Orlando Basketball For Dummies

The Orlando Sentinel is well aware that 80% of their city's population is amped about the Magic—but could not have given a crap about the NBA until six days ago. Hence their bandwagon-friendly primer for the very uninitiated.

Fans tend to get annoyed by the fair-weather dorks who suddenly become experts in the local sports franchise the moment they win two consecutive playoff games, and I certainly sympathize with that. But sometimes you've got to cut the locals some slack. When you're gunning for a championship, manufactured enthusiasm from your friends and co-workers is better than snooty indifference. But the new guys should make an effort to not embarrass themselves when the National Media tries to interview them on the street, so I applaud the Sentinel's efforts to educate the populace. Even if they seriously discount the supposed basketball intelligence of Central Florida.

Here's some sample questions from the "getting to know your basketball team" Q&A:

• Why is there a 24-second clock over the basketball hoop?
• What does "in the paint" mean?
• The announcer shouts something about scoring off the dribble. What does "off the dribble" mean?
• You may have noticed a number of NBA players have their heads adorned with headbands (no matter how dorky they look). None of the Orlando Magic players wears them. Is that by choice?
• I thought goal tending was a position in soccer. It's not?
• Is a technical foul really technical?
• What's the deal with the one sleeve worn by some players?

Actually, I've been wondering about that last one for awhile now.

New to the Orlando Magic bandwagon? Here's a guide for new fans [Orlando Sentinel]