I don't get basketball at all. And over the years, I have tried hard to get it. After all, football season ends in February, leaving a gaping void in your life till about April when baseball season reopens. So you need to like a sport other than baseball and football in order to get yourself through the long dreary winter.
In fact, as a result of my persistent efforts to "get" basketball, I got it partially two years ago when I watched about twenty Sixer games and convinced myself that I liked the sport. I convinced myself so successfully that I even called up a friend of mine, _Slime, and preached basketball to him because according to me, it was such a great game. I even gave him some great tips on how to convince himself to like it. For example, when you watch basketball for the very first time, even if you feel like bashing your skull inside with a large rock after the first few minutes, it is imperative that you continue to watch the game. Kinda like how smoking the first cigarette is difficult and hard on your stomach and throat and your fingers smell like you spent the entire day putting out forest fires but then as the nicotine takes hold of you with every subsequent cigarette, it gets easier.
_Slime began to respond to my basketball-liking lessons and became a Cleveland Cavaliers fan. At least he keeps talking about that team. I don't know if it is just an outer facade to conform with society's obsession with LeBron James.
And my other friend zambezi writes about the New Jersey Nets on his blog. He appears to be very knowledgeable about basketball and talks about various things his team should be doing in order to win such as throwing the ball in the basket and getting to the ball because it will not come to you of its own accord. Although much of his advice to his players appears to be of an abstract nature, of the "listen to the voice inside your head that should guide you to that place in your soul that will help you achieve your karma" kind. Zambezi is a very spiritual kind of guy and he is very good at dispensing such advice.
But now it appears to me that I have suffered a relapse. The game again seems to be a bunch of sweaty guys crowded together on a wooden floor trying to throw stuff inside a small basket. As far as I am concerned, the entertainment value of the game is on an equal level with watching someone throw pebbles inside a pond. Once I watched an entire basketball game and for the last five minutes, one team kept fouling the other and the other team kept getting free throws. It reminded me of that wise statement once made by another friend of mine about cigarette smoking, "even though smoking takes ten years off the end of your life, would you really be interested in living those years", and wishing there were some carcinogenic activity basketball players could indulge in that would rid the game of its final five minutes.
But the funniest thing to me about basketball is that shoe commercial where the shoe-wearing basketball star dribbles his ball alone on the court with lights darkened and so on, you know, pretending that there's an invisible player blocking him and you can just appreciate the tremendous amount of mental strength and willpower he displays very eloquently on his face as he dodges and weaves around, trying to outwit that invisible player as he attempts to get to that elusive basket. And then, when he reaches it after battling through all that viscous air, he looks so triumphant, almost godly, as he dunks the ball into the hoop and smashes the glass and hangs from the ring in slow motion and he owes it all to those shoes. And I believe him too.
But still, when all is said and done, don't you just feel like telling this guy, hey man, there's no one actually blocking you so why don't you just stroll over quietly to the fucking basket wearing your two hundred dollar shoes and gently toss the fucking ball inside. And we will all be mighty impressed. Really, we will, 'cause spending two hundred bucks on basketball shoes, now that takes some serious courage and strength of character.