As the fall settles into winter and warm football tailgates slowly turn to warm football alcoholic blackouts in your living room because your team sucks and nobody cares to go to games anymore, a new season begins. No, hunting season started last week, we’re talking about the most epic of all sports seasons (in my humble opinion) … basketball.

Modern basketball has spawned into a culture, lifestyle and society of its own, whether you are a zealot of the local high school scene, a face-painting never-graduating Kameron Krazy or you are Lil Bow Wow.  Little did James Naithsmith know what basketball would become after he nailed a peach basket onto the wall at his YMCA in Massachusetts to keep his football team in shape during the winter that our modern society would rely so much on the sport. (For those of you looking for sources on that, please shove it because I’m from Indiana and my Mom basically taught me basketball history before I knew that soy beans enrich the soil one year and corn is planted the following year for a better crop. Crop rotation, for the win. Yeah, I went there.)

Obviously Team Tallsome loves the roundball about as much as we love our mustaches and take our affinity for the game very seriously. (Please look at the  picture of Max below and tell me he wasn’t an early and dedicated supporter of the Bob Huggins and University of Cincinnati cause) With this year’s NBA season in danger of complete lockout I felt that I would be losing quite a bit of my usual activities. Every year I go to a few Pacer’s games, devoutly watch the playoffs and any big matchup throughout the season and have at least one fantasy team I consistently lose money with. So yes, I actually am a casual fan of the NBA in some sense and will genuinely miss the big time match-ups in the spring time when I’m pre-gaming for a night out.

With the inevitable loss of the season at hand, we at the Bro Journey have compiled a list of 10 things to do to keep yourself occupied without an NBA season. For me, not being able to enjoy Cheryll Miller refer to Ron Artest as Meta World Peace all season is a crying shame, another year without the possibility of the Utah Jazz retiring Greg Ostertag’s jersey is an outrage and being another season away from an acid trip with Bill Walton and Phil Jackson in some Montana forrest seems like an eternity, I may slide into a bit of depression so I’m personally going to need some great distractions (besides the obvious Final Four run from the Xavier Musketeers). Without further ado, IF YOU WANNA SLAM, THEN WELCOME TO THE JAM of Team Tallsome’s Winter Time Distractions without the NBA. 

Scottie Pippen's youngest son.

Scottie Pippen's youngest son...Max Bonem

Max’s 5 Things To Do During the NBA Lockout

Watch the first 3.5 seasons of Parks & Recreation

Although the only noted NBA fan on the show is no longer with us (Mark Brandanowitz loved him some Pacers), it’s fair to assume that if Ron Swanson followed pro sports he would have an excellent list of things to do to stay busy during this trying time, or he’d just widdle a canoe or hunt bear-man-pigs somewhere. Either way, Amy Poehler & company have taken a show built around mediocrity and turned it into one of the funniest half-hour periods on network TV and as the show continues on, it’s only gotten better. By adding great characters (Rob Lowe & Adam Scott helped take it to another level, not to mention unsung hero Ben Schwartz as Jean-Ralphio) and building on the relationships established early on in the show, Parks & Recreation has stayed fresh and entertaining while still maintaining its quirkiness. Oh, and they have Ron Swanson, who would never miss a day of work for monetary reasons (fishing, hunting, or indulging in a multi-course bacon & egg feast would be a whole different story though).

Become an even more obsessive football fan

Does it suck that we don’t get to see the best basketball players in the world play every night? Yes. Does it suck that the whole season might get cancelled? Double yes. Does it suck that baseball season is over and there’s football on all the time, even when you think it “who plays football on Tuesday?” Hell no. The NFL season is blazing on at full force and the psychotic bitch who takes herself WAY too seriously to be dressed like such a whore aka the quest for the BCS Championship Series is getting juicier by the day, so really what are you missing? Oh, you want the drama? The last second shots, the full-court press, the raw emotion that you can only find on the hardwood? Well, good for you College Basketball is BACK and they’re even playing on aircraft carriers now! Look, unless Lebron decides to suit up and join the Dolphins Browns, uh Packers or Patriots, where he’d most likely dominate and then experience what it really feels like to go hard in the paint, you’ll have to just wait (and watch a sh*t ton of all the other available televised sports).

Read the entire A Song of Ice & Fire series by George R. R. Martin

Game of Thrones is awesome anyway you want to spin it: politics, dragon queens, midgets, sex, manly solitude, the HUGE fucking wall. And all of this happened in just one season, which is based on the first of Martin’s five book series. The second season is currently in production, but if you can’t wait any longer and you just have to know what happens to Calisi now that she’s the super powerful master of flying lizards or if the House of Stark will fall. Actually, scratch those. Sure, we all need subplots in a show as big as Game of Thrones, but what would cause any of us to pick up the books would be to see what/who Tyrion Lannister (played by the outstanding Peter Dinklage) gets himself into. He’s sly, backstabbing, relegated, vengeful, and by far the most comical character we’ve been exposed to so far. Who knows where this crazy medieval meets middle earth meets southern political saga will take us. Help us HBO, you’re our ONLY hope.

Start a blog

Yeah, you might be laughing or calling me an obscenity for suggesting this, but for those of you out there who are dedicated NBA fans you probably already spend hella time in the blogosphere, watching the moves of Matthew Berry or absorbing and regurgitating anything/everything posted on Bill Simmons’ 15-headed hydra Why not start writing about whatever you feel like in your own space? Here, I’ll even suggest some great/relevant starting topics for you:

“Why I’ve started drinking more in response to the NBA lockout”

“Baby Come Back: The Piston’s attempted return to mediocrity”

“Holy sh*t have you seen how many tattoos Kevin Durant has under his jersey?”

“50 reasons to replace David Stern with Charles Barkley”

“Why the term “fan favorite” is synonymous with the lowly white guy who can often times can be seen waving a towel around at the end of the bench and snarling at the opposing team’s star player?”

“The Devil’s Three-way: I didn’t know it was possible to hate Lebron more than I did when he was in Cleveland: A Cautionary Tale: Never thought I’d see three colons in one title”

My work here is done.


That’s right folks, rather than sitting on your ass watching aerial acrobatics from the Association (and then subsequently mimicking those moves with your at-office waste basket hoop (BRING THE NOISE, quietly though, your office mate is on a sales call)), go out into the community and teach the future generation of backup point guards and centers the fundamentals of basketball or soccer or badmitton or WoW, whatever, just go nurture some minds.

Things to keep in mind about coaching the youth of America:

-They have tirelessly short attention spans

-There will be a cool parent who is more than offset by an overbearing, takes things WAY too seriously parent (most likely a dad)

-Orange slices are awesome, still

-These kids will remember you, make sure to offset your cursing with inspiring words by people they’ve never heard of, like Shaq’s character Kazaam from “Kazaam” or Greg Oden (And his penis (#SICKBURN))

-Challenge each player to learn to spell Coach K’s last name, backwards (Ikswezyzrk), and then put on a spelling bee and film it, please

Sure it’s time consuming, frustrating, and not nearly as fulfilling as you probably imagine it will be, but just think about this situation…

Scene: Bar – You at a bar of dark, rich mahogany and seated to your right, a dark and mysterious young woman with a plunging post-work neckline and pencil skirt. The nearby TV has Sportscenter on and suddenly, one of their BREAKING NEWS stories comes up, reminding us that NBA players and owners are still greedy, still assholes, and still locked out. The dark and mysterious woman watches intently and you decide to make conversation.

You: “Are you a big basketball fan?”

Her: “No, but my lying, cheating, hedge-fund managing ex-boyfriend was. He was awful.” (She gives you the brief up-down stare down) “Are you a big basketball fan?”

You: Shit, gotta think fast. What do I, wait, YES. “Am I fan of the NBA? Not really, no heart ya know? But do I love the game, yes, I actually coach in a youth league here in town.”

Her: “Oh my gosh, that’s amazing! That’s so noble, honorable, and overbearingly sexy.”

You: “Check please.”

Matt’s 5 Things To Do During the NBA Lockout

Gear up for the Olympics

Next summer the world’s sporting spotlight will turn to London for the Olympics. If you don’t like the Olympics, kindly leave. If you are a normal blue blooded American, these two weeks every four years are a fantastic time to get violently patriotic, berate those around you from different lands and learn a few things about the obscure sports world. For me, I like to drop knowledge bombs on people during the entire stretch of the Olympics and make my friends feel less important because they didn’t know that the fly half from New Zealand’s rugby team is dating that chick from The OC and that Jefferson Perez is bound to win the Racewalking gold with ease. Instead of wasting away missing all the fade-aways and horrible goatee closeups of Paul Pierce, delve into some Olympic sports studying so you can smack your friends around with knowledge during next summer’s games. Please note: Volleyball is an olympic sport and Team Tallsome LOVES volleyball, for obvious reasons.

Partake in a winter sport

If you spend every winter in a massive coliseum or in front of your TNT laden TV imbibing fresh NBA match ups you have probably built yourself a colossal appetite for Chris Broussard or Stephen A. Smith psycho babble, radio edited top 40 hip-hop hits and any combination of corndogs / chicken fingers / popcorn / pretzels / turkey legs / Pacemates / hot dogs. In that light, maybe it’s time to break out the old school ski suit from 7th grade and hit the slopes to work off that thing you call a bod (Insert flex here). Not only will you burn a few more calories off your gullet but you may get a chance to approach some snow bunnies without them knowing how large you really are underneath your overstuffed ski jacket.

Try to take on the guy I’m hugging in a freestyle battle. 

The most serious picture ever taken.

You will lose.

Launch a business

As Max mentioned above, starting a new creative project is a great way to attempt to pick up chicks, contribute to society and spend a butt load of your time working on a variety of things. If you decide to launch a blog / business by yourself or with a friend you will have so little free time you will totally forget what it was like to ponder about the defensive three seconds and how it truly affected interior play or if  Gorilla mascot for the Phoenix Suns is a better dunker than Thunder Dan Majerle. A few of my business ideas have forever been stored in my memory banks but for this one time only I will share them with the masses to help ease the pains of life without the NBA.

Man Dingo – Escort service for women who want to show off a man with an Australian accent. I have a few buddies with great Australian accents. This business is genius.

Social Media Guru – Yeah Grandma may not need a Google + brand page but you need something to do and helping her online presence is about as good of a service you can offer for your hefty appearance fee.

Shawn Kemp Inc. – Sell the Elkhart, Indiana native’s favorite substance (crack) while wearing the iconic Supersonics #40.

Recording artist – Approach any former NBA player from the mid-to-late 90’s and talk about how good of a seller THIS was and start cashing out on royalty fees immediately afterwards.

Go back to school

If you think I’m telling you to get an MBA or finish your college degree or get a GED you can go ahead and join the people who don’t like the Olympics and KINDLY LEAVE. I, like Ron Swanson, want to dabble in your internal affairs as little as possible and if you decided to drop out of community college to live on peyote and tree moss for 18 months then more power to you, education or not, we love you. What I’m trying to say is to head back to your alma matter (high school or college) or check out a local team live and in person. There is NOTHING like the smell / sounds / sites of a crowded gym bumping for a big time game between two teams of amateurs. If you live in a big NBA city and are getting the shaft with no games this year, head down and check out a local college or a 5 star prep team and get back to what makes the game great.

NOTE: If you know me personally, you know my intense love for high school basketball and you are now welcome to make fun of me for crying to my ex-girlfriend for missing high school basketball so much when I had few too many sodas while watching Hoosiers during my senior year at OU.

My view from the floor for the Xavier and IPFW game. If this was an Atlanta Hawks game in 1998 I would have been sitting next to Master P.