5 min read

Roundtable: Life Without Basketball

Roundtable: Life Without Basketball

Has there been a bright side to your isolation?

John Napier: Like so many others, I’ve been blessed to get to spend more time with my family. However, this time period without sports has shown me how important and valuable sports are as a distraction and motivation in our daily lives. When sports come back, I hope I never take for granted the opportunity to watch the Thunder play the Phoenix Suns on a Tuesday night.

Ryan Woods: Golf courses being open. ??

Aidan Elrod: Being back home from school and spending more time with my family.

Olivia Panchal: Recording Crossbolts with Brandon! Even though we disagree about everything, it’s been fun to talk basketball with a friend and I don’t think either of us would have had the time to do it if we weren’t under quarantine. I’ve also spent more time with my family and I’m about 25% of my way through the wine section at Trader Joe’s.

Brandon Rahbar: Recording Crossbolts with Olivia! Even though she is wrong about everything, it’s been fun to school a friend in basketball discussions and I don’t think either of us would have had the time for so many lessons if we weren’t under quarantine. I’ve also spent more time with Olivia’s family and I’m about 100% of my way through the frozen pizza section at Crest.

Alex Mcewen: Getting to spend time with immediate family, cherishing moments with my dogs, and rediscovering passions and hobbies that I had forgotten or did not have time to partake in.

Spenser Davis: My wife and I adopted our first dog last week! He’s a 1-year-old terrier named Ozzie.

Dom Flaim: I’m working from home most days and to be totally honest I’m not looking forward to the day when I can’t wear pajama pants to work.  I’ve gotten very used to it and have no desire to go back. I’ve also been able to run an extra day or two most weeks, which is appreciated.

Ian Kayanja: Getting a lot more time to read. I have been able to finish a book a week for some time now, and I just am reminded of how important reading is to our daily lives.

Do you have a pep talk for those dreading ongoing isolation?

Napier: As sports fans, and as fans of a particular team (Thunder Up!), we all understand the value of a common goal. We’re all in this together, and the choices you make to protect yourself, your family, and those in your community are all for achieving the common goal of protecting the health and safety of the people you care about.

Woods: There’s SO much to learn and try! Many online resources have freed up classes usually set behind a paywall for anyone to take part in.

Elrod: Make the most of it. Try something new, rediscover an old hobby, and make sure to check up on your friends and family.

Panchal: Take care of yourself. Check on your friends. Thank essential workers. Wear your mask. Don’t hoard toilet paper (ahem, John). The only way through this is together.

Rahbar: Don’t you realize? The next time you see sky, it’ll be over another town. The next time you take a test, it’ll be in some other school. Our parents, they want the best of stuff for us. But right now, they got to do what’s right for them. Because it’s their time. Their time! Up there! Down here, it’s our time. It’s our time down here. That’s all over the second we ride up Troy’s bucket.

Mcewen: It seems simple, but enjoy it! Think of something, anything that you wanted or wanted to do, but never had the time to and GO FOR IT! As Ryan pointed out, so many online classes are free or discounted right now, why not sign up?

Davis: Every day, there’s more and more momentum toward getting back to some sort of normalcy. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Flaim: Enjoy the outdoors, spend time with family when possible and safe (I’ve also been spending some time with my parents since I live alone; working and not seeing people ever started driving me insane), and spend time doing things you enjoy. Sometimes a little time away from everything clears the mind.

Kayanja: Take the time to discover something about yourself that you never knew. Don’t hesitate to try something new, even if at first it’s a bit weird.

Binge recommendations?

Napier: Watch (or re-watch) The Office and follow along with the Office Ladies podcast (with Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey). Re-watch (or watch) Scrubs and follow along with the Fake Doctors Real Friends podcast (with Zach Braff and Donald Faison).

Woods: Billions (Showtime) / Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu) / About Time (Netflix)

Elrod: Ozark, Avatar The Last Airbender, Daredevil (All on Netflix)

Panchal: Crossbolts with Brandon Rahbar and Olivia Panchal; Ramy, Killing Eve, The Act (Hulu); Schitt’s Creek, Ozark, Narcos, Dead to Me (Netflix); Big Little Lies, Silicon Valley, Succession, The Chi (HBO); Homeland, Billions (Showtime); Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon); Morning Show, Truth Be Told (AppleTV+)

Rahbar: During the day, I like to have Season 8 of Game of Thrones playing in the background. My nightly routine has become watching the Scott’s Tots episode of The Office followed by a back-to-back double feature of season finales from Dexter and How I Met Your Mother. But I have to fall asleep to Saved By The Bell: The College Years.

Mcewen: Good Girls (Netflix and Hulu); Dead to Me, A Fall from Grace; Glass (HBO and Hulu); Roseanne (Pluto TV); pretty much any of the videos pertaining to food or restaurants on the Mashed YouTube channel.

Davis: I’ve been using this time to watch The Wire for the first time, and it’s as good as they say. I would also recommend almost anything HBO has done in the last year, especially Barry, Watchmen, The Righteous Gemstones and Succession.

Flaim: Here are Netflix options I’ve either watched or am catching up on: Dark, Altered Carbon, Money Heist, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Mindhunter, Glitch, Don’t F*** With Cats, The Innocents, The Umbrella Academy. Bonus: Supermarket Stakeout (Food Network)

Any other recommendations?

Napier: If you haven’t read Boom Town by Sam Anderson, do it. It should be required reading for any Thunder fan.

Woods: Staying with the golf theme, you won’t find a better podcast than No Laying Up.

Elrod: I haven’t been listening to many podcasts recently, but I have been watching some old games (NFL + NBA). A little Animal Crossing never hurts.

Panchal: My favorite podcasts right now are the Daily Thunder Podcast (obviously) and Armchair Expert with Dax Shephard. My favorite books for basketball fans are Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell), Basketball and Other Things (Shea Serrano), Boom Town (Sam Anderson), and The Sports Gene (David Epstein). My favorite quarantine hobbies are trying new wines and organizing every single drawer, cabinet, and closet in my home (s/o The Container Store).

Rahbar: I waste most of my  time going down YouTube rabbit holes. I’ll go from stand up comedy to music reactions to NBA and NFL discussions to Watchmojo movie lists, and eventually old interviews on late night talk shows. Pretty please watch my all time favorite:

Mcewen: I highly recommend The Weekend Warrior with Dr. Klapper (found on ESPN LA or Podcenter) for a very insightful and a relaxing listen. As for a hobby, try out gardening. There is a plant out there for everyone; watching it thrive is so rewarding!

Davis: My favorite podcast is The Watch, which is a part of The Ringer’s network and covers mostly TV and early-2000s Philadelphia 76ers basketball. Highly recommended.

Flaim: I read my first book in over a decade: I recommend “Thinking Basketball” by Ben Taylor.  Also, LEGOs are by far my favorite relaxing hobby.