I don’t remember anyone pointing this out in any of the various blog post recaps I read of his seminar at Gresham College came out just after the seminar, but Stephenson said (about 26:08):
It’s a miracle, actually, that Gresham College was able to get me over here during the middle of the NBA playoffs.
I’m really only pointing this out because I am a fan of both Neal Stephenson and the NBA, and it makes me happy to know that Neal (Mr. Stephenson?) is also a basketball fan. As a resident of Seattle, I wonder what his thoughts are on the Sonics moving to Oklahoma City. Well, if he is/was a fan of the Sonics then he probably wouldn’t even have to explain. But, since he grew up in Iowa, I can’t help but wonder if he didn’t become attached to the Bulls during high school (the Timberwolves didn’t exist when he graduated in 1977).
Anyway, here’s the video (thanks Google Alerts!):