ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — This weekend the national teams of Australia and New Zealand played basketball against each other. Whenever New Zealand’s national teams play, they preface the games by performing the Haka. What is the Haka? According to Wikipedia, the Haka is “a traditional ancestral war cry, dance, or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand. It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment. War haka were originally performed by warriors before a battle, proclaiming their strength and prowess in order to intimidate the opposition, but haka are also performed for various reasons: for welcoming distinguished guests, or to acknowledge great achievements, occasions or funerals, and kapa haka performance groups are very common in schools.”
While New Zealand performed the Haka, the Australian team, led by NBAers Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova and Patty Mills, linked arms and stood along the midcourt line and did their best to look unintimidated.