Soccer is the world's sport, but the NBA is the one professional sports league that receives attention from all corners of the globe. Thanks in large part to the 1992 Dream Team, there's league visibility wherever TV sets are, because basketball as an urban sport exists there as well. Europe, India, Russia, Africa, Canada, South America, Russia—you name it, and there's an NBA player or owner to represent the league.
Currently, 70 percent of the NBA's social media enagagement comes from outside of the United States, and there are more NBA fans in China than there are people in the U.S. If David Stern's wet dream is to wake up one day and have every American man, woman, and child declaring their fanhood for the NBA, he shouldn't fret—he's already got that in China. While the NFL can't catch a cold outside of the U.S., MLB is confined to North America and select Asian and Latino countries, and European top-flight soccer still hasn't penetrated the American sports psyche as deeply, the NBA is sitting on the shoulders of all these leagues on the international stage.