What if you'd never watched NBA playoffs?

June, 6, 2012
6/06/12
11:05
AM ET
Russell WestbrookMark D. Smith/US PresswireRussell Westbrook is missing his prescription eyeglasses, which he clearly needs, on the court.
Those of us who are longtime sports fans know the annual rhythms, storylines and controversies of playoff basketball.

But what if someone was suddenly dropped into it all, with no background knowledge of who is who or what is what?

The NBA playoffs would look very different to someone with a fresh eye.

Fans -- Basketball fans are people who dress in matching T-shirts. Usually in white shirts, but sometimes in shirts of a different color. Basketball fans in Oklahoma regularly wear shirts of two colors and sit in groups or “sections” around the arena by shirt color. People who do not have matching shirts may not attend NBA games and are not basketball fans.

MVP -- “MVP” is a term used to describe someone who has made two shots, or baskets, within a minute of game action. If a player achieves this feat in his home arena, the fans loudly chant “M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!” until he misses a shot. The exact definition of MVP is unknown, but it is a term thrown around so loosely it likely has very little significance.

Referees -- Referees are old men dressed in black-and-white-striped shirts and black pants who blow whistles at the players. They have the power to stop the game and give the ball to the other team or award special shots. To the untrained eye, referees have minimal impact on the game; the outcome is determined by the players. The players who play the best and make the most points win the game. However, experienced fans insist that referees are to blame for all of their team's defeats.

Oklahoma City Thunder fans
Layne Murdoch/Getty ImagesClearly, basketball has a long, storied history in Oklahoma City with fans like these.
Conspiracies -- The same fans who say the referees determine the outcome of games believe everything that happens in the NBA -- from fouls to draft order to the awarding of the league title -- is part of some grand “conspiracy,” a secret plan hatched against them. These conspiracies supposedly involve the referees and are run by an old, bespectacled, slouching man named David Stern. An unlimited number of others are involved in the conspiracies, too, depending on how large a conspiracy needs to be for a fan to justify his team’s failures.

Glasses -- NBA players have extremely poor eyesight. Nearly every player in the NBA needs glasses, as evidenced by the players who appear in postgame press conferences. It is unclear how they play in the games without glasses. Most likely they have contact lenses that they remove as soon as the games are over. Either way, it is remarkable how much they have achieved athletically considering their terrible vision.

Coach interviews -- Sometimes during a game a team’s coach is asked questions on the court by a member of the media. This interview is televised. It is the coach’s job to answer the question as quickly as possible by using as few words as possible to answer it. Gregg Popovich of San Antonio is best at this NBA game within a game.

Oklahoma City -- Oklahoma City has the loudest and most supportive fans in the NBA. It is likely that they have a long and rich NBA heritage.

“Franklin & Bash” -- “Franklin & Bash” is a television show. The new season of the show is highly anticipated. One of the stars is the coach of the Oklahoma City team.

Doodle Jump -- Doodle Jump is a game for mobile devices that is downloaded by total idiots.

LeBron James, Chris Bosh
Steve Mitchell/US PresswireLeBron James is apparently disliked, and Chris Bosh makes funny faces.
Zooey Deschanel -- Zooey Deschanel appears frequently during breaks in NBA action and asks her phone if it’s raining or if there are places that deliver tomato soup. Soup! Delivered! Zooey Deschanel is a total idiot. She likely has Doodle Jump on her phone.

Bosh -- Bosh is a large, goofy-looking thing that is a member of the Miami Heat. Bosh is used by the NBA as a sort of comic relief -- a kind of jester or mascot. Everyone enjoys laughing at his funny facial expressions and movements.

Kevin -- All NBA players named Kevin are very tall and very skinny. Yet they are also remarkably athletic. These Kevins also seem to be quite clutch at the end of games.

Clutch -- “Clutch” is a term used to describe someone who plays well at the end of the game. For example, someone who hits a shot in the final seconds that gives his team the lead may be called “clutch.” Or possibly not. “Clutch” seems to be a very nebulous term. A player can be deemed clutch one day then suddenly called unclutch a day or two later. It’s very confusing. However, one thing is clear: The entire point of the NBA playoffs is for the fans and media to determine who can be called “clutch.”

LeBron James -- LeBron James is a very large and very strong man with amazing basketball ability. He can easily be spotted on the court thanks to his size, strength and speed, as well as his giant headband and almost completely bald head. He is not regarded as “clutch.” James seems fairly good-natured, yet he is mysteriously despised by almost everyone. No doubt in the past he must have committed some sort of heinous crime that has caused him to be universally loathed. Steer clear of this man if you see him. He’s likely some sort of face-eating zombie. It’s the only rational explanation as to why he has earned such hatred.

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