Divider blue

10/04/2017

Alright everyone, it's honesty time. I know absolutely nothing about basketball.

That's not entirely true - at this point - because I've had to learn to remain employed, and I genuinely do enjoy the game. It's just that I never actually got into it until I was in my mid-twenties (like 6 months ago...) and my friend Johnny dragged me to a pub to watch the NBA playoffs. Now, anyone who knows me knows that there is very little "dragging" involved in dragging me to anywhere with a steady supply of beer, but at the end of the day I genuinely found myself interested in what was happening - the hype, the energy. The team we were rooting for (I was told) we're doing well and there was enough tension to make it really exciting. The pub rose and fell with the score. People ordered shots to celebrate when we took the lead and more to commiserate when we lost it. There was only one problem for me. I had no idea what was happening aside from 10 guys running back and forth down a court accompanied by a lot of sneakers squeaking.

I actually played basketball as a kid, as I did most sports. Like most sports, however, I wasn't really that good at it and, as such, my interest in it tended to be casual at best. Let's put it this way, I once shot so long without making a basket that my coach had time to walk down the court and tell me that I was, in fact, shooting on my own net. Unsuccessfully. I couldn't even score on my own team. Before you ask, yes, my parents are proud of me.

Due to all this, I don't really understand the basic rules of the game, or at least I didn't until I decided to educate myself and then, in turn, educate all my friends out there who think that someone angrily shouting "travelling" at a television screen is only appropriate when Trump's travel ban comes up in the news!

Travelling

More than two steps without dribbling the ball. BOOM! Nailed it. Wait...what? There's more?

Actually, yes, there's a lot more. It seems that travelling covers a wide range of movement that centres primarily around the movement of the feet, specifically the pivot foot (that being the foot that the player in question uses to initiate movement). For example, while possessing the ball players who: land with one foot first may pivot using only that same foot, raises his pivot foot off the floor, they must then pass or shoot before his pivot foot returns to the court AND if he drops the ball while in midair, he cannot be the first to touch it.

Essentially, for brevity's sake, everything (including going more than two steps without dribbling) is travelling.

Double Dribble

The act of: dribbling the ball with both hands simultaneously, picking up the ball with both hands and then commencing to dribble with one hand OR touching the ball twice before it hits the ground in a single descent.

Editors' note: also a fantastic rap name

Goaltending

Goaltending occurs when a player illegally interferes with an opposing players shot. This can happen when a player reaches through the basket to interfere with the shot (which just sounds petty) or touches the ball on its downward trajectory (as it falls) to the basket if it is not obvious that the ball is going wide. Essentially if it looks good, no touchy! If a defensive player is charged with goaltending the basket is awarded, while if an offensive player incurs the penalty, the basket is cancelled.

Fouls

Any kind of attempt to put the opposing player with the ball at a disadvantage to make a pass or shot through physical contact is considered a foul and often leads to one or more people lying spread-eagle on the court with a confused look on their face while the crowd shouts obscenities.

Related

Divider yellow