Why are basketball games so squeaky? Consider the spiny lobster

New York Times:

It is the unofficial soundtrack of basketball, a noise consistently heard but rarely considered — rubber-soled shoes squeaking on the hardwood.

Squeaks are the background rhythm to the game. But that sound is also one of the enduring mysteries of sports, and presents a question that gets scientists talking: Why do basketball shoes squeak?

To understand, it may help to consider violins and the California spiny lobster.

The facetious answer to the headline, “Because of the sneakers”, belies the very interesting science behind it. I love the sound. It’s the sound of my childhood.