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Where do I start with watching basketball?

DunxcoDunxco Should get a suitNever skips breakfastRegistered User regular
edited December 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So I decided that after my brother started a love affair with American Football, I too would like to embrace a sport. Since none of the traditional sports iconic to the UK (Soccer, Rugby, Cricket) capture my attention in any way shape or form, and I used to love playing Basketball in my teens, I figure Basketball is as good as any sport to pick.

The problem is, I have no idea where to start.

First thing I should probably get a grasp of is the rules: Do I want to check this out in the form of a book, or is it better to watch matches and pick it up as it goes along? It's been a while since I played and to be honest, it was simply P.E. classes so it wasn't exactly the most in-depth analysis of the rules. A fresh reminder is probably in order for this to work, so I'm open to recommendations.

Then there's picking a team to support/follow: I understand in sport that rooting for the home team is a popular concept, but I think that's a little out of the question considering the geography. So, how do people pick the team(s) they follow? How did you pick what team you follow? Their playstyle? the players themselves? the colour of their kit? the mascot? the win/loss ratio? Heck if I was interested in American Football I'd probably be backing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because they have a pirate ship and cannons. :lol:

Then there's the next question: How do I keep up to date with games? Where can I watch them as a UK citizen, or at least find out the scores? Due to the dominance of Soccer/Rugby/Cricket over here it's not likely I'll just be able to flip on the radio or tune in to digital radio and get coverage over here, so I really have no idea where to start looking outside of cable company sports packages.

I know it's probably an odd question to get but hey, this is H/A, you get odd questions all the time and there's always answers. :P

Dunxco on

Posts

  • ChanusChanus I've seen things... Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    I'm not sure about watching the games in the UK, but if you can access http://mlb.mlb.com/ (yes, mlb.mlb.com) that's the official site for Major League Baseball. They have standings and scores and highlights... there is a package you can purchase to stream games online, but I'm not sure if it's region-locked or if it would work for you.

    The basic rules are extremely simple and can easily be grasped just by watching a few games.

    If you want to get into the nitty-gritty, there is a PDF version of the official rules here:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2011/Official_Baseball_Rules.pdf

    or the Wikipedia page is basically the same thing in wiki form:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_rules

    Also, you should root for the Detroit Tigers because they are the best, though, generally, the American League plays baseball wrong because of the Designated Hitter rule :P

    Chanus on
    Allegedly a voice of reason.
  • DunxcoDunxco Should get a suit Never skips breakfastRegistered User regular
    Thanks for the info Chanus but uh... How do I say this...

    Wrong sport. :P

  • ChanusChanus I've seen things... Registered User regular
    I can't read.

    Haha

    Allegedly a voice of reason.
  • ChanusChanus I've seen things... Registered User regular
    Pretty much everything applies, just go to http://www.nba.com/ instead :P

    Allegedly a voice of reason.
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    Do you have an xbox 360? I don't know if it works both ways, but ESPN3 is on the xbox 360 if you use certain internet providers (and I think you can request your provider to be added if you call the 800 number for ESPN (I had to do it to get my domain added through my ISP)

    I know I can watch international sports (F1, rugby, cricket, etc) through it, so I'd assume if you're in the UK you can use it to watch Basketball.


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    It may be silly...but the way I've gotten into every major sport is via videogames.

    NBA2k11 is an awesome game and it actually got me into basketball quite a bit. Gameday 98 was how I got into football.

    It helps you learn the rules and gives you an understanding of the strategy of the game beyond what most fans even understand very quickly. It also gives you a good range of knowledge of what players are good and what teams they play for.

    For example, I played NBA 2k11 the other day and Golden State gave me a much bigger fight then I expected them too. Their guards, Ellis and Curry absolutely lit me up. I was all "man I never even heard of these guys, shit they are good. Learn those names, Golden State has some nice young guards.

    Flash foward to monday night, the bulls played golden state. Ellis and Curry lit them up. I knew who they were and that they could be dangerous.

    Video games are the easiest way into sports.

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  • LaemkralLaemkral Captain Punch King Registered User regular
    SkyTV usually has American sports, typically via ESPN or similar channels. It's how my friends here in Germany (I'm American military stationed abroad) keep tabs on their favorite teams for football and basketball, so I imagine that the UK channels will be roughly the same.

    I agree with the idea of picking up a basketball video game, it'll help cement if you like the sport as well as reintroduce you to the rules.

    As for picking a team, I say go for whoever the heck you want. Whether its because of the player(s), the coach, the name, the city, the colors, the mascot, or the sum of the jersey numbers of their starting five in the first game of the season is the day of your birth, it's all good! Your reasons are your own and are as arbitrary and random as some of the fans here in the States. Support who you want to support.

    But I hate the Lakers, just saying. But that's cause I'm from San Diego and arbitrarily hate LA fans who tend to be sunshine fans by and large.

    Avatar courtesy of MKR, and the strip I appeared in.
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    Disrupter wrote:
    It may be silly...but the way I've gotten into every major sport is via videogames.

    NBA2k11 is an awesome game and it actually got me into basketball quite a bit. Gameday 98 was how I got into football.

    It helps you learn the rules and gives you an understanding of the strategy of the game beyond what most fans even understand very quickly. It also gives you a good range of knowledge of what players are good and what teams they play for.

    For example, I played NBA 2k11 the other day and Golden State gave me a much bigger fight then I expected them too. Their guards, Ellis and Curry absolutely lit me up. I was all "man I never even heard of these guys, shit they are good. Learn those names, Golden State has some nice young guards.

    Flash foward to monday night, the bulls played golden state. Ellis and Curry lit them up. I knew who they were and that they could be dangerous.

    Video games are the easiest way into sports.

    I'll second this except using NBA 2k12, which is currently $15 on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/201020/?snr=1_7_suggest__13 For the next couple of days, anyway.

    I knew the general rules from playing as a kid, but learned a lot about the strategy from the 2k games. Plus the My Player mode is a lot of fun.

  • big lbig l Registered User regular
    Disrupter wrote:
    It may be silly...but the way I've gotten into every major sport is via videogames.

    NBA2k11 is an awesome game and it actually got me into basketball quite a bit. Gameday 98 was how I got into football.

    It helps you learn the rules and gives you an understanding of the strategy of the game beyond what most fans even understand very quickly. It also gives you a good range of knowledge of what players are good and what teams they play for.

    For example, I played NBA 2k11 the other day and Golden State gave me a much bigger fight then I expected them too. Their guards, Ellis and Curry absolutely lit me up. I was all "man I never even heard of these guys, shit they are good. Learn those names, Golden State has some nice young guards.

    Flash foward to monday night, the bulls played golden state. Ellis and Curry lit them up. I knew who they were and that they could be dangerous.

    Video games are the easiest way into sports.

    Honestly, this is a really good way to learn a ton about a sport and what's going on on the court and what the guys are trying to do. Just watch the real thing also. You'll naturally end up finding a team you like and want to root for.

  • LaPuzzaLaPuzza Registered User regular
    big l wrote:
    Disrupter wrote:
    It may be silly...but the way I've gotten into every major sport is via videogames. . .Video games are the easiest way into sports.

    Honestly, this is a really good way to learn a ton about a sport and what's going on on the court and what the guys are trying to do. Just watch the real thing also. You'll naturally end up finding a team you like and want to root for.

    This. I became a hockey fan after NHLPA 93 (that died out after the Blackhawks had a fire sale) and became a boxing fan after Knockout Kings (still a huge boxing fan).

    As for rules, NBA rules are really pretty simple. At a base level, the game is understandable as put-ball-in-hoop. You won't be saying "I don't understand what just happened" very often, and when something does go weird (goal-tending, technical foul, etc) the announcers explain it because it is something to talk about.

    You will understand the basics very quickly, and that can draw you in to appreciate the nuances and skills under it all.

    If I didn't know LaPuzza wasn't a spambot I would think that was a spambot post.
  • garroad_rangarroad_ran Registered User regular
    LaPuzza wrote:
    You won't be saying "I don't understand what just happened" very often

    I couldn't disagree more with this, haha. I've tried watching Basketball many times but I can't get over the fact that I never understand what constitutes a foul.

  • KiplingKipling Registered User regular
    http://www.euroleague.net/

    You should have access to this. As a warning, the UK generally sucks in basketball with respect to the Euro League.

    3DS Friends: 1693-1781-7023
  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    Do you live near any colleges?

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    You could always watch some ESPN and try to check out college basketball (US).

    I'm not a fan of the NBA, but there are some very exciting coaches and teams in college.

    The Kentucky vs Duke game in 1992 really probably was one of the best and most exciting games of any sport ever played. I am sure if you searched for it on the internet you could find and watch the entire thing, keep in mind during this time that Kentucky was on probation by the NCAA and had a team of nobodies with a young coach (Pitino) going up against what was already considered a dynasty.

    I'm still a fan of Pitino style basketball, and he now coaches in Louisville.

    If there were a team to follow, I would recommend them just because of the substantial and noticeable difference you will see in coach and playstyles, they may not always win, but they win their share and it's always interesting to see them use a press all game long and still have gas left in the tank, something they never do in the NBA.

    dispatch.o on
  • big lbig l Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    LaPuzza wrote:
    As for rules, NBA rules are really pretty simple. At a base level, the game is understandable as put-ball-in-hoop. You won't be saying "I don't understand what just happened" very often, and when something does go weird (goal-tending, technical foul, etc) the announcers explain it because it is something to talk about.

    You will understand the basics very quickly, and that can draw you in to appreciate the nuances and skills under it all.

    This is true, but I don't think it's enough. A basketball fan should know what a screen is, or a pick and roll, or other common basic plays (difference between man and zone D, etc) and be able to see them happening and understand how they work. There's more going on than "pass it to the open man or drive to the basket" and I for one like to understand that. But that is Basketball 102, I guess. This is actually something video games are great for. Obviously playing real ball is even better but in street court ball most people aren't running plays like they do in the real games - it's more just get open and take a shot.
    dispatch.o wrote:
    You could always watch some ESPN and try to check out college basketball (US).

    I'm not a fan of the NBA, but there are some very exciting coaches and teams in college.

    Yeah, college and NBA have different styles of play and most people focus on one or another. Hint - college is better. The NBA players are obviously much better players but they just don't play at 100% effort for most of the regular season. To me, the enjoyability of seasons goes, from best to worst: college playoffs (March Madness), NBA playoffs, college regular season, NBA regular season. NBA regular season kind of sucks. I only watch the regular season of either league if there's no other sports on or if I want to know what's going on and who's good at what when the playoffs come around. There is something to be said for watching the best players in the world play the sport, though - no one (or at least very very few guys) on a college court can do the kind of freaky things that top NBA players do, and it's very athletically impressive when they turn it on 100%.

    Also if you root for Duke you suck. This is an important rule to follow.

    big l on
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    It's important that if you choose a specific team to follow, make sure their games are regularly televised in your area. So being in the UK that probably limits your options to the premier teams. It's always more fun, and easier, to follow a team that's easy to catch on TV.

  • Tom819Tom819 Registered User
    In nut shell:

    Put the ball in the hoop, as stated
    Don't walk with the ball
    If you stop dribbling, pass it or shoot it
    Don't touch the opposing player while he's shooting

  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    The problem with the NBA is that even though the rules are straight forward, the officiating isnt. It really has the worst officiating out of any major US sport. And the announcers do not help. There are times when the whistle is blown, you don't see any reason behind it and the announcers dont explain why. That and the producers do not show replays to tell you.

    More then any other sport I sit and want them to reshow what happened so I can see what the heck the foul was.

    Also last years Eastern Finals, the Heat had 6 men on the court. They blew the whistle, let the guy leave, then handed the heat the ball again. Their explanation was that the 6th man wasn't really a factor in the play.

    It was the dumbest thing I've seen in sports in a while. So, even though the rules are relatively clear, the officiating muddles it up a bit. Videogames wont help you with that though, because they didn't code in "bad officiating"

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  • Tom819Tom819 Registered User
    NCAA is the only basketball I watch. The NBA is the most corrupt organization. The Godfather Stern is a POS.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    yes, the ncaa, that shining beacon of integrity.

    also it's kind of ridiculous to say that NBA players don't play hard. I mean obviously baron davis et al, but those players are a minority (and there are plenty of similarly 'lazy' college players, they just generally don't acquire national reputations.)

    I think the NBA is the better game to watch, from a technical and an entertainment standpoint. The conference and postseason NCAA tournaments are great, but the college regular season has a lot of dull, lopsided games. There's nothing more irritating to watch than a college team that can't manage to execute a post entry pass.

    It's not as though you have to choose between them though; ESPN airs plenty of both, so you can decide for yourself. If you want more in-depth writing, Hardwood Paroxysm (hardwoodparoxysm.com) is really good (and does deep analysis of rules and playcalling and so on.) Hoopshype and realgm are also good for league news and some basketball talk.

    NREqxl5.jpg
    hold your head high soldier, it ain't over yet
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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    oh crap, uk citizen. You may or may not be able to get ESPN3 (their video website thing) over there, but there's a lot of basketball on it and it's free-ish (depends on cable/internet provider.)

    You can buy the league pass directly from the nba, which lets you watch games online. You can either buy every game by every team (overkill) or a package of five teams (and get all their games.) Maybe too expensive for a casual fan, but you can preview it for free through janruary 8 and see if you like it.

    NREqxl5.jpg
    hold your head high soldier, it ain't over yet
    that's why we call it the struggle, you're supposed to sweat
  • Tom819Tom819 Registered User
    edited December 2011
    The NCAA is far from perfect.

    There are alot of are working players in the NBA. I'm a huge Durant fan, hate Lebron, not a fan of Kobe but if he was a Celtic I'd welcome him with open arms.

    Tom819 on
  • NylonathetepNylonathetep Registered User regular
    NCAA is a bunch of guards passing the ball around the parameter until they chuck a contested 3 while their bigs pitch camps around the basket due to the lack of 3 seconds in the key rule.

    You can understand the game watching basketball.. you can even learn the plays from watching a lot. However, to truly appreciate the game you have to play the game. You'll understand the amazing things even sub-par players do on the court and the athleticism it takes to play the game 48 minutes if you tried to do what you see on TV yourself and fail miserably.

    Unfortunately it's a pretty bad time to follow basketball. They just came out of a lockout and the season's shortened. That means less prep time for coaches to install their offence and defence. A tighten schedule also means they'll rest a lot of their players; teams literally play 3 games consecutively/ 5 times a week due to scheduling.

    I believe the Lakers are a shell of their former self after Phil Jackson left. The triangle offence is just amazing to behold.



    I always hate the Celtics because Kevin Garnett is just a racist bully that pick on smaller white players. The team is getting old, plus listening to their Play-by-play announcer Tommy Heinsohn automatically drops you IQ by 30.

    If it was a year or two ago you could become a fan of up-coming teams like Chicago Bulls with Derrick Rose, LA clippers with Blake Griffin & Eric Gordon, Hornet with Chris Paul, the Utah Jazz with Deron Williams, Orlando Magic with Dwight Howard, OKC with Kevin Durant...

    You can watch the superfriends aka the heatles "Miami Heat".. they are the team to win the championship this year, but you'll be called a bandwagon fan.

    I think the team to watch this year is Denver Nuggets. Losing their superstar Carmelo Anthony actually benefit the team because the pieces they got back fits together with the rest of the team so well. No one player dominate the ball, their offence is smooth as they play with a team mentality and is willing to pass the rock and take smart shorts.

    LA. Clippers aka "lob city" got Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Their coach is really bad and doesn't maximise the talent available and Blake Griffin just gets by with amazing Athleticism. Still they are guarantee one high-light reel per night.

    Pacers are solid at every position as well. Not a great team but they have enough talent to be Playoff first round fodders.

    OKC Thunder is a pretty good team talent wise, but it looks like every player there hates each other.

    The Minnesota T-Wolves always got interest players.. especially this year with Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Don't be fooled. They are not going to win that many games this year.

    PA got it's own thread for NBA, but it's pretty quiet.

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/141670/nba-crossovers-and-turnovers/p1

    you can visit www.realgm.com just to see what everyone's talking about.



    P.S. I'm currently supporting my home town team "Toronto Raptors" I'm masochistic.

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  • DunxcoDunxco Should get a suit Never skips breakfastRegistered User regular
    This is all really solid info, and I have been reading. I'll sit down and make a more thorough update when I get home from work. Thanks guys!

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