Brock University Sport Management Associate Professor Julie Stevens wrote a piece recently published in The Conversation about the growing popularity of basketball in Canada, propelled by the recent success of the Toronto Raptors.
Don’t get me wrong — I love hockey. My involvement in the sport has included scholar, critic, fan, coach and player. But I have to wonder what the Toronto Raptors’ presence in the NBA final means to the great Canadian game.
Is this a transformational moment for both hockey and basketball? For a sport to become ingrained in Canadian nationalism, it must stir the collective imagination.
Hockey had Paul Henderson’s goal in the 1972 Summit Series.
A great deal of academic and popular work explores the glory of that moment.
But now basketball has Kawhi Leonard’s Game 7 buzzer-beater.
Will it replace Henderson and become this generation’s magical sports moment? Will it become the stuff of Canadian sports lore?
In order to answer this question we need to explore how the sport imagination of a nation is created.
Continue reading the full article here.