Wednesday, November 2, 2011
I need to call my lawyer. Before doing that, I actually need to get a lawyer.
See, there are some folks I need to sue.
A few weeks back I opened my copy of ESPN the magazine (Yes, I am one of the eight or so people who still receive ESPN the Magazine) and included was a story on alternative basketball leagues to the NBA during the lockout.
One of them was the mini-basketball league. A bunch of guys on the East Coast formed a league where they used a miniature souvenir-sized basketball and lowered hoops. They have gotten pretty famous, with millions of YouTube hits and a huge Facebook following.
It's a pretty hilarious concept. Those balls make for difficult shots and awesome dunks.
I should know - seeing as how I came up with the idea in grade school.
I was at the age that every basketball-playing boy goes through, where you just want to be able to dunk the darn ball.
The age where "Dad! Dad! Look at me - I can touch rim!" turns into "OH SWEET MOTHER MY FINGER!" as it gets caught in the net when you come up about 3 inches short of the rim with your 10-inch white boy vertical.
So like all boys who couldn't dunk, I lowered the rim. Just a foot (give or take a couple feet), so that it was low enough to get the ball over. Or so I thought, until I was rim-checked and wound up with a bruised tailbone.
So I switched to a small yellow rubber ball, which made it incredibly easy to not only dunk, but to hit three-pointers.
I played a few games with my friends. My younger brother refused to play with me when I could simply stop dribbling, hold the ball and dunk it over his head with barely a jump.
It's not my fault he was the shrimp of the family.
Once I turned myself into a dominating mini-basketball (or MBB as I called it) player, I took the next step and formed a league. Not a real league with real people, mind you, but a fake league. I drew up team logos and made a poster similar to one with all the NBA team logos I had hanging in my room.
Eventually I grew out of MBB. I could palm a regulation-sized ball. I could even dunk (if there was no wind, I had a decent start and no one tried to contest my shot). I still couldn't hit a three-pointer to save my life, though.
I have no idea whatever happened to my original drawing with the league. It probably got thrown away at some point.
And in an era before social media and web video, I have no other claim to mini basketball other than hazy memories and legend. But hey, that was enough for Abner Doubleday to be credited with inventing baseball, so maybe it's enough for me.
Still, perhaps I should launch a search for those drawings, because partially legible doodles from several decades ago are enough to give me intellectual property rights, right? Right? Anybody?
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A damaged rail car from the June 3, 2016 oil train derailment and fire is transported from the crash site via truck on I84. Enlarge