More than any other sport, basketball remains accessible to us after school is done. It’s damn-near impossible to get a competitive game of baseball up and running, and, as fun as pickup football is, the backyard rendition is noticeably different from what we played in high school. Basketball, though? Wander over to any 24-Hour Fitness or neighborhood rec center and it’s easy to forget that you’re an adult with a job. Post-adolescence, everyone can still play basketball. But that doesn’t mean that we like to play basketball with everyone.
As with anything worth doing, you have to take the good with the bad. This list is dedicated to the people that make us consider leaving hardwood dreams in the past. Don’t think of this as promoting hate; we’re spreading public awareness here.
1. Would-be Coaches
So. You played basketball in high school. That’s awesome; more power to you. Just don’t let those fleeting memories of suicide sprints, playbook practicing and wearing your jersey on gameday change the fact that you’re at a YMCA, barking at a stranger about not providing help-side defense on a play where the opponent didn’t even score. Helpful advice is always appreciated, but there are lines.
2. Cherry Pickers
There is absolutely no honor in cherry-picking. Don’t be that guy.
3. Sweaty Motherf*ckers
As a man who sweats more than average, I always bring a change of shirts whenever I hoop. There’s nothing worse than trying to stick your man when your man looks like he just crawled out of a pool.
We all have moments where we call fouls in the heat of the moment. Don’t let it become a habit, though.
5. Ball Hogs/Chuckers
A staple in the hardwood lexicon, ball hogs don’t give a f*ck about you or the fun that you planned on having when you laced up your Nikes. True, the stereotype tends to go hand-in-hand with getting buckets, but this isn’t a playoff game. Please, share the wealth, especially if your shot isn’t falling early.
6. Overly-Competetive People
That competitive flame may have taken you to some pretty great places back in your prime, but like every wannabe coach out there, a reality check is in order. No need to blow a gasket over a missed assignment on a Saturday afternoon at your local court. But then, on the flip side…
7. Under-Competetive People
Those jackasses who show up with their friends because they think it’d be good, ironic fun to play basketball for an afternoon. These suckers always create a competitive mismatch that makes playing alongside them teeth-grindingly frustrating.
8. Former College Basketball Players
Yes, you are still very, very good. Please don’t break my frail ankles. *Shudders*
9. Overly-Aggressive Players
Don’t take your football mentality onto the court, please. A strong boxout or pick is fundamental, BUT HOLY SHIT, WATCH YOUR F*CKIN’ ELBOWS.
10. The Impostors
Buddy shells out $150 for some vibrant Kobes and rocks a f*cking Iverson arm sleeve, so he has to be able to play, right? That notion’s erased when he misses a wide-open layup, proving that looking the part doesn’t always mean you can play the part.