Time, as we all understand it, is the continued progress of existence. It goes from the past, to the present, and on into the future. Anyone who has seen Interstellar can tell that you have to be going either super fast or into a literal black hole in order to encounter any of time’s more outrageous peculiarities. For those of us confined to normal gravity and relatively un-bitchin’ acceleration—i.e. all of us—time moves ploddingly along in one direction, in a way that makes the “when” of most events intuitively comprehensible. And then there is NBA scoops guy and serial butcherer of straightforward information Shams Charania.
Shams spent a portion of his Sunday pinning down and then reporting details of the upcoming NBA schedule. It seems the league planned to schedule all the games on the regular season’s final day—Sunday, May 16—inside one narrow afternoon time slot, perhaps hoping to recreate the chaotic, exhilarating energy of the most exciting day in the history of soccer.
That report’s not great. Are all the games starting at the same time, or are they all starting at some point within three and a half hours after noon? And will the six Saturday games be played in their entirety between noon and 3:30 p.m., or will they all merely tip off within that timeframe? What does the “same” in “same afternoon times” of the Saturday games refer to?
As messy as that report might be, something strange happened between Sunday night and Tuesday afternoon. What can this message possibly mean?
For help plotting this weekend’s NBA games somewhere along the irreversible continuum of time, Defector presented this report to a real-life physicist from MIT, who responded, “Why did he phrase this as a riddle?” As all events in the long history or future of the universe can be described as either within or outside of this Sunday’s noon to 3:30 p.m. ET window, the best that can be said is it’s a relief to know this weekend’s NBA games will not violate special relativity.
If you’re in the freak Mountain Time Zone, however, science has no idea when these games will be. You’re on your own.