With all the concussion issues and legal issues surrounding them, the future of the NFL seems to be in serious doubt. Malcolm Gladwell, documents a possible demise to football (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7559458/cte-concussion-crisis-economic-look-end-football). He raises some interesting points and addresses some realistic concerns for the future of the NFL. With this being a semi-realistic outlook, I feel that the NBA will most definitely be affected if this were to occur.
First off, if the NFL does cease to function as it does now, the NBA would be the favorite to take over as the main professional sports association. Moms may no longer let their children play football, and in turn the sons may turn to basketball. Therefore the market for the NBA will continue to grow and become even more widespread. Without contact, the NFL may come to resemble the Pro Bowl, which has less contact than the NBA. The evolution of the NBA athlete has resulted in a much more physical game that appeals to many NFL loyalists. Though there are no pads, if safety is such a concern in the NFL, the NBA may appeal to viewers looking for a little contact in their entertainment.
The best athletes may choose the NBA over the NFL in the coming years. Athletes like Julius Peppers (pictured above) and Tony Gonzalez (pictured below) may opt to play basketball instead of football. They are differently skilled enough and the NBA provides some incentives that NFL fails to provide. For professional athletes, career longevity is very important and on average the NBA career is much longer, due to guaranteed contracts and a significantly less amount of serious injuries. The NBA also has more flexibility, having great relationships with the International Leagues allowing players who aren’t quite ready for the NBA to play overseas and gain the necessary skills and maturity to compete stateside. The International leagues offer much better payment incentives than the smaller football leagues and therefore could potentially be more attractive to athletes.