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The NBA is the gold standard

I miss the NBA so much.

We're so close to it coming back. Training camps are starting up in the next week and there's finally a light at the end of the tunnel. But the NBA is a year-round sport, the only one of its kind. That's right. The NFL, MLB and NHL are each inferior to the NBA in almost all aspects – both on and off the playing field.

Just this week, for example, the NBA took over the sports world in a time of the year when it has no business doing so. Football is still early in the season and baseball is in the thick of the pennant race, but one tweet from Shams and another from Woj and BOOM, the NBA is back.

Jimmy Butler isn't a top-10 player in the NBA. He's probably top-20, maybe top-15, but the brand that the NBA has created on social media is what makes this such a big deal. #NBATwitter is a brand – a brand the football and baseball don't have.

Below are two tweets of major breaking news from the NFL and MLB over the past few weeks.

Josh Gordon is one of the most talented receivers in the NFL and the Patriots are one of the most popular teams (for better or worse). Mike Trout is undoubtedly the best player in baseball and he's playing in the Los Angeles market. Neither tweet got as many likes or replies as either of those Jimmy Butler tweets.

The NFL has consistently hurt itself with silly things that the NBA simply handles better.

Still, after years, nobody knows what a catch is or isn't.

Still, two years after Colin Kaepernick first knelt during the anthem, the league is still trying to figure out what to do.

And now, there's even more controversy with the latest roughing the passer penalties and tackling rules.

In the NBA, the focus is on the game and social media. Football struggles with different random controversies that the NBA just dismisses. Coaches like Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich and players like LeBron James and Steph Curry – these four are the best of the best – have all denounced things Trump has done, while the NFL has owners like Jerry Jones and Bob McNair sending mixed messages and comparing players to "inmates running the prison," respectively. Then there's NFL stars like Tom Brady completely dismissing political issues.

The NFL clearly has a bigger audience than the NBA, that much is obvious. The Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl had five times as many viewers as this year's NBA Finals. But things are changing. NBA ratings are increasing while the NFL is seeing a dip. It's going to happen sooner rather than later. The NBA has 27.3 million Twitter followers to the NFL's 24.1 million (the MLB is light year's behind at 8.2 million). The younger generation is rallying behind the NBA over the NFL. More and more kids are going to play basketball as the safety of football continues to be questioned.

The NBA is almost back after a long offseason – but did it ever really leave?

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