As we quickly approach the beginning of another season, entering the final 10 days before the real fun begins, the NBA Scholar has decided to create a list of 10 actions that validate you as the ultimate NBA fan. There are 3 levels within these 10 actions: high-school, college and PhD status in NBA consumption! Enjoy it, have fun and write your comments below, share your level of NBA addiction. Without further ado, here you have it:
NBA HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
1. It all starts here. The first thing you do as you come back from school is to dive into the NBA world. You watch the latest highlights, follow your favorite team and player news. The NBA chip has been planted in your system. It will progress rather quickly.
2. After this initial phase where you become a connoisseur of the daily NBA stories, you start looking back to the NBA History. Those older players with those funny shirts and shorts! You dwell into the past and become an avid consumer of documentaries, superstars famous videos, etc. You start to realize there is much more to know about the NBA than you thought.
3. The third stage of the high school phase is an increasing obsession with NBA memorabilia. Cards, old magazines, posters, rings, trophies. You spend more and more time in eBay looking for stuff. You start collecting NBA items from the past. Your bedroom walls are filled with posters of the players you worship. An omen of what´s to come.
4. You finally attend your very first NBA game with your parents. It’s a sacred moment. You observe everything closely and can´t take one minute off the action during the game and in the timeout. In your juvenile audacity you decide to blink to a really cute cheerleader. You are just overwhelmed by the nuances of a basketball game. You take a mental note to come back often, maybe getting a season ticket. It depends where you’re going next in your life…
5. After the initial shock that is college life, with all the non-stop partying and a ton of choices (from courses to girlfriends), you feel like something is missing. You quickly realize it is your long gone passion for the NBA. Slowly, you start incorporating following the NBA in your daily college routines. At this point you moved from simply watching highlights and buying NBA stuff. You now move into the discussion. You become involved in the forums of the most well-known NBA sites, where you form alliances and declare war to others. It´s a jungle out there. Some people have a lot of wisdom, some others have a lot of nonsense 🙂 It adds a new dimension to your NBA addiction!
6. As books are a big part of your life, you start reading some NBA books as well. It amazes you the depth and profound knowledge shown by many amazing authors, who have been following the game for a very long time. You quickly realize your knowledge, which you thought was second to none, is, in fact, a mere work in progress. There are many things to know about the NBA world. It´s not just knowing the champions, MVP’s and ROY’s of the past.
7. Your comments and replies become more usual. You decide to ask your friends if they want to write something every now and again about the NBA for a website. Being die-hard fans like you, they quickly accept and so begins your adventure as a NBA storyteller. You start connecting to the people in the milieu. It’s a nice distraction from your real life: final exams are just around the corner. You take your thoughts to the social media, where you start interacting with other NBA fanatics like you. Your studying sessions suffer. There are millions of interesting and knowledgeable people in Twitter, Facebook and all the other social media channels. You spend hours and hours sharing and posting amusing NBA related stuff. You quote stats and facts in a mesmerizing way. It almost becomes a contest to know who knows more or who makes the best points. The comments forum sections are nothing compared to this. Welcome to the big leagues. Social media NBA talks are fun, crazy and informative.
8. To relax from the preparation of your thesis, you watch religiously the best NBA shows. NBA game time is your local church. You attend it every day to be in the loop. The Starters, with their ensemble of four cool and very knowledgeable fans (not in suits!) always makes you smile. They even throw pies at each other sometimes! It´s a very nice show. In a different way, the beat is an absolute most for the in-depth views of NBA beat writers. Vince Cellini, with his humor, Sekou Smith with his sharp remarks and the historian David Aldridge always deliver the best angles regarding the latest NBA storylines. Then you have a blast from the past, the famous inside stuff tv show, now regurgitated, featuring the sapient Grant Hill and Kristen Ledlow, as cute as NBA wise. Another must-see NBA show. Inside the NBA is, evidently, an absolute must for every NBA fan. Would the NBA exist without the Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaqtin’a’fool antics? Sure, but it wouldn´t be half as fun! Last but surely not least, the holy grail of the NBA shows: if NBA Gametime is your local church for NBA religion, NBA open court is the sacred Temple, a NBA gift to all who want to know more about the game by some of their best players. A show with plenty of hall of famers telling how it is!
9. By this time, your personal NBA library ascends to more than 100 books. You ran out of space to store the countless magazines. Your daily “quick NBA sites browsing” takes plenty of hours. You are very close to obsession. It´s no longer a hobby, a simple extra-curricular activity. Quite simply, being constantly informed about the NBA becomes one of the most important aspects of your daily routine. You start being afraid you can´t manage all of the other important facets of your life: time for family, work, having fun. With effort (and less sleeping hours) you somehow manage to juggle all the activities.
10. You’ve met people with an extensive knowledge of the game. They know a million facts. They saw dozens of games. Still.. you´re yet to find someone like you. When you tell it to your friends they don´t believe it. They think you´re insane. “The money you spent with that, you could have gone for a dream vacation!”. They just don´t get it. They don´t understand the pleasure it was to go with your crew and do a full NBA Tour around the country (and Canada!), watching one game at each of the arenas. Some go to a monastery in Asia. Others go to amazing resorts. To us, this was the best thing we ever did in life. All the arenas, all those games… and the time in between, sharing and laughing stories, going to local bars, getting a feel of the cities… call it deranged, call it extreme… to us it was quite simply being on the NBA road, a kind of Kerouac thing to do applied to basketball. To this day I´m yet to find someone who did it. So now you know. If you do it, congratulations! You are now officially a part of the level 10 NBA PhD fan club!