So if Europe's catching up to us - or even passing us - in terms of basketball skill, could they also be pulling ahead of us in terms of pro basketball cheerleading? That's not possible, right? After all, we invented cheerleading. Well, in all honesty, I have no clue if we invented cheerleading, but we definitely made it what it is today. So let's check it out, to see how pro European basketball cheerleaders match up against the best the NBA has to offer. By the way, if you think this is just a hotness contest, you're wrong. There's much more to cheerleading than being hot. Like dancing and, uh, other stuff. So anyway, here we go.
THEMED DRESS CHOICE
US: We keep it simple here in the US. When cheerleaders - like the Phoenix Suns ones - go for a theme look, it's predominantly the classic sexy cowgirl. Effective yes, unique no.
EUROPE: This is from the Opel Cup Tournament in Turkey. Now, you may say Turkey isn't part of Europe. Wrong. Part of Turkey is considered to be part of Europe. Now that we've finished the geography lesson, I have no clue what the hell the theme is here. Sexy beer wench? German fairy nymph? Definitely blows away the US on unique points, but loses points for pretty much everything else.
EDGE: US, for keeping it simple.
US: Ah yes, now this is an area America dominates in. This is from All-Star weekend. Notice the precise timing, the incredible choreography, and last but not least, the overly suggestive pelvic thrusts. Also, they picked a song that's at least semi-current.
EUROPE: This is from some Greek league and frankly, it's a disaster. The song, although traditional, doesn't lend itself to the always pleasing pelvic thrusts. Plus the brunette is having some trouble. And to top it all off, they do circulating leg kicks, which went out of style in the 1930s.
EDGE: America. By far.
US: Since we invented dunking, naturally our cheerleaders kick butt at it, like this Rockets cheerleader doing a nasty flip.
EUROPE: Didn't invent dunking, which leads to cheerleaders having this happen to them. (Yes, she's a cheerleader, I checked)
RESEMBLING A STRIPPER (OR SOMETHING WORSE)
US: Probably the one area I wish we didn't excel at. But excel at it we do. By the way, I think I saw this woman on 3rd and Mission at 4am last weekend.
EUROPE: Actually takes the classier route and just goes with the belly-dancer look. It says, "I'll dance for money, but that's it."
EDGE: Europe, by far.
EXCESSIVE BODY ENHANCEMENTS
US: Again an area we dominate, as evidenced by this Miami Heat cheerleader. Judging by her brown roots and, uh, not-really-natural chest, she was probably a less than ample brunette at some point in time. She also gets bonus points for hitting the tanning salon. She's just a nose job away from completing the cycle.
EUROPE: Cheerleaders there don't seem to be quite as in to the Barbieization of themselves, so instead of excessive body enhancements, how about excessively weird outfits?
US: We train our cheerleaders to hit half court shots.
EUROPE: They balance a woman doing a splits on poles while wearing some kind of skinned animal. Oh, and they also dunk themselves occasionally.
EDGE: Dunking yourself is pretty cool, so Europe.
AFTER HOURS HIJINKS
US: Go out, get drunk, take racy photos of yourselves.
EUROPE: I don't know, since I don't have pictures. But they probably go out and drink a lot of beer.
EDGE: US, clearly.
US: I approve.
EUROPE: Tony Parker approves.
CONCLUSION: European cheerleaders definitely aren't quite at the NBA cheerleader level yet, but if they stop dressing like forest nymphs, start doing some pelvic thrusts, and take racy photos of themselves, there will be no stopping them.