I was a teenager during the 90s, old enough to remember the NBA being pushed in the UK in a number of different ways. Around the country there were huge metal basketball hoops going up, we were finding NBA goodies in our cereal, the occasional NBA game was being played in London , but perhaps most significantly the NBA was being shown on Channel 4, and it was actually amazing viewing.
I learned the basics of basketball pretty quickly as a kid, mainly from playing video games, but also from just watching the game. There was a thrill in figuring things out for yourself, even if some of it took a while! This is why I often found how the NBA was marketed in the UK so patronising. It usually consisted of explaining what a free throw was, or a three point shot, or a double dribble. They'd explain things in football (soccer) terms as if that was the only way we'd understand.
But this is also why Channel 4's coverage of the NBA was so successful. Sure they explained the basics, but overall it was amazing to watch. Some kind guy put up a few of the original videos online recently to check some footage out below... In other news, I met Mark Webster recently, such a legend!