Why soccer is more popular than basketball?
The reason could be that they evolved in different parts of the world. Or soccer was the first sport to gain attention, even soccer promoters had more marketing power initially. But then again, why soccer is still gaining more favor in developing countries, where both soccer and basketball had no presence and yet they now how equal marketing prowess?
Similarly to China, Mongolia was no soccer field. It was a basketball country until recently. People played basketball for the past half century but rarely a soccer. The suddenly soccer started to gain attention just at the turn of the millennium and now I bet soccer is more famous.
When we closely look at the two games, we don't see any difference. They both use a ball to make it to the net. Team sports, both, they have forwards, point guards and captain. One uses a hand and the other uses a leg to make the ball to the net in team effort. I don't think it is necessary we prefer our one organ over another. Which is more artistic or more pleasure to see? A 720'er spin dunk, cross over and spin; or a super kick? I bet soccer is as artistic as basketball and vice versa.
A main difference though is the times they kick in ball to the net in a single play, or number of goals. An NBA averages 30 - 40 times a ball/net, whereas soccer averages only 1-2.
Why people want to see an hour struggle and only one goal? Why do they prefer such a rare event over a constant successful goals?
A striking conclusion is that people are more prone to chances of goals than the sports-art delivering that goal. That means if chances are low, then it is more interesting. Devastatingly we can conclude delivering roughly the same artistic pleasure, soccer overwhelms basketball because its goals have more lucky features in it compared to basketball. To be general soccer is a lucky sport and that's one of the main reasons why people are attracted into it.
A man is such a weak animal that it so often believes in luck and relies on luck. Man prefers luck over efforts that increases the probabilities. You can hear them say "wow that guy is a lucky guy", if a guy has got some wealth, or achieved a career without paying an effort, then people tend to praise and amaze each other. If a person achieved a wealth and career by his hardwork and efforts, people tend to ignore and refuse to even talk. People are afraid of hardworker and prefers a lucky person besides them.