World's best professional basketball leagues ranked

Five Best Basketball Leagues in the World

        The competition level of professional basketball leagues can vary. This top-five list is based on the information at our disposal. There are multiple leagues worldwide that did not make the list. These include Italy’s Lega Basket Series A, the Korean Basketball League, and the Turkish Basketball Super League. The leagues that made the list showed top-tier talent and growth in recent years.

5. Australian National Basketball League (NBL)

        The Australian National Basketball League, or NBL, was founded in 1979. The NBL has ten teams, nine in Australia and one in New Zealand. The NBL’s most popular team is the Perth Wildcats, who have won ten titles. Moreover, they have had multiple former NBA players on their roster. However, teams are limited to having a maximum of three international players on their roster at one time.

        Australia’s top league is looking to expand further by adding new teams. The NBL has been gaining prominence recently on an international scale. In addition, the passionate fanbases attract elite talent. Every team in the NBL appears to have good attendance and a strong fan base. One active player who played in the NBL is Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams. 

4. Chinese Basketball Association (CBA)

        The CBA, or Chinese Basketball Association, was founded in 1995. It is the top basketball league in China. Basketball is very popular in China, which is the largest in the world by population. There are twenty teams currently competing in the Chinese Basketball Association. The CBA has become a popular option amongst international players. China’s top league has produced several NBA players and international superstars.

        China’s CBA is Asia’s second most popular basketball league. There is a high level of competition in the CBA. The Chinese Basketball Association invests heavily in helping its talented players develop. Further, the league’s regular season and playoff format is similar to that of the NBA. However, only eight of the twenty teams make the postseason each year.

3. Liga ACB (Spain) 

        Spain’s Liga ACB is one of the World’s best basketball leagues. Spanish clubs have been historically successful in European competitions. Furthermore, Spanish clubs possess the most Euroleague Finals, with fourteen total victories. Liga ACB club Real Madrid won the Euroleague Finals in 2022-2023. From top to bottom, Liga ACB features competitive teams and talented players.

        European basketball leagues operate differently than the leagues in the Americas. Professional basketball teams in Europe typically compete in several different competitions. This includes national, regional, and continental competitions. Spain’s Liga ACB sends more clubs to the Euroleague than any other league and deserves a spot on the list.

2. Euroleague

        The Euroleague is viewed worldwide as one of the best basketball leagues in the World. There are differences of opinion regarding how competitive the Euroleague is compared to the NBA. However, it is certainly the top professional basketball league in Europe. The league is comprised of premier teams from several European countries. The competition in the Euroleague is intense each year. Several Euroleague players have even gone on to play in the NBA.

        The format of the Euroleague is similar to that of the UEFA Champions League. All eighteen teams play each other in a home-and-away series. Each team plays thirty-four regular season games. Next, the top eight teams will move on to the playoffs. A best-of-five series will occur in the first round of the playoffs. However, after the field is narrowed from eight to four, it becomes a single-elimination tournament. The Final Four consists of two semifinal games. Lastly, a third-place match and the championship game will take place.

1. The National Basketball Association (NBA)

        Did anyone foresee a scenario where the NBA wasn’t number 1? Though basketball isn’t the most popular sport in America, the NBA is the best league in the World. No other league comes close to the level of talent the NBA possesses. Since basketball was invented, the best players in the World have competed in the National Basketball Association. Some of the league’s most famous active players include Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Steph Curry. 

What makes the NBA the best basketball league?

        The National Basketball Association is a professional basketball league based in North America. However, the league’s popularity extends far beyond the United States. Millions of viewers and followers from various countries are fans of the NBA. Competitive balance among teams leads to a highly competitive postseason. In addition, the NBA has consistently expanded its international presence. They commonly play exhibition games in Europe and Asia.

        As of 2023, there are thirty teams in the league. Twenty-nine teams are based in the United States and one out of Canada. Despite TV ratings last season being among the lowest in three decades, the NBA remains the most-watched basketball league in the World. NBA teams have the ability to offer players the highest salaries and best sponsorships. Moreover, the National Basketball Association remains the pinnacle of basketball talent Worldwide.


What is the average height of an NBA player?

The average height of an NBA player is roughly 6 feet 6 inches.

How long are the quarters in basketball?

In the National Basketball Association, quarters are twelve minutes long. In the Euroleague, quarters are ten minutes long.

What is a double-double in basketball?

A double-double occurs when a player reaches double-digit figures in two statistical categories during a game. These categories can include points, rebounds, assists, steals, or blocks.

What is a field goal in basketball?

In basketball, a field goal is a successful score by the offense. As a result, either two or three points will be awarded. A made free throw does not count as a field goal.


Lewis, J. (2023, April 14). NBA ratings deep-dive: Where does the league stand?. Sports Media Watch.

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