March 26, 2023

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Basketball word of the year: heliocentrism. How did the NBA borrow the astronomical model (and adopt it)

Djokovic is the best again, Medvedev’s disaster and Sobolenko’s unexpected victory

Djokovic is the best again, Medvedev’s disaster and Sobolenko’s unexpected victory

The epithet “heliocentric” in the 22/23 season is becoming more common, as it serves to most vividly and at the same time accurately describe the attacking systems of the NBA. It is impossible to do without it, for example, when discussing the record surge in individual performance in the league – which is the main leitmotif of the regular season. In this regular season, 18 matches have already been played in which someone managed to score more than 50 points, and if the pace continues, then we will have such a number of such meetings that we have not seen since the mid-60s.

Interestingly, basketball came to the heliocentric basketball model with no less problems (albeit without the fires of the Inquisition) than European civilization came to the heliocentric system of the universe.

What is “heliocentrism” anyway

The heliocentric system of the world – that is, the idea that the Sun is the celestial body around which the Earth and other planets revolve – was widely discussed by philosophers back in Ancient Greece.

It is believed that Aristarchus of Samos proposed it in the most reasonable form in the 3rd century BC – apparently, on the basis that the Sun is much larger than the Earth, and it is more logical to assume that a smaller body revolves around a larger one.

The influence of the teachings of Aristarchus on Hellenic science is still not clear. It is known that his theory had followers. There are even suggestions that heliocentrism was widespread in antiquity. However, almost not much is known about him, except that, as Plutarch points out, the Stoic philosopher Cleanthes from Assa called for Aristarchus to be brought to trial, “because he moves the Hearth of the World from its place” (how it all ended there, we we don’t know).