Monday, July 9, 2007

There's nothing I hate more in pick-up basketball...

...then having a guy on your team who starts barking directions at everyone else on the team when he doesn't have any idea what he's talking about.

I had one of them on my team yesterday (I warned you that I'd be talking about my pick-up basketball games), and it wasn't particularly pretty. Four of us had played together a decent amount before, so I was rubbed the wrong way from the very beginning when on the first play he starts giving us all directions without any concept of what each player's relative strengths were.

The low point was definitely reached when Mr. X had the ball at the top of the key. Two of us were on the right wing, and somehow in the confusion of transition all five defenders had shifted over to guard the three of us. That left two of our players wide open on the left-hand side of the court, but Mr. X just continued staring to our side of the floor, completely oblivious to what was going on (as a side note: the two wide open players were the two women on our team, but I don't think that had anything to do with his decision not to pass to them. They were both good jump shooters, and I really think he was just oblivious to where people were on the floor.). Finally, I yelled at him, "Swing the ball! They're wide open!" He stared at me, then finally passed the ball to one of the open people--by which time, of course, the defense had adjusted. He then yelled at me "That's unbelievable," to which I yelled back, "It is unbelievable! There are two wide open people and you won't pass them the ball!"

Now, it might not have been the smoothest move to yell at him like that considering how poorly I had been playing (my defense, especially, had been atrocious), but in the grand scheme of pick-up basketball arguments I don't think this one really qualified as particularly harsh or memorable. Apparently Mr. X viewed it a little differently, because after the game he refused to slap my hand when I gave him the customary "good game." Oh well, such are the trials and tribulations of playing pick-up basketball.

I know you're all sitting there thinking, "Wow, Sam. Thanks for sharing such an interesting anecdote." Okay, I know that's not what you're really thinking, but too bad--(cue music) it's my party (basketball blog), and I'll cry (complain) if I want to...

3 comments:

Louis said...

While I share your distaste for a bossy teammate I think there is nothing worse than a player, either a teammate or an opponent, who fouls to make up for their mistakes or shortcomings. There is nothing more annoying than having to constantly reset because some a-hole’s ego can’t take giving up a bucket. Suck it up and do better next time or find a better match up. I have no actual research on this topic but it’s my guess that 90% of the scuffles and at least 60% of injuries that happened in pickup are directly linked to these foul-first players.

Sam Cohen said...

That comment wasn't directed towards Fouling Steve by any chance, was it? Either way, I completely agree with you. Maybe I'll need to do a post brainstorming all the pick-up basketball stereotypes (bossy guy, no defense guy, dribble forever guy, the chucker, etc.).

Louis said...

I would never direct a public comment toward an individual. Steve is not the worst "fouling guy" I ever encountered... at least he apologizes and owns up to his fouls. I have played in games with guys who foul every time down the court and then get pissed off when the foul is called. It’s ridiculous. I like the idea of the post discussing the different type of players that can make basketball less fun than it should be.