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Basketball

28 January 201312:42PMlife

In the last week I've turned twenty, got a Raspberry Pi, failed my driving test, and got a volunteer position at Scitech, watched the Australia day fireworks, did a six kilometre obstacle course, and helped my brother move into the place he's housesitting.

Logically, I am going to ignore them. Instead, I will be talking about basketball.

Somewhat out of the blue, my neighbour from down the street appeared at my door the other afternoon and asked if I wanted to go to the basketball, because their friend had a corporate box and he was away somewhere?. I'd never been to the basketball before, much less in a corporate box, so I said yes. At the very least, I figured, I'd get some free food and a chance to look around that fancy new arena everyone keeps talking about. But surprisingly it was actually pretty fun. And by surprisingly, I mean that the bulk of my experience with live sport is AFL football, so I wasn't really quite sure what to expect.

(If you are, in fact, a regular basketball fan, please try to restrain yourself from laughing as I spend the next few hundred words repeatedly pointing out the obvious.)

Basketball is actually a really fast game. I mean that in several senses of the word. First in terms of duration, especially compared to aforementioned AFL, it's quick. Like 10 minute quarters quick. It does not take very much time to play a quarter of basketball. Then there's the actual play itself. Because the court is pretty small and there's only 40 minutes of play time to win in, everything is kinda frantic. Play just flips back and forth between one end and the other - one team takes a shot, other team takes a shot, then the first team takes another shot... There's no 'several solid minutes of dicking around in the midfield' like in football, or god forbid soccer. It favours really rapid iteration of scoring attempts without having to spend ages getting the ball down there in the first place. Which is a fancy way of saying that it's bloody exciting to watch.

The entire atmosphere is different too. The first time I worked at a basketball game (outside it, in the bar type area) I thought, "Jesus, what's all that music and stuff? Is it like a half time show or something?" No. It's music, accompanying the game. And there are mascots and stuff dancing all over the place and cheerleaders and guys with big cheer card thingies and some kind of DJ-cross-commentator-cross-cheer-caller doing some kind of running soundtrack/commentary/repeatedly saying the word defense. And it works, for some weird reason. It's like sport that's finally realised that past all the athleticism and stuff it's really just entertainment, and it's okay with that and has decided it might as well have some fun with it.

I guess you could kinda say the same thing for the fans. I'm not sure how much of this is because it's a less popular sport, but the fans seem really... I dunno, involved? We went to a post-game thingy cause we had this corporate box, and all the members were just casually hanging out with the players, and the coach actually got up and talked tactics with everyone as if the fans were a part of the team. I'm not sure if that would work if the sport was more popular, but it was nice attitude.

Speaking of corporate box thingies - not really a fan. Not that it wasn't good quality and stuff. Possibly I've just been on the other end of that job too long, but being waited on (even if it's only snacks and such) doesn't do it for me. I'd rather just watch the game. I'm a grown-ass adult, I take care of my own refreshments.

So, Basketball: 5/5, surprisingly good, refreshing with a tangy aftertaste, would accept spontaneous invitation again.

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