Best About Sports: Favorite Basketball Cliches

MRO 59 Raining 3sThis slam dunk of my top 10 favorite basketball expressions comes from a chapter excerpt in my book Best About Sports.

It would be crazy if the metaphoric and figurative ways we describe the game of basketball, whether in the NBA or at the NCAA level, actually came true.

However, somehow these clever basketball clichés have smoothly transitioned into our popular sports psyche.

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Best About SportsLet’s check out my list of favorite basketball cliches:

10. The guard has a really hot hand – Imagine the refs having to call the fire marshal to extinguish the hot hands of the shooting guards.

MRO 60 Hot Hand9. The big guys are camping in the lane – What a hoot it would be to watch a bunch of near 7-foot guys setting up a tent and unrolling sleeping bags inside the free throw line.

MRO 72 Camping in Lane8. The other team is burying 3’s – It would be funny to witness sharp shooting guards using shovels to dig big holes outside the three point arc – literally burying their 3’s.

7. The other team is raining 3’s – The sports comic at the beginning of this chapter featuring basketball players under their umbrellas perfectly brings this cliché to life.

6. The game clock is our biggest enemy – When your team is far behind and time is perilously ticking down, the clock seems to snarl and hiss – as if it were a real living, breathing enemy.

MRO 36 Clock is Enemy5. There’s a lid on the basket – This metaphor would be a riot if fans could actually observe poor shooting players with tools attempting to pry an actual lid off the basketball rim.

MRO 51 Lid on Basket4. The big guy owns the paint – Like chiseled muscle heads standing outside a night club, imagine some very tall, muscular player standing under the basket protecting the large cans of paint he just purchased.

MRO 62 Team Owns the Paint3. The losing team can’t throw the ball in the ocean – How pathetic a sight this would be to witness an entire dismayed basketball team standing on the beach. They’re helplessly shooting basketballs at the water beneath their feet, but the wind immediately blows their shots back into their hands.

2. The star player is carrying his team on his shoulders – Gotta have broad shoulders to do this one. The comic paints a pretty word picture of what’s happening here.

MRO 69 Carrying team on shoulders1. The team got invited to the Big Dance – In this throwback comic, every NCAA basketball team still plans all year to don bow ties and tuxedos to travel to March Madness’ annual Big Dance.

MRO 63 Invited to Big DanceLet me know at if you have a few favorite basketball clichés for my list of favorite basketball cliches.

You might see your favorite picks in my next book on what’s Best About Sports.

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