If you follow the NBA religiously, then you don’t just follow the game of basketball.
You track unnecessary beefs, endless trade and free agency rumors, insane fashion choices, and amusing press conferences. You scroll through Twitter and Instagram till your fingers hurt. You live for player pettiness, for a LeBron hosted Halloween party with Warriors’ tombstone cookies, for a cupcake hat with a championship ring garnish, for the NBA baggage, as I like to call it.
Are you familiar with that game show, hosted by Jerry Springer? It’s a dating show, where contestants periodically reveal three regrettable (to them), yet entertaining (to us), facts about their lives to a potential date – their “baggage.” Things like: I collect all my toenail clippings or I thought the Knicks should trade Porzingis.
The truth is, there aren’t enough bags in the world to accommodate the NBA being on that show. Even Jerry Springer, a man who previously ran a television program that facilitated live brawls, would be overwhelmed. But in the same way that the “baggage” comes to define each contestant, the NBA extracurricular activities come to define the league. We have to acknowledge, appreciate, and pay homage to that fact. So without further ado, I present to you the Fantasy Basketball Extracurricular League.
This is big time.
Allow me to explain.
It all started with a set of tweets - a joke, really:
NBA offseason is arguably more hype than the actual season— Alex Squadron (@asquad510) June 15, 2017
And the response:
What the world needs is a Fantasy Petty league where u get points for shade thrown.— Fake Teams (@faketeams) June 15, 2017
3️⃣ everyone else https://t.co/xlMS7PyK3a
I ran with it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the world really does need this type of thing. I expanded on the initial idea, envisioning a league that’s dedicated to ALL the extra stuff, not just the pettiness.
Think of it as a bad QB league on steroids. You win by having the players who engage the most in the sphere that surrounds basketball. I repeat, the sphere that surrounds basketball. We aren’t dealing with actual basketball, where you try to throw a round shaped object into a circle from various distances while others try to prevent you from doing so. We are dealing with everything else.
Before we get into the scoring system (the most fun part), here are the general guidelines for the league. There are no head-to-head match-ups or playoffs. This is not a regular fantasy experience. This league is dressed like Russell Westbrook, not Tim Duncan. Each team consists of 15 players – selected in an exciting drinking-encouraged draft at the beginning of the season. There is no bench. Every single player is a starter, and therefore eligible to receive points. Your roster cannot be changed throughout the season, so draft wisely (but still drink).
Points are tallied up and the standings are updated at the end of each day. Now for the scoring:
If your player gets a technical foul: 5 points
Additional scores: +2 if the technical is for a physical confrontation with another player, +4 if the technical is for an excessive celebration, +6 if the technical is earned from the bench (shout out Dahntay Jones), +8 if the technical is for squaring up to David West (shout out Tristan Thompson), +10 if the technical is for a physical confrontation with an official (I am not endorsing/condoning this behavior)
If your player gets ejected: 10 points
Note: You receive just 10, not 20, points for an ejection resulting from two technical fouls
- If your player receives more than 10,000 retweets on Twitter: 10 points
- If your player receives more than 200,000 likes on Instagram: 10 points
- If your player undergoes a radical in-season hairstyle change: 10 points
- If your player stars in a Foot Locker commercial: 10 points
If your player gets suspended for a game BY THE LEAGUE: 10 points
Note: Each game counts as 10. If the team suspends your player for five games, that’s 50 points. Likewise, a suspension for just one quarter is 2.5 points
If your player gets suspended for a game BY THE TEAM: 12 points
Note: Each game counts as 12. If the team suspends your player for five games, that’s 60 points. Likewise, a suspension for just one quarter is 3 points
If your player pops up in trade rumors: 15 points
Note: Points can only be counted once (i.e. If Carmelo is rumored to be on the block at the beginning of the season, than 15 points may be awarded to his fantasy owner. But if those rumors die down and are reignited around the deadline, no more points are awarded)
- If your player actually gets traded: 15 points
- If your player appears on Shaqtin’ a Fool: 15 points
If your player makes a strong public appearance at a nationally-televised game for another sports team in your home city: 20 points
Example: LeBron and the Cavs at the World Series
If your player clearly interacts with a celebrity sitting in the stands during the game: 20 points
If your player takes any direct or indirect shot at another player in the league on a different team (not a physical shot, an emotional one): 20 points
Note: If in the form of a Tweet or Instagram, points may be awarded for receiving the likes and taking the shot
- If your player’s kid makes an appearance in an interview/press conference: 20 points
If a press conference with your player or an outfit your player wears makes it on the HouseofHighlights Instagram account: 20 points
Note 1: If a press conference with your player’s kid gets on the account, that’s 40 points
Note 2: Shout out HouseofHighlights
If your player publicly criticizes Lavar Ball or is publicly criticized by Lavar Ball: 25 points
Note: A public battle between your player and Lavar Ball can only amass a total of 50 points
- If your player is mentioned in a TMZ headline: 25 points
- If your player writes a piece for the Player’s Tribune during the season: 25 points
- If your player “Derrick Roses” – misses a game with zero explanation: 30 points
- If your player is involved in a “funeral game”, meaning he wears all black to the arena: 30 points
- If your player is linked to a Kardashian family member at any point during the year: 30 points
- If your player is involved in a catfish-ing scandal: 35 points
If your player steals and consumes any edible items from the crowd: 35 points
Additional scores: +100 if your player steals and consumes any non-edible items from the crowd, like a poster
If your player does the water bottle challenge during a game: 40 points
- If your player is mentioned in a Drake song: 40 points
This type of league takes more work. It requires more dedication and more enthusiasm. You need participants who are serious about the NBA baggage, who are willing to dive into press conferences and hilarious social media posts. Ultimately, it falls on each owners’ shoulders to calculate the points. If a TMZ headline evades you, then it evades you. All “scoring proposals” are to be presented to the Commissioner for confirmation.
This might be more work, but it’s also more fun. Theodore Roosevelt once said: “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
I can think of no work more worth doing. Let’s get it.
P.S.: More coverage to come, including extracurricular mock drafts! I am also open to expanding the scoring system, so please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or tweet (@asquad510) with suggestions. Feel free to comment below as well.