Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Why basketball

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.


zambezi said...

thats how i feel about football. i dont blame you for not liking basketball. the 76ers stink bad.

gawker said...

I am thoroughly disappointed with the brevity of your comment especially considering how I maligned your advice giving abilities.

zambezi said...

stop googling words and creating sentences.
i am confident about my advice giving abilities and also about my knowledge of the game. i am actually thinking of applying for the head coach position for the nets. with our 6 game losing streak, i am pretty sure that i could only do a better job. have you stopped gymming and are you full of flab again? if you are, i will beat you up just like in the past.
we used to make a damn funny pair. do you remember those days?

RobRoy said...

It's so sweet when two, non-gay men talk about their past together.

Personally, I can't get into watching sports at all. Now, if something were to blow up, like the ball everytime someone fumbled, erred or thew it out of bounds, it might be more worthwhile.

Unknown said...


I live in Philly and I understand why you don't "get" basketball. Had I been introduced to basketball by watching these 76ers, I wouldn't get it either. My suggestion: watch the Phoenix Suns or the Dallas Mavericks. They are the only teams watchable in the current NBA. I could tell you to go and try to "get" another sport but living in the Philly area, you have no chance of "getting" any sport:

Hockey - current Flyers is possibly the worst team in their entire history.

Football - Eagles are on their way to another losing season but they will remind you of the Indian cricket team with their dropped catches, flaky defense, and choking under pressure.

Baseball - you already get it but may God help you if you follow the Phillies.

Anonymous said...

I think that watching any game on TV is boring; I've been to several Nets' games, and the atmosphere just makes it all that much more exciting. =)

Vee Cee said...

...that would rid the game of its final five minutes.
Are you kidding me!! If you ask me, they should just set the score to 100-100 and just play the last 5 minutes. I guess, that is why no one ever asks me.

gawker said...

robroy : yes, I agree, blowing things up is a relatively unexplored avenue in sports.

ankit : I agree to every one of your criticism regarding Philly teams but I doubt moving to Miami or Dallas would help me "get" basketball.

vi : That is quite possible. That's what people tell me about hockey, at least. The sound of the puck and people banging into the glass wall make it interesting.

vc : I think you hit it on the head. Maybe you should start your own basketball league.

gawker said...

zambezi : we should watch a football game together so i can teach you the rules of the game. and then we can watch a basketball game and I will point out the various reasons why it is wrong to watch it.

and no i still go to the gym and i can and will beat you up if you want to schedule a bout.

Anonymous said...

Yes i do remember the basketball itch you gave me. I do like to watch Lebron off and on but I don't crave for basketball. Lebron is a homeboi ! So he shall hold a place in my heart, and the chicken wings at BW3 don't taste bad either.
There are ongoing attempts to convert me to OSUism and I have been diligently watching OSU games. I actually even went to Columbus and watched a live game there ..
Baseball .. i don't get.
I do have a sidline affair with soccer once in 3 years
But, my faith still lies with Cricket, my love with F1 and UT is my lovable b*tch !
On a side note -- have u played TT here ? I remember how we'd go and play TT all the time ..

gawker said...

Shouldnt you watch UAkron football? I hear they have a good team this year. Do you still play UT99? I am into UT04 now. And no, I havent played TT since I came here. Man I used to be pretty good in India. I probably suck now. Maybe I should throw away my dining table and get a TT table instead.

Anonymous said...

Soon enuff people in america of united states will say, "I dont get marriages!" lol i mean what does it mean to em, if it does- at all, anyway...?

Britney Ms. says "I had gone crazy with my new found freedom" -Hmmmm? heh and how longs been? not even 5 yrs of a fallen-hard-in-love-hence-married marriage?...

Anonymous said...

hey i am sure those basket ball players get those shoes for free

and besides those shoes are fuking awesome.

basket ball is the best sport after soccer, football and tennis

and baseball has got to be the most chuthiya fuking sport in the world