Where white guys trying to chestbump happens
For as long as I can remember, basketball has been the rock that forms the foundation of my life. Some of my earliest memories involve watching or playing basketball, and I made my first friends in primary school on the basketball court. Of course as I got older, genetics told me to sit the fuck down as dudes with my physical attributes don’t tend to excel in sporting endeavours. And yet, basketball is still what consumes most of my day, as I watch games, read the analysis, and spend hours daydreaming about trades that will never happen or games that are yet to take place.
For years, this had made me somewhat of an oddity. I was the guy who obsessed over a sport played in a country thousands of kilometres away, while being unequivocally neutral towards the sport which is followed with a near religious fervour right in my backyard. Today though, basketball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country, and thanks to globalization and the connecting powers of internet, there is not much difference between following the NBA in Auckland or in New York City. This, and the ever increasing influence of hip hop culture (which basketball will forever be entwined with whether they like it or not), has helped bring the sport to the mainstream of New Zealand popular culture. Of course, it will still never touch rugby (just a few days ago, a bar refused to change the channel to Game 3 of the Breakers Semi-Final game, because they said it would start a riot if they switched over to basketball from rugby. The rugby game in question involved two random Australian teams who no one at the bar had any rooting interest in). But it is growing. This was on full display on Thursday night when the NZ Breakers hosted the Perth Wildcats in Game 1 of the NBL Grand Final, during which I kept somewhat of a running diary (SHOUTS OUT TO BILL SIMMONS). Here is what transpired, to the best of my memory.