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I have a grotesque obsession with NBA basketball. As a result the only Slovenians I see are the heaping handful of guys who’ve made it to the League.

This tiny country of 2 million people has produced at least ten NBA caliber players in the past decade or so. This means one in every 22,195 males of NBA eligible age has played in a League that only has maybe 400 or so roster spots a year. By comparison a typical American has the same odds of being killed by a firearm as a Slovenian male of appropriate age does at playing basketball in the NBA.

I mean, there’s got to be a laboratory somewhere just outside of Ljubljana where scientists are brewing up the perfect basketball player.Further proof: These guys all look the same. Don’t believe me about the lab? Take a look…

Goran Dragic

Goran Dragic

Former Raptors Uros Slokar

Former Raptors Uros Slokar

Matjaž Smodiš, Boštjan Nachbar in Erazem Lorbek

Matjaž Smodiš, Boštjan Nachbar in Erazem Lorbek

Beno Udrih

Beno Udrih

Rasho Nesterovic

Rasho Nesterovic

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For a short time, NBA “snipers” like DeShawn Stevenson would wave their hand in front of their face if they hit a bunch of shots in a row. The gesture is meant to convey, ‘I’m so hot I can’t feel my face.’

At 27% 3-point shooting, I bet DeShawn can feel his face now.

At 27% 3-point shooting, I bet DeShawn can feel his face now.

I’m not sure why success would lead to facial numbness, but maybe if I could actually hit a few shots in a row I’d find out.

Last week as I was watching Deutschland sucht den Superstar — Germany’s American Idol — I noticed one of the exiled contestants make the same gesture after being congratulated by a finalist.

‘Did she just go all “hood” on her?’ I thought.  Not at all. In Germany, that’s how you express that something is crazy. It’s the same as pointing your finger to your ear and spinning it around.

Lately I’ve been bringing things up in casual conversation that are ‘crazy’ just so I can wave my hand in front of my face.  I use it on the basketball court as well, but not for the same reason.

Deutschland+sucht+den+Superstar+top+10+2009

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