I have always had an aversion for Basketball. You see, I almost broke my arm and my skull due to the sport.
When I was a kid, I played it with my friends in a school intramurals and when the dunk of my life was about to unfold before everyone’s eyes, someone hit me while on air and I went down arm first, arching the impact on the concrete floor. That was all I remember. When I regained consciousness, I was in the hospital.
When I was on vacation, we held this game in my camp – the usual thing our company had been sponsoring since time immemorial. The main objective was on recreation and entertainment being workers encamped in the middle of the desert in this part of Saudi Arabia. I was one of the selected table officials to handle the timer and so, even if it was against my will, I volunteered just so the damn game could proceed.
The game was on its second half when a glitch occurred: I forgot to turn on the timer. My eyes were transfixed on the mating cats at the end of the court and my mind was busy concentrating on the very important question of how could cats mate with their ferocious meowing and fighting?
When the referee inquired shouting me of the remaining time left, I was doused with cold water and I suddenly knew I was still in Saudi with that damn basketball. So, I frightfully shouted what was registered in the timer, "Eighteen minutes and fifty seconds!"
"What?!" the referee's eyes bulged in disbelief.
Yeah, they were playing like a whole two hours already and all I could say was that they had not even consumed one-tenth of the second-half game time. But still I could see the enjoyment on the faces of the players that their saliva seemed to dangle from their mouths. And that was even when they were already dehydrated and their bodies were limping just running aimlessly back-and-forth the court.
With due respect to basketball fanatics, I really couldn't understand how in the world these people love the game. I told my fellow table officials that I didn't find any sense of appreciation for the sport that I would rather go watch cats in the act of mating or offer anyone for free my expertise of planting "kamote" in my backyard.
"Shut up! You're just a complete loser!" they answered ignoring me as if I did not exist and their eyes swelled totally hooked up to the scampering players. No one was there to support me of my theory: that basketball drives everyone nuts!
"What? And I was now a loser? God! This basketball syndrome must have it on them already and the two segments of their brains now reversed functions!" But, of course I did not say that for fear of my butt getting kicked.
I don't know why the players have to run back-and-forth the court going after that stupid ball, and why they have to shoot it into the ring with the other busy guys desperately extending their arms either to snatch the ball or shield the ball holder from shooting. And this, some players were just actually running to-and-fro the court pretending they held the ball or at least could touch it! I didn't know if the game included mascots in the line-up or decoys, or people just relishing their freedom to run or to show off their highest jumps.
Yeah, some players just chase other players there without even touching the ball until their eyes become bloodshot, their tongues suspend from their mouths, and their lungs frantically gasp for air.
And I saw other players too assigned to polish their team's bench with their butts and at the end of the game they receive equal prize with those who almost died with dehydration and twisted spine. Why don't they just assign a ball to a team, let the players line up to shoot the ball one by one into the ring? That should be easy!
And this: what is a basket doing with a ball? I tried to find out how come this game called basketball when I could see no basket ever carried by any player. It's weird. If it could be basket-papaya, basket-apple, basket-fish, or basket-tomatoes, you can easily find the connection.
But, basketball for a ball... what is it? Ok, unless the players carry with them a basket while they play this game, it could fill up the missing link. Just imagine a player dribbling the ball in his right hand while an empty basket dangles under his left arm. That could be cool and, of course, could justify its name.
Anyway, I read from an encyclopedia that this game started with a name like box-ball or something. But as I was not totally convinced with the story so I embarked on making my own personal theory and research.
I think it started when sometime in 1891 a housewife tried to purchase a pumpkin from the market called "Nepa-Q-Mart"(?). But the pumpkin she brought was bigger than her basket; so when she went back home, she held the basket in her left hand while her right hand rolled the pumpkin.
Annoyed by what happened, she called her henpecked husband to test how he would manage to insert the huge pumpkin into the small basket. You know the style of domineering wives whenever they have a problem they cannot solve? They let their henpecked husbands do the job so that when the poor husbands fail to solve the puzzle, these abusive wives beat them.
So she ordered him to go to the market with only enough money to buy one big pumpkin. Of course, the husband could not place the pumpkin inside the basket so like what happened to the wife, the husband dangled the basket in his left arm while his right hand rolled the pumpkin. But later, the husband found out he could dribble the pumpkin too, and so he kept dribbling it until midway into his house, the pumpkin disintegrated before his startled eyes.
Cowering in fear, the husband hung the basket onto a tree as he figured out what to do with the smashed pumpkin. Suddenly he thought that even if the pumpkin was smashed, his wife could still use it. So he tossed the pieces into the basket until some other sympathetic men helped him do the "tossing". (By the way these men already had their organization at that time they called LHH – Liberation of Henpecked Husbands).
When the husband arrived home, his wife was amazed at how clever he was that she didn’t have to cut the pumpkin anymore!
It ended up that the wife was happy.
So every time the husband buys a pumpkin, he would dribble it home as a small basket dangles under his other arm until the pumpkin disintegrates. Then, the husband and his friends would play pumpkin-shooting into the basket.
In the beginning, it was just called "basket-pumpkin" until they changed the pumpkin into a ball and the basket, a ring which is now called "basketball".
So, that's how Basketball came to be; a sport accidentally invented by a henpecked husband and originally played by the LHH (not really by PBA).
So then, I solved a piece of the puzzle with this sport everyone go nuts about. (And I hope that some award-giving body will recognize me for this breakthrough)
But now, there’s another question which needs to be solve – again. Why until now, didn't they change the word basket to "ring" to make it a "ringball? Ah, well, that could be my next research.
And, by the way, if anyone would like to disprove my theory of the “basket-pumpkin”, here is my advice: Forget it. You are wasting your time on this nonsense.