Hoops within hoops

Does gentle reader enjoy watching basketball games? If so, let him keep this eccentricity to himself. For the author of this piece, who has already bravely exposed himself to danger, by preferring cricket to baseball, takes a view of basketball that is almost pro-Batflu. Far from being upset by the apparent cancellation of the NBA basketball season, he is exultant.

It was a sport designed (in Almonte, Ontario, I am ashamed to admit) around the concept of social distancing, even before off-seasons were invented. And while good healthy shoving was added when it was exported to the States, it remains a sport for socially isolated seven-foot freaks. The bouncing of huge basketballs on city sidewalks by misdirected youff is among the principal unaddressed problems in urban life today.

That the basketball stars appear to be all commies (one might call their matches “peaceful demonstrations”), has been noticed by members of the public at large. The commercial rights have been bought up by the Chinese Communist Party; the mass market is increasingly in China; and the stars train within sight of Uigher prison camp facilities. That they shill for the Party also in America makes sense from these arrangements. That their dabbling in American racial politics, with their boycotts, follows, too. That their astronomical salaries could be lost with their professional season is a modest piece of good news. But all will be lost for them, anyway, when the labs in Wuhan or wherever breed their own species of seven-foot bats. (Prototype here.)

Make no mistake: childhood memories of “dwarf basketball” do not inspire me to some benign alternative. I was once almost crushed by a basketball wielded by a boy named Billsborough, using this weapon as a missile. He weighed about three hundred pounds, which he was able to convert into kinetic energy. Doctors were later able to restore the use of my several body parts, but the lad continued to call me “The Mouse.”

Not that this affected my judgement. My horror of basketball had already matured in the courtyard of an Asiatic boarding school. (I was merely visiting.) It was a form of cultural appropriation which I could see, even by the age of ten, ought to be condemned. It led to other derangements, such as sweet, uniformed Asiatic girls playing Elvis Presley hits on 45-rpm recordings. The slide was inexorable.

But the end is near. The removal of this curse from our own continent is a first step. Elsewhere, we may hope it shares the fate of the politburo at Peking.


UPDATE. I am advised by a fellow Neanderthal that the NBA is not dead yet. Apparently, President Xi Jinping has ordered the players back to their show. Darn. I thought they were gone forever. I’d already poured a drink to celebrate the end of bucketball. It came from an expensive jar of Laphroaig. Oh well, I cannot waste it.