Why basketball is the best

– No contact

That’s the first reason that got me interested to be honest. After playing football in Europe for years with other kids pulling and grabbing and faking… I just hated that. Avoiding contact is elegant game design. You still can have some obviously, as they do go torso to torso hard in the NBA. But the fact that the rules strictly don’t allow them created a sustained limit in contact. The rule reinforces itself.

– 5 VS 5

Again coming from the football world I was like “hell yes”. Running 11 VS 11 is too much for my taste. Being able to focus on a much smaller scale allows one to track his teammates as well as his opponents almost all simultaneously pretty easily. Much faster plays, more points, more clutch, more fun. 5 is a sweet spot in team game design.

– Variety of play

There are so many ways to score compared to other team sports. You can be a big man in the paint, you can be a tiny dude shooting threes and everything in between and vice versa.

– No injuries

You know, the ones that fuck you really hard for the rest of your life. Basketball players age like wine. Ginobili out there seasoning fools at 40. Kareem Abdul Jabbar writing thoughtful columns and offering deep social comment, I mean. Professional players stay pretty cool and healthy all their lives and don’t die at 32. And most of us can play (shoot) until 60.

– Single Player

No other team sport can be appreciated alone like good hoopin’ is. Running to get a bouncy ball to warm up, little jump shot or going at the line to shoot free throws and think about life. Basketball is just the right size to enjoy alone and the sport scales perfectly to 1 VS 1, 1 VS 2, 2 VS 2, 3 VS 3 up to the standard 5. That’s beautiful game design right there.

– Affordable and low maintenance

A ball, a field, some shoes. A ball used very regularly lasts years on harsh concrete and costs $20. Shoes, it depends but you can ball with anything really. No pads, no special shoes, no helmets, no gloves. You can play outside in quite a large weather spectrum from dead hot to kind of rainy. Wind sucks though.

Basketball is simple yet not easy. It’s the shit.

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