Talking to Your Dad About Basketball: A Guide

Your dad is old. I mean reeeeally old, It’s just one of the facts of life. Here are the facts of life, by the way:

  • Your dad is old
  • Young Thug is real good

But, back to your dad. He’s old. It’s not his fault that he’s old, but he is in fact very old. The fact that your dad is so old can make it hard to talk to your dad about certain things, stuff like relationships, or electricity. And sometimes, it even interferes with talking to him about the one thing he loves more than all of the stuff he loves more than you; Sports, specifically Basketball.

All dads love basketball. This is another one of the facts of life, but this fact doesn’t need to be on the list because everybody already knows it. If your dad doesn’t like basketball, then I hate to break it to you, that’s not your dad (I’m sorry you had to find out this way).

So your dad likes basketball, but he’s old, so even if you also like basketball, it can be hard to talk to him about basketball for any amount of time without him bringing up “the old days” (which he loves because they’re old, like him). So you came to me. I’m gonna teach you how to hold a conversation with your dad about ball, without him boring you to actual, physical death with old stuff that doesn’t matter anymore. Ok, let’s get started.

STEP ONE: Call Your Dad

The first step to talking to your dad is calling your dad on his phone (probably a rotary). If you don’t have your dad’s phone number then he probably doesn’t want to talk to you about anything in the first place, so I would just leave him alone, or hire an impersonator to impersonate your dad for the purposes of this guide.

STEP TWO: Greet Your Dad

This one should be pretty self-explanatory, but it takes some finessing. The key here is to properly greet your dad and engage in an acceptable amount of small-talk to lead into a conversation about basketball, but not giving him so much time before the basketball conversation begins that he starts rambling about Polio and The Dust Bowl. My personal advice is to pretend you are currently playing basketball in order to create a smooth transition to basketball. My dad-greetings usually go like this:

Me: Hey Dad.

Dad: Hey there, son.

Me: Hey dad I’m playing basketball, you like basketball right? I’m playing it.

Dad: Yes of course I like basketball, why are you calling me while playing basketball?

Me: *cheering crowd* Oh I just had basketball on my mind and figured we could talk about basketball. *buzzer sounds*

Dad: Of course, son.

STEP THREE: Start Slowly

Okay, now for the real stuff. Your dad loves basketball, but he’s old and doesn’t understand what makes basketball great these days. At the beginning of the conversation, don’t bring up things like analytics or three-pointers, because your old dumb dad doesn’t know what those things are. Pretend that you’re Charles Barkley and, as far as you know, basketball has stayed exactly the same since 1961. Begin with a slick reference to someone like Doctor J or another dead guy that your dad probably played basketball with. He will appreciate it, and his inferior old brain will be tricked into thinking that you’re also old, because why would a cool, young person ever bring up a geezer like Doctor J.

STEP FOUR: Use Wikipedia

It’s imperative to keep Wikipedia open at all times while talking to your dad about basketball, just in case he mentions something like “The ABA” or “The Seattle Supersonics”. When he starts talking about this stuff that you cannot comprehend because it existed so long ago, just read the first sentence of the Wikipedia article on the subject. Example:

Me: Man, that Kyrie Irving has some great handles, huh?

Dad: Yeah, he reminds me of Isiah Thomas in that way.

Me: Oh yeah, Isiah Lord Thomas III, the American Retired Basketball player that played 12 seasons in the National Basketball Association. I think what I like the most about Isiah Thomas is that he was an NBA all star 12 times and won 2 NBA Championships. His nickname was the “Babyfaced Assassin”.

Dad: Wow, we both know that information. How cool.

STEP FIVE: Don’t Mention Steph Curry

WHATEVER you do, do NOT mention Steph Curry. Dads hate Steph Curry, because he’s young and cool and is still married (unlike your dad). My advice: whenever you would normally mention Steph Curry in a basketball conversation with a cool, young human, replace the words “Steph Curry” with “George Gervin” when talking to your old man. I don’t actually know who George Gervin is, but your dad will love it. Here’s an example for you:

Dad: Who do you think is the best 2-point shooter of all time? Wow that was weird, not sure why I said 2-point shooter seeing as 2 is the maximum amount of points you can make with a basket from anywhere on the court, so specifically saying “2-point” was unnecessary.

Me: Honestly, I’d have to give it to 2014–2016 MVP George Gervin, what a talent he is. He drains half-court shots like they’re layups, It’s like nothing the NBA has ever seen. George “Chef” Gervin is easily the GOAT shooter.

Dad: George Gervin with the shot, boy.

STEP SIX: Give Him Your Top 2

With any young person, you would normally go on and on about each other’s top 5 list, but it’s different with dads. See, there were only 2 good basketball players before your dad stopped understanding what basketball was, so all dads only ever have a top 2 list. The 2 players on the list are always Michael Jordan (From SpaceJam) and Larry Bird (From Indiana), the only thing that changes between lists is what order you put them in. Personally, I know my dad hates all bulls (ex-matador), so his list goes:

  1. Larry Bird
  2. Michael Jordan

Just make sure you know what order your dad’s list is in before you bring up the top 2 list. Getting this part wrong could ruin your relationship with your father, which is already pretty bad.

STEP SEVEN: Say Bye to Your Dad

This is the easiest part of the whole guide, because by now I’m almost positive that you’re sick of talking to your old dad. The best way to end the conversation with your dad is to silently hang up right as he starts talking about “The Golden Age” (It’ll happen, trust me). Because he has bad, old hearing, he probably won’t even notice you hung up on him, so it’s a win win. You get to not talk to your dad and he gets to keep rambling about fundamentals, victim-less.

STEP EIGHT: Repeat

Wait 3 months, and then call him again. This is exactly the amount of time necessary between phone calls that your dad’s brain (with its fading capacity for memory) will have forgotten about the last conversation you had with him, but it’s not so long that he’s forgotten that you exist and stops sending you money “for groceries”.

Anyways, be smart out there, and tell your dad I said “defense wins championships”. He’ll love it.

Note: Guide is untested on step-fathers