Tips for International NBA Fans to follow the League

I’ve always had people asking me “Tom, how the hell do you keep up with the NBA so closely?” Truthfully, it’s almost a 2nd job… But definitely not a chore.

Thanks to the internet boom of the last 15 years, there are now so many avenues for NBA Fans outside of the United States to be able to follow the league as closely as someone with a season ticket to their local NBA team.

With this in mind, and the fact that 65% of our Podcast listeners live outside of the United States, I thought I’d provide you all with some helpful hints on how to best use media to help you consue your daily dose of the NBA.

Television

Make sure that you have access to the network in your country that shows the NBA, even if it’s on PayTV like it is with ESPN in Australia and the United Kingdom. These networks support the NBA and so you should support them back by watching the NBA on them. Plus, if you do have access to ESPN, it has a great show “NBA Tonight”, hosted by Kevin Connors and Tim Legler which is shown every few days which has a great analysis of the previous few days games. Furthermore, with shows such as Sportscenter, Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption, you’ll have a daily dose of NBA action and will be fully informed with the happenings in the League.

NBA.TV

NBA.TV or League Pass as it’s more commonly referred to is the NBA’s online subscription package giving you access to every NBA Game throughout the season both Live & on Demand. You also get access to the NBA’s 24-7 TV Channel NBATV. Subscribing to this is a MUST. This year it’s cost was about $240 for the entire season. It’s really worth it considering how many games you get and how much you will watch. NBA.TV allows you to follow your team night-in-night like never before for anyone living outside of the United States. It also allows you to watch entertaining teams that you rarely see on television such as the Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors. Plus it also has an iPhone or Android application meaning that you can watch all games live at home or wherever you are on your phone.

Another recommendation for NBA.TV is if you have a TV with a HDMI or PC Port on it, which most do these days, plug your computer into your TV so that you can watch the games on the big screen, in HD. The advent of watching NBA on a laptop or desktop can ware off quite quickly.

News Websites

Most people got to the NBA.com for their daily news. It’s a great website but I find that the news it offers isn’t as good as some other sites around the web. I recommend ESPN.com as your first choice for news. It has great writers and covers stories that the NBA won’t because they could be controversial or could potentially put the league in a bad light. It also has a great blog network, True Hoop. Also, make sure you sign up to ESPN Insider. It allows you to keep up-to-date with all the latest NBA rumors, draft hype along with providing premium videos and articles that you can’t get in the free product. It also comes with an 24 month subscription to ESPN the Magazine which is a great weekly read. Other sites I recommend are:

Make sure you read the news article from your favourite team’s local paper also. For example, if you’re a Lakers fan, read the LA Times Lakers page. It gives you an insiders view and articles on your team that you can’t get from a League-wide website.

Podcasts

Obviously you listen to #believethehype so I don’t have to include it on the list but here’s some other great podcasts that you should listen to regularly:

  • The Basketball Jones – A great daily video podcast. These guys are really funny and put on an entertaining show with some great analysis thrown in.
  • The BS Report – Wether you love or hate Bill Simmons, he’s great entertainment.
  • NBA Lockdown – Great podcast from the guys at ESPN. Hosted by former NBA Champion Bruce Bowen.
  • The Grantland Network: Jalen Rose – Jalen Rose does what he does best, talks till his mouth drops off. Includes good analysis, insites into Jalen’s career and funny anecdotes from the life of a former NBA player.
  • NBA Hangtime Podcast – Hosted by Sekou Smith and Lang Whitaker.
  • CRTSDE - Hosted by Hank McCoy featuring Vince Germano & Brad Graham, The Courtside Podcast is our fellow Aussie “Partners in Crime” NBA Podcast. Funny, informative & Aussie!
  • Below The Hardwood – Hosted by Ryan Henry with Allan Shane & Dexter Arriola, BTH is a Canadian Video Podcast. Great analysis & high quality production makes this very enjoyable.
  • The Double Clutch Podcast – Hosted by Matsmashed & BigAndiD, the Double Clutch is a new podcast dedicated to the NBA with a British point of view.

Blogs

There are thousands of great NBA Blogs out there. You’ve just got to pick what one suits you best. Some that I recommend are:

Make sure you follow a good blog for your favourite team also. For example if you’re a Laker fan, LakersNation.com is a must.

Furthermore, if you’re Australian, there are a number of Great Aussie basketball blogs out there which cover the NBA from an Australian angle. Make sure to check out:

If you’re from the UK or Ireland, check out these great blogs, podcasts & friends of #believethehype:

Social Media

The NBA has embraced social media like no other major sporting league has. Because of this, there are so many great places to go to on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and many more sites to be able to interact with players, teams and fans alike. I don’t really use Facebook too much for following the league because Twitter has really taken over as the ‘go to’ medium for following the NBA. Don’t follow @NBA, the official twitter feed. There’s so much information posted on it that it can clog your news feed. There are thousands of great Twitterers to follow for your 140 characters of NBA goodness, I’m not going to recommend everyone but here are 10 who are must follows:

Plus follow your favourite players and teams…

Magazines

There are some great international basketball magazines out there. If your country has a local magazine, be sure to get it regularly. Plus SLAM is available pretty much anywhere. Another great magazine to get is the Buckets Year Book. This is available online and in selected retailers. Magazines are great for feature articles that you won’t be able to see online.

So there you go, it’s a lot but it definitely makes life a lot easier for an NBA Fan from outside of the United States to be able to follow the league just as well as someone who lives right around the corner from Madison Square Garden.

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