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Basketball is an internationally popular team sport where two teams with five players each compete to score the most points by throwing a spherical ball through the other team's basket. At the turn of the century, basketball is the world's second most popular sport after football/soccer, played in over 200 countries.
The rectangular court consists of two baskets mounted to a backboard (at a height taller than the players) at the endlines on both sides. The basic objective of the game is to shoot a ball through a netted hoop located at the endline of the opponent's courtside, with varying points for field goals depending on whether it was thrown from behind or in front of the three-point line demarcated on the court. The team with more points by the end of the game wins; if the score is tied, an additional overtime is issued. The sport can be played indoors or outside.
In the United States, the professional league for the sport is called the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the sport is played internationally and at the Olympic games. There is also a popular college league, administered by the National College Athletics Association, or NCAA. This sport is often referred to as "College Basketball" in queries. In addition to the two American male leagues, other popular leagues include the Euroleague, for European basketball, the WNBA, for female American basketball, and the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).
Within the Usenet era online, basketball was a popular topic of discussion, with different newsgroups oriented around different leagues and NCAA-affiliated school teams. Many of these groups are still active. Newsgroups were categorized under both alt.sport and alt.sports, and some of the most popular include alt.sports.basketball.nba.chicago-bulls with over 240,000 messages as of 2015 and alt.sports.basketball.nba.la-lakers, with over 125,000 messages in the same timeline.
Both the NBA and NCAA maintain large online presences. The official website for NBA was registered under the domain NBA.com in November 1994, followed by the launch of the official website for NCAA in December 1997.
BleacherReport, another popular central sports blog, is number 95 in the United States according to web rankings, and users often leave upwards of 500 comments on individual posts. Other popular blogs for basketball news and commenter communities include ESPN's TrueHoops, NBC Sports ProBasketBallTalk, Gawker's Deadspin affiliate, and the NBA section of SBNation.
As of June 2015, the official NBA website, nba.com, was ranked the 187th top site in the United States by Alexa web rankings. The NBA Youtube channel has more than 6.28 million subscribers. The official Twitter account has 15.1 million followers, and their official Facebook page has over 26 million likes. In addition, NBA on ESPN, the NBA-centric cable television channel, maintains its own online presence, including a Twitter account with another 1.52million followers. The official NBA subreddit, /r/nba, was created on November 4th, 2008 and currently has 288,178 readers.
The NCAA, distributed through universities, does not maintain such a centralized presence, but the sport is popularly discussed on ESPN and other sports television networks. Despite it's decentralization, in the United States, college-level basketball, in aggregate, is actually more popular than the professional level, as reflected in the search results below. The finals of the NCAA college tournament, referred to as March Madness, and it is one of the largest sporting events in the world, and has its own media presence. On Facebook, the official March Madness page has over 873,000 likes. The March Madness Twitter account has over 408,000 followers and its YouTube page has 13,000 followers. The subreddit /r/collegebasketball has more than 57,000 readers. 
Many fan communities are organized specific players from the 1990s, early 2000s, and today. These players include but are not limited to: Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and Jeremy Lin.
On April 14th, 2008, the subreddit /r/basketball was created. It has 9,300 readers, and five partner subreddits, including /r/baskeballdunks, /r/wnba, /r/eurobasketball, /r/basketballtips and /r/anklebreakers.
There are two central hubs for Fantasy Basketball for professional basketball, ESPN Fantasy and Yahoo Sports. No specific usage statistics exist for the uses of these forums, but fantasy basketball is the third most popular fantasy sport, after football and baseball.
Space Jam is a 1996 children’s live-action / animated comedy film starring the legendary NBA athlete Michael Jordan and the characters from the classic cartoon series Looney Tunes. The movie's theme song has become the subject of mashup songs known as Slam Remixes which are often accompanied with a headshot of former professional basketball player Charles Barkley superimposed over the head of a certain character related to the song.
The NBA licenses its logos and player likenesses to two separate video game series, the NBA 2K series (2K Sports), which began in 1999, and the NBA Live series (EA Sports), which began officially in 1995. The games are known for competing to have the most advanced and engaging game play.
NBA 2K15 Facescan FAIL
NBA 2K15 Facescan FAIL refers to poorly-scanned 3D models of players faces using images captured with the PlayStation Eye or Xbox Kinect in the basketball video game NBA 2K15.
Donald Sterling Racism Controversy
The Donald Sterling Racism Controversy refers to an ongoing controversy surrounding Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling after a tape was leaked in which he makes racists remarks against African American athletes in the National Basketball Association.
Kobe Bryant Related Memes
Kobe Bryant "White Hot" Cover Photo
Kobe Bryant "White Hot" Cover Photo refers to a photoshop meme based on a magazine cover photo of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant posing in an all-white designer suit. Published in May 2010 by the LA Times Magazine, Bryant’s cover photo led to an outpouring of criticism from online sports communities and a slew of photoshopped images featuring Bryant’s “white hot” look.
Kevin Durant Related Memes
Kevin Durant MVP Speech
Kevin Durant MVP Speech was a heartfelt speech given by professional basketball player Kevin Durant while accepting his Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in May 2014.
Kevin Durant Can't Watch
Kevin Durant Can’t Watch is a photoshop meme based on a picture of American professional basketball player Kevin Durant sitting on the court and facing the opposite direction as his Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Russel Westbrook threw three foul shots during the final seconds of their NBA Playoff game against the Los Angeles Clippers in May 2014.
Lebron James-related Memes
Lelbron is a photoshop meme featuring a picture of James wearing pair of black-rimmed glasses and a smile that involves superimposing a cutout of LeBron’s face into other base images of various contexts.
LeBroning is a photo fad in which the participant stages an exaggerated dive after intentionally bumping into an unsuspecting passerby and shares the recorded footage on Vine. The fad was named after James, who has earned a reputation for frequently resorting to "flop," or the act of intentional falling upon slightest contact with an opposing player in order to draw a personal foul call.
Lance Stephenson Blowing in LeBron James' Ear
Lance Stephenson Blowing in LeBron James’ Ear is a photoshop meme based on a close-up footage of the Indiana Pacers shooting guard trying to taunt the Miami Heat forward by breathing into his ear during the fifth game of the NBA Eastern Conference finals.
"LeBron Traveled" is an expression often used in YouTube comments among basketball enthusiasts to mock James for performing the basketball violation known as "traveling."
The LeBron James Kid
The “Lebron James” Kid is the nickname given to a young boy who repeatedly says the name of the famous American professional basketball player in a montage clip uploaded to Vine in June 2014. Similar to other mashup memes on the video-sharing platform, the soundbite of the boy saying “Lebron James” has been paired with various footage from TV shows, music videos and films, mainly for comedic effect.
#Linsanity / Jeremy Lin
#Linsanity is a Twitter hashtag used to describe excitement surrounding New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin following his breakout performance in mid-February 2012.
Linning is a secret handshake originally done by basketball players Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields. Still images usually consist of the final pose of the meme, making “nerd glasses” toward a friend or the camera.
Shaquille O'Neal-Related Memes
Shaq Fu is a video game developed for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and Super Nintendo, released on October 28, 1994. It is a 2D fighting game, featuring O'Neal as the protaganist. The game has gain infamy for it's absurd setting and poor gameplay. A sequel is currrently under development, titled Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn.
Shaquille O'Neal's Epic Fall
Shaquille O'Neal's Epic Fall is a photoshop meme, derived from a still image of O'Neal tripping over a wire during the TNT sport television program Halftime Report.
Other Related Memes
Yao Ming Face
Yao Ming Face (sometimes referred to as “Fuck That Guy” or “Dumb Bitch”) is a rage comic-style contour drawing of the professional basketball player Yao Ming wearing a hearty smile. The image is typically used as a reaction face to convey a dismissive attitude towards someone else’s input in online discussions, then usually following something that one ups their input.
Jim Boeheim's Jacket Removal
Jim Boeheim’s Jacket Removal is a photoshop meme featuring a cut out image of Syracuse University basketball coach Jim Boeheim angrily removing his jacket in protesting a charging foul call made by a referee during a regular season match against Duke University in February 2014.
Jack Blankenship's Face
Jack Blankenship’s Face, also simply referred to as The Face, is an oversized cutout of University of Alabama student Jackson Blankenship’s contorted face which he uses during college basketball games as a distraction to the opposing team.
Villanova Crying Piccolo Player
Villanova Crying Piccolo Player, also known as the Villanova Crying Flute Player and March Sadness, is a photoshop fad based on a video clip of a college marching band mate playing the flute in tears that was displayed on Jumbotron during a NCAA men’s basketball tournament match between Villanova University and North Carolina State University in late March 2015.
Riley Curry's Press Conferences
Riley Curry is the daughter of Stephen Curry, an American professional basketball player and point guard for Oakland’s Golden State Warriors. Riley gained significant online fame in June 2015, particularly among the NBA fan communities and Black Twitter, due to her comical interruptions in the middle of official NBA press conferences.
 Wikipedia – Basketball
 BBC – The Canadian who invented basketball
 Alexa – Ranking: nba.com
 Alexa – Ranking: bleacherreport.com
 Facebook – NCAA March Madness
 Twitter – @MarchMadness
 YouTube – March Madness's Profile
 Twitter – NBA on ESPN
 Reddit – /r/basketball
 Reddit – /r/collegebasketball
 Wikipedia – Fantasy Sport
Jun 11, 2015 at 06:10PM EDT
Jun 09, 2015 at 03:05PM EDT
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