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What to do with no NBA basketball

With All-Star festivities behind us and a long break ahead of us, here are some activities you can do to help get your basketball fix.

NBA: All Star Game-Team Lebron at Team Stephen Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Before you do anything else, watch this hilariously dramatic Ray Lewis talk about the possible effects of a lockout in 2011.

Maybe Ray Lewis was overreacting just a bit too much. While people love and care about their sports, I doubt that “evil” would be on the rise if it went away. It’s not 1957 anymore; people actually have more entertainment options than watching sports or going to a drive-in with their beau or gal.

However, it doesn’t make the absence of a popular sport any easier, particularly an absence of basketball. Football is only played once a week. I’d barely notice if it were gone. But the NBA is every night. No matter what your plans are, you know you can count on the NBA being available from 7:00 ET to 12:30 ET every night. During the All-Star break, that dependable rock that is the NBA is completely gone from the Monday after the All-Star game to Thursday.

No more contests. No more festivities. No more All-Star fun to hold us over. Just NBA fans twiddling their thumbs until the next batch of games. But unfortunately (no matter how hard I try), you can’t just lay in bed staring at the clock waiting for the NBA to return with real, actual games. You’re going to need to occupy your mind and body so that you don’t go stir crazy refreshing Woj’s Twitter feed even though the trade deadline was almost two weeks ago.

Here are some activity suggestions to help bide your time.

Play Basketball

A great way to get your basketball fix in when the NBA is being selfish by not doing the playing themselves. Also a fun way to get exercise, even though exercise is trash.

Also, remember the last time you said an NBA player was horrible and didn’t deserve a minute of playing team? Me neither because I end up saying so often. But every time I play basketball, I come to the realization of “oh yeah, they are professionals and would swallow me whole like Kirby if I ever played them one-on-one.” So yeah, maybe that player isn’t actually bad at basketball, they just look bad compared to the world-class talent around the league. Who woulda thunk?

Humble yourself. Play some ball this week.

Drink More Water

You should be doing this anyway. I can’t believe there are people roaming among us with access to clean water and still only manage to drink one or two glasses a day. I have a water bottle on me at basically all times because my thirst knows no bounds. Seriously people, hydrate yourself. Not only is it good for you, but you can use the excess water drinking as an excuse to be unhealthy in other aspects of your life. Yes this is my third Chipotle visit in two days, but I’m also on my 11th glass of water today so it all kinda evens out.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Mock Draft SZN

This could go for both the NBA and NFL. With the NFL regular season over, every sports site and their mother has posted at least two mock drafts a week to find out which player the Browns like the best that will actually turn out to be a bust for no other reason than playing for the Browns. If you put any article in draft format, I’ll likely read it. My Kansas City Chiefs don’t even have a first-round pick this year and I’m still reading all these mock drafts that only show the first round. I’m a fool.

For NBA fans, Mock Draft SZN is important to acclimate yourself to the newest class of talent coming this fall. The big name prospects are exactly that, big names, but the second-tier prospects and below are still going to be foundational pieces in the league. Donovan Mitchell was considered a second-tier prospect a year ago, maybe lower, and he looks like an absolute superstar.

Also, remember what you read in mock drafts this year, so you can recall them in 5 years and laugh when it turns out the 24th overall selection is better than 10 guys who got picked in the lottery. Because drafts of all kinds are just dumb like that.

NBA: Draft Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Sim Decades of a Franchise in NBA2K

No lie, this is one of my favorite activities period. It can be in-season or off-season, it’s a timeless practice. Actually, time-ful, because it’s 86% of my disposable time, probably.

The idea is to take control of a team, one with little to no assets, and build them from the ground-up to a championship contender. You don’t even have to play any games. I don’t, just so that I could get to the next off-season quicker if my team is still bad. By controlling just the front office without playing games, you can have all of the power trip of trading away LeBron for assets without having to deal with the horror of your best player being a computer-generated 78 overall with a name that sounds too generic to be real.

True story, I did this with the Grizzlies and finally made the Finals in 2025. We were up 3-0 in the series and ended losing 4-3 to the 76ers after my latest free agent signing, a 35-year old Stephen Curry, tore his hamstring in Game 4. I am still haunted by that loss. And you can be too, if you try!

Watch College Basketball

With the NBA gone, there’s no time like the present to catch up on some col--hahahahahaha I’m sorry I can’t get through it. Please don’t do this to yourself. If you catch yourself saying “hey, its still basketball,” remember that after you see two teams dribble the life out of the ball for 20 of the 30-second shot clock then run one (1) high screen before they take a contested jumper and miss. Every time. Don’t do this.

Treat yo self. It’s a break.

Follow @sbnGrizzlies