It'll never be more popular than the NFL here in America, but the NBA has, by far, the biggest global appeal of all four major US sports leagues. Just as the NBA is wrapping a series of exhibitions through China, Taiwan, Philippines, England, and Brazil, the New York Times has a cute story on the love of basketball in Bhutan, a small, isolated country in the eastern end of the Himalayas.
Basketball in Bhutan is less a game than a royal pastime. For decades, it was a game played by the royal family. But in recent years, the country is hoping to introduce the game to its citizens and, eventually, develop a national team that could perhaps compete against other Asian nations.
Bhutan's most popular baller right now is its queen, Jetsun Pema Wangchuck, a 23-year-old who apparently plays every day. According to the Times, the Queen recently dropped 17 buckets in a game.
The best part of the story? She arrives on the court via a royal carpet and carries a Louis Vuitton purse. And she said wants to attend the NBA Finals eventually.
David Stern, hear that? Perfect marketing opportunity! [New York Times]