Basketball ethnographic experience


Basketball is played by more than one million people globally, both women and men, as a sport. Professional basketball such as the NBA (National Basketball Association) league is broadcasted on TV and thus watched by millions of people. The game entails a competition between two opposing teams with each having five players on the court. Points are awarded by passing the ball through a hoop called “the basket” and the team with more baskets scored emerges the winner. This paper focuses on the eastern conference finals 2020 played between Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors.

Analysis of data

This match between Toronto raptors and Boston Celtics graced the 2020 eastern conference finals and was one of the most anticipated basketball matches in history, ending 122-100 in favor of the Celtics (Husted et al., 2020). Played in AdventHealth Arena in Orlando state of Florida. Owing to covid-19, I followed the match alongside my friends on television, as a result of the recent ban on public gatherings and congregations. All the teams’ players were men. They were all in perfectly fitting shoes with proper ankle support to prevent or rather reduce the risk of suffering an injury.

Boston Celtics had a characteristic dark color of their jerseys with shades of green round the sleeve. The shorts were also dark with shades of dark green on both sides of the shorts (Kalén et al., 2020). Toronto raptors on their part had white jerseys with a characteristic dark red color round the sleeves. The uniform had a characteristic black imprint, as opposed to Celtics’ white imprint, making it quite easy to differentiate the two teams. The two however had a conspicuous Nike tic logo, both on the right side of the chest. All these jerseys were sleeveless. The players were all drenched in sweat, evidenced by the acute reflection of the lights in the arena. The inside of the arena looked quite boring, without the usual high fans attendance in such a high caliber match (Maimón et al., 2020). Apart from the active players on the court, only coaches and players on reserve were present. That was a means of curbing spread of Covid-19.

The match was played in a rather rectangular court. The basketball used had a diameter of about 24 cm diameter. Presence of hoop baskets on both sides of the court were mounted slightly more than three yards high to a backboard for support (Husted et al., 2020). Participants of the match (particularly players) were all aged between 19-28 years. All participants were of good physical health and of high profile. Communication was vital with the coaches continued emphasis on the significance of communicating. In intervals of less than a minute words such as “ball”, “screen” and “help” were being intensively used to pass messages among team players (Kalén et al., 2020). Other Verbal communication means employed were split line, box-out, shot and cutter left. Non-verbal cues conspicuously heard included raising eyebrows and hands to request the teammate to pass the ball to them. Pointing at a particular place was used to pass a message showing the desired place where the ball is preferred to be thrown. A lot of whistling by players was noted, as a means of calling upon fellow teammates. Of significance is that players did not call their teammates by names, rather used words such as “boo” and “shhh” (Maimón et al., 2020). Also employed as a strategy to pass signals was eye blinking.

Data analysis

My friends’ emotions changed from time to time, owing to the stiff competition the two sides presented to the opponents. Of key note was anxiety, with supporters of both teams feeling the need for their teams to score. This was characterised by restless ness and my friends’ inability to remain seated during the match. Emotions of bitterness were brought out especially when clear chances by the players were wasted. This was portrayed by clicking sounds and my friends seemingly offering to give advice to the players.

Such games including the eastern conference finals 2020 helps players compete socially because the sport creates a sense of competition between the teams (Husted et al., 2020). Such games definitely boost their health. This sport has led to growth and development of the same sport in interiors. It has also led to growth of the economies. When students play basketball at state or even federal levels, they receive awards and some even granted scholarships (Kalén et al., 2020). Basketball is a good sport in socializing of students with each other. It also boosts self-esteem and develops self-concept as the players become independent, more confident and self-control.

It’s also of significance to the fans and followers. The excitement such basketball matches bring help break monotony and boredom as one cheers on his team (Maimón et al., 2020). Due to the relationship with coaches, the players’ relationship with teachers (for students) improve, making learning more efficient.

Hoop baskets and basketball too are symbolized by round balls. Terms in basketball all have unique meaning. Wearing of a particular uniform (shorts and t-shirts) are the cultural significant values of the sport. With that uniform, even not as a player, is an indicator that the person is a supporter of the team (Husted et al., 2020). This grows a sense of unity in a team.

These basketball sporting events occur for various reasons. First is to showcase talent to others. This increases a player’s marketability as a brand. These basketball competitions also serve to present a platform for evaluation of skills (Maimón et al., 2020). The essence of substitution serves to replace players whose skills evaluated by the coaches are not effective.

In conclusion, it emerges that basketball is deeply entrenched in the culture of sports and it’s of significance in many ways. The experience created during the Celtics Vs Raptors in eastern conference finals 2020 creates an experience like no other.


Husted, M. A., Olinick, E. V., & Newman, A. M. (2020). Improving Sports Media’s Crystal Ball for National Basketball Association Playoff Elimination. INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics.

Kalén, A., Pérez-Ferreirós, A., Costa, P. B., & Rey, E. (2020). Effects of age on physical and technical performance in National Basketball Association (NBA) players. Research in Sports Medicine, 1-12.

Maimón, A. Q., Courel-Ibáñez, J., & Ruíz, F. J. R. (2020). The basketball pass: A systematic review. Journal of Human Kinetics, 71(1), 275-284.

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