Basketball is really big in the Philippines. From UAAP games to the NBA, people can’t get enough of it. I, however, am not one of those people. I don’t hate basketball but I never got into it. At university these lines would be heard almost all the time “Oh, are you watching the game against Ateneo?” or “Let’s watch the game while waiting for the prof.” Not that I didn’t have any school pride but I wasn’t intrigued by a bunch of guys throwing a ball around. On social media, I would see post after post about the NBA. A lot of them memes followed by a string of comments, not knowing the context so I would scroll past them.
Despite my clear indifference towards the sport, I find myself asking my boyfriend so many questions. At first, I would ask him about the uniforms, “Vince, why is their logo so ugly?” I was then slowly sucked into the basketball world. I’d enter the car and he’d be listening to a podcast about a player being traded or we’d be on a roadtrip and playing in the background is commentary of a game. In the past couple of years, my knowledge of basketball has expanded immensely and one of my key takeaways is that what happens off the court is just as interesting as what happens on the court. Now my questions range from “Do you think it’s right that trades happen in the middle of the season?” to “Why are these players in contention for MVP this season?”
A friend once asked me, “What’s the equivalent of basketball for girls?” and I didn’t understand what he meant. He went on to explain that when a bunch of guys get together, one way or another, they will end up talking about the game that happened that morning. This may be generalizing a bit but I did notice it to be true in some cases. Once, my friend and I were catching up, talking about work. Vince was then having a conversation with a group of my guy friends that he had just met and yes, they were talking about basketball.
I may not know all the players but I do know that Bleacher Report has an animated web series called Game of Zones, which is an NBA adaptation of Game of Thrones. I couldn’t tell you the rules of the game but we can have an open discussion about the NBA salary cap. I don’t know all the teams but I do know that Coach Pop of the Spurs has led the team to the playoffs for 20 straight seasons, which is no easy feat.
Like any other sport or profession or interest, basketball comes with its own culture. There’s the business side to it, the media involvement, the players, the fans. I still can’t follow a game, but I respect the sport enough to ask all these questions and gather all this information instead of knocking it completely.
I honestly, don’t know how this happened. Why I’m all of a sudden so intrigued. I even have conversations with my brother about it. Maybe it’s because it’s everywhere and I’m exposed to it. Or maybe because I enjoy learning about this thing that is so foreign to me. Discovering that it’s more than just a game. I guess it’s true what they say, #BallIsLife.