply #712020 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

^^
ANON, so just trying to understand your post

Does
Shaw =Shaq?
Pat Mill = Patty Mills?
Hue Greenwood = Hugh Greenwood?

does "buy" a Buddy mean "put" a Buddy?
does "Crowd" rookie list means the Crows Rookie list?

Reply #712022 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Wasn't Patty Mills a ruckman in his AFL junior days? And yes he looks like he could run all day

Reply #712024 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Buddy Franklin vs Greg Hire is not a contest either so it's not like literally every basketballer > every footballer

Reply #712026 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Yes, but you've had to choose one of the all time greats against a career role player (some would say scrub) to prove your point so that might be a sign in itself

Reply #712028 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Yes I agree it is a sign in itself. Just sayin' though. I think it is a generalisation that works but not 100% of the time.

Reply #712029 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Very few afl players could come back and play basketball at the top level, afl skill level no where near basketball. Sandilands would be a lot smaller than Gobert. Basketball players would generally be quicker and lighter than afl players, afl players would be able to run greater distances.

Reply #712032 | Report this post


AD  
Last year

Better Athletes?

Bwahahahahahaha

WTF have you been smokin?

Your average AFL player would have vastly superior endurance and leg speed.
But that's ok, its what their game demands.

Furthermore, size is generally a detriment to athletic performance. Have a look at all the good/great long & middle distance runners, they're mostly small and skinny. Makes senses, cos that's a lot less blood and muscle for your lungs & heart to service.

The reason a lot of Aussie Baketballers say shit like "I'd like to play footy when I retire" is because most grew up playing footy and its still our number one sport.
How many of them actually have?

As for perception? Again, I don't know who you've been hanging out with but your average Australian's perception of Basket-ballers is someone who is fat, lazy, and slow, but just happens to be a foot taller than everyone else.

Mason Cox is NOT an example of a "basketballer" made good. He's simply the living embodiment of gene-pool theory.
It's the same way the Chinese, despite being on average short and un-muscled, can field a world-class basketball team.
If you accept the basic premise that the AFL is attempting to identify the most suited athletes from a 23M population, then expanding that 10 times should give you a better pool to choose from.

Reply #712037 | Report this post


AD  
Last year

Also, whilst Cox's progression has been exceptional, this was his FIFTH season of AFL.
That's still great considering he had to learn the game from scratch.

The IRONY of course is that he was probably only available because he wasn't a Basketballer. He played as a walk-on, but otherwise probably would have chased a dream of a Basketball career,

Reply #712042 | Report this post


Durtle  
Last year

A trained monkey can play AFL. Basketball requires skills and a deep thought process in such a short span of time and space. In the AFL you can get away with bad kicks and handballs but just one bad pass in basketball then the ball gets turned over.

Basketball is definitely a greater sport than AFL.

AFL is better in terms of stamina though, but because society has a sheep mentality then AFL will always be more popular than basketball.

Reply #712046 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Party Mills and Scott Pendlebury both attended the same Australian Junior Camp which included physical assessment testing.

Suffice to say Mills was considerably a better athlete, especially in the endurance run test.

Reply #712060 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

I've seem at least ten Ben Simmons interviews and I think about 9 out of 10 he has been asked if he would play AFL. He has always responded no not interested not really my thing. I guess he gave up and decided to give the Aussie media what they want.

It would never happen. Simmons is going to be in the NBA for a long time. Let’s say he retires at 38- do you think he’s 1. Going to have any more interest in it than he does now (which is very little) 2. Be useful to any club that has people who have trained their whole lives and are half his age that are lining up for clubs ready to play

Reply #712061 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

One of AFLs marketing strategies:

Target current NBA players. Incessantly ask them if they want to play AFL in interviews. Get a photo of them with a football. Run a page in the Herald Sun outlining how x NBA player wants to play AFL one day.

Reply #712064 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Both are elite athletes. Both are incredibly fit, both in different ways.

Durtle mate it's after 9. Bed time champ.

Reply #712071 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Durtle is right, so perhaps you should be the one going to sleep? AFL only have one country to source athletes from hence the athleticism is nowhere near that of basketball and other sports. But with no other overseas leagues to compare to everyone (sheep) think it's elite. The Great Illusion.

Reply #712088 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Because theres so much athleticism in the NBL. Lol.

Reply #712097 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Because the best local players go overseas, unlike AFL. Keep up.

Reply #712098 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

But I thought all basketballers were genetic freaks?

Reply #712104 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

?

Reply #712106 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

"Bwahahahahahaha
WTF have you been smokin?
Your average AFL player would have vastly superior endurance and leg speed.
But that's ok, its what their game demands."

Endurance I would agree with. Leg speed? Very much doubt it. I think maybe you're the one who has been smoking.
Aaron Sandilands is not beating Tom Jervis in a foot race and neither is Dustin Martin beating Bryce Cotton and neither is Andrew Gaff beating Casper Ware unless he smashes his face in with a coward punch at the starting line when the starting pistol is fired.

Reply #712109 | Report this post


KB3  
Last year

AFL is setting itself up to mine other sports in Australia. There have been multiple articles on how the AFL is actually damaging Australia at the Olympics as they target kids with their cheque books and tempt them into AFL were they may have a 3 year pay widow and possible get a few games.

By then the time to go back to the original sport is gone.

The AFL even has rules to specifically do this as outside players are outside the salary cap as best to my knowledge ( Hugh Greenwood) The AFL is a predator in the way it operates, it manipulates and threatens to get the results it seeks.

Reply #712125 | Report this post


LV  
Last year

The initial question asked why more people aren't flocking to basketball games in Australia.

Many people don’t find basketball an exciting sport to watch, irrespective of the physical abilities of the athletes playing it. That’s just a reality. In terms of participation, basketball is one of only two sports that are truly global, in that they’re played in almost every country in the world. But in how many countries is basketball a top tier spectator sport? Not many.

One thing not discussed in this conversation so far is that we’re comparing an first tier sport vs a second tier sport. AFL is the only professional league for that sport. But the NBL is not top tier. People always gravitate to the best competition. Plenty more people follow NBA in Australia than NBL.

Reply #712140 | Report this post


LV  
Last year

Sorry, that was meant to say we're comparing a first tier *league* with a second tier *league*

Reply #712143 | Report this post


Hoopie  
Last year

LV, I'd also put it down to the - apart from Adelaide - reliance on half-court offence and post play, which just aren’t that exciting to watch.

Adelaide isn’t my team, but I’ll make a point of watching them just because they’re fun and fast and exciting.

Reply #712154 | Report this post


paul  
Last year

The NBL is a high-paced league, with lots of early shot clock action.

Reply #712160 | Report this post


Isaac  
Last year

If you're purely a footy fan, you might watch Cox and think, geez those basketballers aren't bad athletes, are they? Can that lead to more people watching our game?
I doubt it.

Reply #712162 | Report this post


Senator11  
Last year

Plenty of AFL players were high level basketball players. Pendlebury, Greenwood...then you have guys like Ablett and the Selwoods who can all ball. There's a team in a social league here in Perth that I used to play against that had Don Pike, Adam Simpson, Brady Rawlings, Dean Cox, Adam Selwood, Jamie Graham, Mark Nicoski and they can all play basketball pretty well. Plenty more AFL players are very good at basketball, just can't think of them all right now, and I there are prob heaps I don't know about.

NBA players would wipe the floor in a contest of athleticism, not even worth talking about, only thin AFL players would win is endurance. Put the 5 best current AFL players vs the 5 best current NBA players and I'd know who I'd be putting my house on every day of the week.

Reply #712208 | Report this post


LV  
Last year

No doubt it's easier to transition from basketball to footy than vice versa.

Ivan Maric was a talented junior basketballer but never played competitive footy until he was 15. There’s plenty of other similar stories around. But there aren’t many going in the opposite direction.

Moller is doing OK though- although I think he played basketball up until the under 14s?

This is partly because basketball has higher barriers to entry, advantaging tall people. If you’re 185cm, you’re average height for a professional AFL footballer. At 185cm in basketball, you can only play point guard and you need to be insanely talented to play professional basketball at that height.

Reply #712213 | Report this post


Duke Fan  
Last year

"Moller is doing OK though- although I think he played basketball up until the under 14s?"

He played basketball longer than that....for Sydney Boys anyway

Reply #712244 | Report this post


MACDUB  
Last year

Just my opinion, but I think everyone underestimates the athleticism of rugby players. People see a forward and think they're fat - but their athleticism is anything but.

Whilst its hard to compare sports with different physical dimensions required, Rugby players for me (excluding your front row because they are designed to be for example, a 135kg prop) are much better athletes than AFL.

IMO, Faster, stronger, more agile, better fitness (AFL players do have better endurance though), power - you could also make the argument they have better mental resilence and balance/flexibility.

You have to remember thought of course that Rugby is hugely dependent on physical attributes (but not quite to the extent that some people think - skill is huge too) - and so it makes sense that they are better athletes.

AFL & Basketball players need to practice shooting, kicking etc - Rugby players do the same but to a lesser extent (more time is spent in the gym and doing functional exercises).

I think you could imagine how good NZ Basketball could be if more players played basketball over rugby. You'd have all kinds of tall/long and freakishly athletic kids.

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Anonymous  
Last year

In Australia it is pretty much as simple as saying most of the best athletes play rugby if they grow up in NSW/Qld and most of the best athletes play AFL if they grow up in Vic/SA/WA so unless athleticism varies by what state you're born in it is more a matter of what areas your sport needs you to focus on when building up your body.

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Anonymous  
Last year

The athletic traits needed in both are not the same, so it's stupid to claim athletes from one sport are superior to another. Kevin Durant is a great basketball athlete but would break in 2 if he tried footy, whereas a player like Josh Kelly is a sesnational athlete because of his mixture of sped and endurance, but would clearly be out of his depth in terms o& size and jumping ability if he tried to play high level basketball.

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MACDUB  
Last year

I disagree. I think you can argue a comparision of athleticism.

I.e. by comparing how athletic players are based on what we know/see on sprint, exertion of strength/power - and what we know about physical measurements.

Your example with KD isn't a comparision of athleticism at all - you're not comparing athleticism but youre actually saying what would happen if he played AFL.

You're comparing how well that person would play sport if he transferred - which is different to what were saying/talking about here. Were not talking about a hypothetical of people playing a sport - were talking about if you got 10 guys from each sport into a weight room and put up a series of physical testing who would come out on top.

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Senator11  
Last year

Basketball 5: Lebron, AD, Giannis, Westbrook, Wall

vs

AFL 5: Don't even tell me there are 5 let alone 1 AFL guy that can match the athleticism of the above...

Reply #712261 | Report this post


LV  
Last year

Imagine taking the best 20 NBA players and the best 20 AFL players.

Now, take the best handful of athletes from each group. You'd end up with Lebron James, Russell Westbrook, Giannis etc vs Patty Dangerfield, Buddy Franklin, Dusty Martin etc.

You’d find that the NBA guys are much better athletes I think- run faster, jump higher, stronger. In everything except perhaps endurance. But you have to remember, these are the best players from a sport that’s played in 200+ countries by perhaps tens of millions of people.

If you ran the same tests, with Australian born NBL players like Nathan Sobey vs AFL players, it would be much more interesting.

Reply #712264 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

In Australia, AFL players are vastly superior athletes to those playing in the NBL. No comparison really.

Reply #712413 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

LOL @ vastly. AFL is just endurance running. That's why they poach athletes from basketball.

Reply #712414 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

https://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/mason-coxs-incredible-debut-legitimises-the-usatoafl-pathway/news-story/62671dbec8c5f6fa4ae815d9b4bbfde5?nk=b4d3bc505b954e049ecc1646dd177a46-1540929331

Basketballers coming over to play footy struggle with endurance. AFL players run four times further than basketballers during a game. Not sure why everyone thinks basketball would be more endurance.

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Bon Carter  
Earlier this year

NBA players can jump higher and run faster e.g. Russell Westbrook but AFL players have more stamina and can run for longer

Reply #746359 | Report this post


Bon Carter  
Earlier this year

Russell Westbrook is the g.o.a.t

Reply #746360 | Report this post


Russell Westbrook  
Earlier this year

I know I am

Reply #746361 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

apart from strength and stamina, basketball blows AFL outta the water

Reply #746364 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Better athletes..

..smaller hearts

Reply #746371 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

I think the median NBA player would be better than the median AFL player but I'm not sure that the median NBL player would be

Reply #746372 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Just look at the salaries. Should tell you who is superior.

Reply #746401 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

So I guess Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi and Lewis Hamilton are better athletes than Giannis Antetokounmpo then

Reply #746433 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Irrelevant. Question was who is better ATHLETICALLY between footballers and basketballers.

Reply #746439 | Report this post


Red84  
Earlier this year

In terms of athletic tasks - how high can you jump, how fast can you run - most would expect pro ballers to outperform AFL. However, the overlooked factor is resilience of players to physical collisions. The muscle mass built into AFL and rugby players is there to improve their capacity to weather multiple hits that ballers wont encounter so much. Such mass comes at a price - speed - which ballers value more highly. Mental toughness matters - Imagine Brazil's Neymar - with all his cry baby antics - playing AFL. (There is an Aussie man video on youtube about this, which is hilarious).

Reply #746917 | Report this post


Red84  
Earlier this year

Ozzy man review - AFL vs Soccer Big Hits
https://youtu.be/YStuNiouiW4
And the Neymar vid
https://youtu.be/ftpqVQm9brc

Reply #746935 | Report this post


D2.0  
Earlier this year

"In terms of athletic tasks - how high can you jump, how fast can you run - most would expect pro ballers to outperform AFL."
ROFL

One of the local TV stations did this, years ago, comparing stars from various sports, including AFL, NRL, NBL, soccer, etc.
Putting them through various strength, agility, and speed tests...

I'm not 100% sure, but I think the results were scaled relative to height & weight.
The surprise winner was an Australian Bob-Sledder. Great strength, and explosive power.
(Although, IIRC, he turned out to be a drug-cheat?)

The bballer sucked.
You only have to look at Bogut (in his current form) to understand. He's hardly a shining example of great athleticism, his body is buggered, yet through size and skill he can dominate the NBL and is still good enough to impact NBA.

I think a good guard would be a better athlete, but even then it comes down more to skill than anything else.

Look at MLB as an example. Some of those guys are fat, drink like fishes, and smoke like chimneys. If they had to actually run the bases, they would probably die.
They have massive upper body strength, good reflexes, and exceptional hand-eye coordination. There job is hit home-runs, (which a great player will do about 1 in every 3 at-bats). And play in the outfield, where they may run for a catch maybe a few times per game.

Similarly basketballers excel by being good at what they NEED to do.
A good 7ft Centre has a large leap, but relative to his height it may only be average.

Reply #746940 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Patrick Dangerfield or Russell Westbook..........
Who you gonna put your house on the line for??

Reply #746951 | Report this post


Red84  
Earlier this year

D2.0 I wouldn't place much store in the results of the TV study - unless they are citing authoritative research on cross sport athletes elsewhere. There is so much rubbish research on youtube . Agree with most of your points, esp. the influence of role specialization on performance metrics. You mentioned that Bogut remained competitive despite his buggered body. I offer Sandilands as a comparison in the AFL - who remained very effective despite managing a back injury. I would back Bogut in a 50m dash vs Sandilands, who is a similar age, does a similar job, has similar weight-height measures. Also back bogut in vertical leap, with Sandilands better at upper body strength measures. With regards to guards - compare Mills with Pendlebury as both competed for the same AIS scholarship. Again i would back Mills in most running tasks, but not strength tasks.

Reply #746953 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Big slow 7 footers are slowly going out of the game. They seem to be a liability in the NBA these days. If you're going to be 7 foot, you need to be fast and skilful

Reply #746960 | Report this post


D2.0  
Earlier this year

"Big slow 7 footers are slowly going out of the game. They seem to be a liability in the NBA these days. If you're going to be 7 foot, you need to be fast and skilful"

Yes, but it's all relative. If you're 7ft and strong, you don't need to be as fast as somebody who is only 6ft, and "skilful" relates to your role.

Reply #746978 | Report this post


D2.0  
Earlier this year

RED84, it wasn't a study, it was an exercise evaluating actual players. Now granted, a representative of one from each sport is hardly a definitive study. But whilst the results were surprising (and disappointing) at the time, they made sense.

As I said, it would be much closer for guards, a guy good enough to play as a PG in the NBA would give most AFL players a run for their money.
But again, it comes down to what metrics you want to measure.
If you looked at the AFL's "agility" test, you'd probably find the bballers would excel. The 20m sprints would be close. Anything longer and the endurance of the AFL guys would win out.

Standing vertical jump, you'd expect most bballers would again excel. Because they have to.
Running vertical jump (which is basically a ruck scenario) might be different.

Reply #746979 | Report this post




 

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