Fantasy basketball? Rejected!

December 16, 2012 — by Rohan Rajeev

I’m a huge follower of European soccer leagues, such as the Barclays Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), the Bundesliga (Germany), and Serie A (Italy). I’m also big time into the NFL.

I’m a huge follower of European soccer leagues, such as the Barclays Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), the Bundesliga (Germany), and Serie A (Italy). I’m also big time into the NFL.

When it comes to basketball, however, I’m not nearly as adept. I know about as much basketball as rapper Nicki Minaj knows about music. Beyond stars like LeBron and Kobe … I’m clueless.

Some of the members on the newspaper staff who are big fans of the NBA, decided to make a fantasy league and allow me to join. The catch was that they would not give me any information, and that I was supposed to figure it out for myself. The better catch was that I’d never been a part of any sort of a fantasy league before.

I named my team the Ballers because the name felt auspicious.

The experience didn’t start too well for me, though. I missed the draft because I thought it was at 12:45 a.m. Turns out it was 12:45 on the East Coast. Getting online a good three hours after the draft, I disappointedly viewed my team, not being able to recognize a single name on the list. My players had names like Al Horford and Chauncey Billups. I had no idea what to expect.

After reviewing my players’ names, I took a look at all of their stats, which was intimidating, to say the least. The data are arranged in a graph, in which the rows are all the players and the columns were their numbers. Each column has a short abbreviation like “FTM/FTA” and “FT%,” and I had no idea what anything stood for. At 1 a.m., it was hard to find motivation to figure these things out, so I gave it up.

When the league simulated our first few games, I dropped to last place (surprise, surprise).

I was pretty confused when I got my first trade offer. Fellow staff member senior Dylan Jew wanted to exchange James Harden and Roy Hibbert  for my players David Lee and Paul Pierce.

“Uhh, sure,” I muttered to myself as I clicked the accept button. I remembered hearing about James Harden, so I figured if he was famous enough for me to know him, he was probably pretty good.

Fantasy basketball was a lot less exciting than I had imagined it would be. I figured that even if I wasn’t very knowledgeable in the sport I would at least enjoy the excitement of seeing my team move up and down the standings.

But this league is just invisible teams playing each other in invisible games. I understand that a basketball fan would probably appreciate it, but not being one myself, I don’t really know what I’m doing.

Now I’m sitting in seventh place out of eight teams, which is way better than what I expected (Team Apex Dinosaur, run by Nick Chow, you have some work to do). I would try to research some players not currently attached to other teams in the league, but the numbers still intimidate me. All the other members of the league discuss strategy and make decisions based on whether their teams need more blocks or steals. For me, well, I’d rather judge a player based on how famous he is.

By the way, can someone trade me Jeremy Lin?

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