Over the next few weeks there will be lots of basketball tournaments to watch. State high school, college conference, NCAA, NIT tournaments for both men and women will crowd the cable airwaves, and just when you think they were over, up will pop the NBA tournament games. In the event you are not highly knowledgeable on Mr. Naismith’s game, I’m here to help.
I have a long history of playing basketball badly, and watch just enough on TV to provide you with all you’ll need to know.
1. Traveling. This is an infraction that used to involve taking more than two steps without dribbling the ball. In the modern era, many steps, along with a hop, skip, and jump can be taken. Traveling is most likely to be called in pee-wee basketball, and less likely each step up to NBA ball, where a player once travelled from New York to Philadelphia without bouncing the ball even once, and was not penalized.
2. Coaches. Unlike baseball, where coaches wear uniforms, or football, where most wear sweatshirts, basketball coaches wear fine suits, and, I’m guessing, soak them with perspiration as they parade back and forth in front of their teams, cajoling the players, and beseeching the referees. From time to time the coaches call time-outs, and share highly sophisticated strategies with their players, who then go back into the game and do something different. There are surprisingly few strokes.
3. Betting. A lot of people bet on basketball tournaments. A statistics professor has opined that the chance of someone who follows basketball getting all the games right is about 128 billion to one. So, good luck!
4. Commentary. The sports talk people will spend countless hours talk about what might happen, and countless hours talking about what did happen. In between, there will be games.
5. Work. How many people watch tournament games while they are being paid to do a job? It is said that 86% of people who watch the NCAA games watch at least some of them at work. I, personally, wouldn’t ever do that, since it might disrupt my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and http://www.peterwallace.wordpress.com use. Oh, and work.
6. When will the tournaments end? Well, I remember visiting someone years ago to watch Michael Jordan play in the NBA tournament games, and it was 90 degrees outside and there were lots of mosquitoes, so I’m guessing it was late June. I always think of basketball of a winter sport, but I guess not.
7. How important are basketball games compared to other things going on around the world? Very! If we really thought about everything else that’s going on other than basketball, we’d go crazy, so thank goodness for all those games!
If you have other questions, simply tune in to ESPN 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc., Yahoo Sports, NBC Sports, Fox
Sports, CBS Sports, or Vatican Sports. I made up the last one.