I just added the rest of the reader submissions this morning, so I'm going to leave this post up for today.
Social activists and sensitivity trainers will tell you that it's wrong to stereotype people. But without labels, we wouldn't be able to tell the Plushies
from the Furries
, and let me tell you, there's nothing more embarrassing than accidentally coming on to someone with a giant, plush phallus when all they wanted to do was roleplay the werecheetah bodyguard of a noted archeologist/scientist.
So in certain cases, stereotyping is actually very important. For that reason, I've created a list of pickup player types so you'll be able to accurately discriminate against the various people you play with and against. Keep in mind that there can be crossover between player types.
If you think I missed a player type, submit an entry in the comments.The Scorer:
This player believes his one and only responsibility -- certainly in pickup games, and maybe even in life itself -- is to score the basketball. But you know, that might be understating things a little. More than a mere responsibility, The Scorer seems to believe that shot attempts are his birthright. Every shot you take is a shot you're stealing from him. Every time you don't pass him the rock, a little piece of his soul dies a horrible, gasping, shuddering death.
Okay, it's not always that bad. There's a spectrum of ball-hoggery. But when The Shooter touches the ball, his basic mindset is to always look for his own shot. Looking for an open teammate is a last resort intended for emergency situations only.The Passer:
The Passer is the polar opposite of The Scorer. Where The Scorer looks only to shoot the ball, The Passer wants only to dish off to someone else. This could be because a) he doesn't believe in his own offense or b) because he genuinely believes the best contribution to winning basketball is a good pass. It's a great philosophy, except for two things. First, The Passer is usually reluctant to shoot...and the defense knows that. This means The Passer's defender is free to play off him and become a defensive pest.
Second, The Passer wants so badly to make the assist that he will force passes that should never be. Worse, he may try to make spectacular passes when a simple pass will do. I can't tell you how many times I've been open on a fast break and a Passer has -- instead of a simple bounce pass -- tried to hit me with some crazy behind-the-back bullshit that misses my ready hands by feet. Not inches. Feet.The Shooting Point Guard:
Just like NBA players, pickup ballers rely on their point guard to bring the ball up court and initiate the offense. Of course, there's no real offense in pickup ball, so "initiate the offense" basically means "pass the ball to somebody...anybody." The problem with The Shooting Point Guard is that he's dribbling up the floor thinking, "I'm in rhythm. I should shoot it."
You can see it in their eyes. Passing PGs are glancing around looking for teammates. The Shooting Point Guard has his eyes up toward the rim. Evil Ted sometimes falls into this category. I always know when he's going to chuck, because his eyes get locked in on the hoop and he usually tells me, "Matt, go in for the rebound." I usually respond by saying, "Only take the shot if it's open." But by that point, it's already too late. That shot's going up, and all I can do is crash the boards.The Shooter:
Let's get this straight right up front: The Shooter and The Scorer are not
the same player. The Scorer never limits himself to any particular kind of bad shot. He'll chuck it up from anywhere. The Scorer is just as likely to jack a lousy three-pointer as he is to drive into the paint and airball a layup. The Shooter, on the other hand, only takes shots from long distance. In most cases, The Shooter's shot of choice is the three, although he won't hesitate to take what I call "The Luol Deng" (a long-range, contested two-pointer).
If there is an open path to the basket, The Shooter will not use it, so don't bother to scream "Drive it!" at him. It's not going to happen. You might as well scream "Transmute lead into gold!" or "Make LeBron James a non-douche!" The Shooter will spend most of his time running from three-point line to three-point line, but in those rare occasions when he finds himself under the rim and in possession of the basketball, he will usually panic and pass it back out.The Coach:
This helpful fellow knows exactly what his teammates should do in every possible circumstance, and he won't hesitate to scream his advice:
"Stop shooting and drive it!"
"You've gotta crash the boards!"
"Stay in front of your man!"
"You have the advantage down low! Use it!"
There are two kinds of coaches: The Bad Coach and The Good Coach. The Bad Coach spews nothing but bad advice. Everything he says is wrong. This man is soundly ignored. The Good Coach actually knows what he's talking about and his suggestions and tactical adjustments are usually on the money. However, this man is soundly ignored too. Pickup ballers don't want advice. They really don't. Which is why coaches are either secretly or openly hated.
The funny thing about The Coach is that he rarely follows his own advice or makes any adjustments to his own game. He will tell you to take better shots right before attempting an off-balance three-pointer from four feet behind the line with a hand in his face. Or he'll tell you to crash the boards while he stands at half court with his hands at his sides.The Big Man:
In pickup ball, any player taller than 6'0"-ish becomes The Big Man. This is never the player's choice. The role is forced on him due to the perception that better-than-average height should automatically translate into the following skills: inside scoring, rebounding and shot blocking. Teammates will become hilariously frustrated when it turns out that The Big Man can't do any of these things any better than anyone else. People will sniff, "He can't even score in the post. What a waste of being tall. Man, if I was that size..."
But you know what? It sucks being The Big Man because The Big Man is the only player who enters a game with specific expectations on him. It's generally understood that not everybody can shoot, or pass, or whatever. There is a basic understanding and an acceptance that not all players are created equal. But The Big Man is always expected to be good -- even very good -- at big man things.
And God help him if he actually is
good at big man things. For instance, if you can score well inside, people will start to hack you. If you dominate the boards, people will start going over your back or trying to illegally push you out of position. After all, if you're that good, opponents feel they are entitled to "even the playing field" by cheating.The Tall Guy:
Once it has been confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt that The Big Man doesn't have big man skills and probably won't ever be able to develop them, he becomes The Tall Guy. Because that's all he is: a tall guy.The Point Center:
This is a Big Guy or Tall Guy who -- possibly because he grew up watching Magic Johnson highlights -- wants with all his heart to be the point guard. However, unlike Magic, The Point Center doesn't have actual point guard skills. Despite having no handles, he'll try to bring the ball up court. Despite having hands that are as large and unfeeling as a Christmas ham, he will try to thread the needle through multiple defenders on the fast break, possibly going behind his back in the process.
You'll feel compelled to point out, either gently or with various colorful curse words, that he needs to give up the rock and get his ass in the paint. But you shouldn't bother. Nothing can convince The Point Center that he sucks as a ball handler/playmaker.The Little Man:
The opposite of The Big Man. Whereas people seem to think The Big Man was born with big man skills, The Little Man is expected to have developed specific skills to compensate for his lack of height. Specifically, passing and shooting. The Little Man is also expected to be faster than other players because, well, he's such a wee tiny man. It's physics, right? Smaller should equal faster. I think there's a formula that proves that.The Little Big Man:
Every once in a while, you'll come across a virtual midget who repeatedly tries to post up. The Little Big Man might even crash the boards. These guys are pretty rare and always freak me out a little. Kind of like a Bearded Lady.The Role Player:
There are certain pickup ballers who don't have a particular specialty, but they can do a little bit of everything. They aren't necessarily a high percentage shooter, but they can hit shots. They don't dominate the glass, but they will grab key rebounds. More importantly, they don't hog the ball or make obviously stupid mistakes. Generally speaking, they get along with their teammates...mostly because, as stated, they don't hog the ball or make obviously stupid mistakes.The Hustle Guy:
The Hustle Guy is like The Role Player after exposure to cosmic rays. He's as relentless as a movie serial killer and as non-stop as the Energizer Bunny. The Hustle Guy does all the right things while also a) sprinting on offense, b) going balls out on defense, and c) fighting for every loose ball. This is the guy everybody wants on their team and nobody wants to have to play against. The Superstar:
The Superstar is clearly and obviously the best player on the floor. Mind you, this can vary from league to league. In some leagues, I may be The Superstar. In better leagues -- the ones filled with guys who have played Division 1 college ball -- I may become The Role Player. So superstardom is based in part on the talent level of the league.The 12th Man:
Simply put, The 12 Man is a bad basketball player. This player has almost no discernable game skills. At times, you'll wonder if they have ever actually played basketball before that night. Worse, they never seem to et any better, no matter how long they play. (There's a 12th Man in our league that has been around for years. Evil Ted recently asked, "How is it even possible he's been playing with us for five years and hasn't gotten any
better? It shouldn't take five years to learn how to hit a layup.) Unfortunately, in pickup ball you can't bench bad players. You have to let them play. You can try to shame them into leaving on their own, but it's harder to do that than you might think.
In general, The 12th Man doesn't add anything, but depending on the relative talent levels of the league, he may not take anything away either. Unless he's also...The Handicap:
These are the truly bad players. You know, the kind of player that, if he ends up on your team, you start preparing for a bitter loss. Having this player on your team is the equivalent of starting every game down by 5 or more points. The Handicap is just that bad.
The Handicap struggles to score from anywhere. His defender knows this and wanders around, disrupting passes and providing constant double-teaming. This means The Handicap is almost always open. Sometimes, out of the corner of your eye, you'll see a teammate open under the hoop. At this point, your basketball training kicks in and you pass the ball. A microsecond after that ball leaves your hand, you will realize you just dished to The Handicap. It's like one of those slow motion "Noooooooooo!" moments from a movie, because you know The Handicap is going to fuck things up. Maybe the pass will careen off his hands. Or maybe he'll catch the pass but then lose the ball on the way up. Maybe he'll try some fancy move and bobble the ball out of bounds (there's a Handicap in my league that we sometimes call "The Human Turnover"). If he actually gets the shot off, it's almost always either an airball or a brick.
The Handicap is also terrible on defense. If there's a Handicap on both teams, they usually get matched up and basically nullify each other with pure bawful. But if there's not an opposing Handicap, then the one Handicap will be victimized all night. Even bad offensive players can light it up when being guarded by The Handicap. And if you switch off to help or try to provide a double team, The Handicap won't rotate or provide any other help. Some people will say it's like playing 5-on-4. Well, it's more like 5-on-3. One or even two people on the other team will always be open. That's how terrible The Handicap's defense is.
Unfortunately, in pickup leagues, everybody gets to play, so you can't banish The Handicap to the bench. Well, not usually. However, if there's a situation where the teams are playing with subs, The Handicap is sitting out, and it's game point (or close), the team with The Handicap will try to let the substitution go by without getting him back in the game. The opposing team is usually wise to this, though, and they demand The Handicap sub back into the game.
: "Lastly, I'd like recommend changing the Handicap Guy to the David Kahn Guy because this guy makes all the wrong decisions. It's like matter and anti-matter, just in terms of basketball. It's not that he's just incompetent; it's as if he's doing everything possible to purposely choose the most wrong decision. You can't blame him because it's not a choice for him--to him, it's just the way of life and there IS no other way to live it. He can't defend his actions because, frankly, how could you NOT see that Darko is one of the best passing big men of all time?"The Lockdown Defender:
The title says it all. God help you if you ended up being defended by this guy.The All-Star Defender:
This guy plays what I call "All-Star Defense." Basically, he completely ignores defensive fundamentals while going all out for blocked shots and/or gambling for steals. The All-Star Defender won't actually play any defense unless he thinks it would look good on a personal highlight reel.The Specialist:
This guy has one very specific, very honed skill. Maybe he can shoot threes. Maybe he blocks shots. But whatever it is, that skill is the only thing he can do. He literally cannot do anything else. And if he tries to do something else, it usually fails in somewhat spectacular fashion.
For instance, there's a Tall Guy in my pickup league that is pretty good at blocking shots. Don't get me wrong. He's not a strong defensive player...but he blocks a lot of shots. That may sound contradictory, but if you play pickup ball, you know what I mean. Anyway, this particular Tall Guy -- while strangely proficient at swatting the ball -- isn't a strong rebounder and his attempts to score are a tragedy. (Evil Ted calls him "Can't Hit Layups Guy.") He has no other definable basketball skill that ranks better than "below average"...but he can block shots.The Deceivingly Athletic Guy:
The DAG shows up looking like he just walked off a Men's Health
cover shoot, which might lead you to believe he's a really good athlete and therefore a really good basketball player. Well, hey may be a good athlete, but athletic prowess in, say, carving out rock hard abs doesn't necessarily translate into jump shooting skills. It becomes glaringly apparent very quickly that The DAG has no game, and he rarely sticks around longer than a few games. After all, he has an appointment at the tanning salon.The Transient:
This is a person who has never played basketball and isn't interested in learning, but he decides to play for a game or a night to "loosen up" or "get some exercise." The Transient is actually worse than The Handicap, because Handicaps at least kinda-sorta understand the basic elements of the sport. (This is the ball...that's the basket...) And the Transient feels no shame whatsoever about how his disinterest is killing his team or even ruining the entire game...
...because everybody has the right to play, don't they?Update! Reader submissions:The Frequent Traveler:
From Marc d.: "This guy travels so much on every play that eventually the other team stops trying to call him on it. Luckily, it doesn't matter anyway, because The Frequent Traveller has no discernible game to speak of, and his opponents actually want him to have the ball. Eventually, The Frequent Traveller's own teammates will begin to call him on it in order to get the ball out of his hands."The New Gear Guy:
From Mike: "The guy who shows up with the brand new jordans, shiny under armour/nike jersey and the like. You'd think someone who invests that much in basketball gear would have some skills but it is almost always not the case. The guy with the beat up shoes and sleeve ripped tshirt is the superstar."The Crafty Old Vet:
: "You know the guy who used to be good in his younger years but not so much anymore. You can tell that this guy used to have game because he has good instincts: always knows where to go, who to pass to, etc. Except he's gotten so old (usually in his 50s) that he sometimes he can't make the play anymore so he resorts to dirty little tricks like shoving your lower back on a rebound, pushing you during loose balls, warding off during layups, etc."The Double D:
From Heretic: "There's the Double D or the double dribbler who simply cannot understand that once you stop dribbling the ball you can't start dribbling again. Attempting to explain that to him is like explaining quantum mechanics to a bowl of chicken soup."The Weird Shooter:
From Heretic: "There is also the weird shooter who shoots the ball in the most weird and bizarre way imaginable but he keeps making them. There was a guy I used to play against who used to shoot the ball like a soccer player throwing the ball inbound but he was high percentage shooter especially from beyond the arc."The Headless Chicken:
: "This is the guy who is constantly moving without purpose in the offensive half-court, destroying open space and getting in everyone's way. Often, these guys will cut to the basket in front of a ball-handler who managed to beat his man off the dribble, inadvertently brining a help defender to cut off the drive. Also, never has and never will set a screen."The Referee:
: "Insists on calling fouls whenever he thinks he sees them, even if he's not involved. He might not be near the play or have a good angle on it, but he just knows there was a foul."The Donaghy:
: "All of his foul calls are for a nefarious purpose. He probably doesn't have money on the game, but maybe he wants to speed it up so he can get shuffled onto another team, or slow it down so he can stay on the court longer, or maybe he just wants to annoy you."The Half-Gamer:
: "Has plenty of skills, but doesn't have the stamina to finish the game. When he loses his legs, it's like going from game 2 Ray Allen to game 3 Ray Allen."Sir Hacks-A-Lot:
: "A defensive player who's "defense" consists of constant fouling whenever he's beaten by his man. Possibly a dirty player. Universally hated."The Once In A Blue Moon Guy:
From Bateman's Legal Counsel: "He plays but, like his name suggests, infrequently. Soccer, or some other sport, is his priority and he's been busy playing that for the last 6 weeeks. But he wants to get back to hoops, so here he is. He's rusty -- no ballhandling, shots hit nothing but backboard, telegraphed passes, etc. -- but he'll be damned if he's going to practice before actually playing. This rustiness usually results in him simultaneously playing the role of 'The Handicap.' He may show up for 2-3 sessions in a row, but then he's gone."The Rock In The Stream:
From an anonymous reader: "This is the guy who has no idea that he is supposed to move after he passes (or move without the ball at all on offense), or that he should switch if a pick occurs. Usually, he is large and slow too. These are the guys you love playing against, because you can run your defender right into them and they will not move."The Rugby Player:
From kaos021: "He's the guy who believes basketball is full contact and will hack, trip, and toss people whenever possible and not understand why it's a foul. After all, they're just playing hard."The Unassumingly Good Basketball Player:
From illogicaljedi: "He comes to the park looking like he's part of another subculture in which he probably is or at least dabbles in (i.e., hippie, surfer, rocker, artist, ect.), probably a basketball minority, always has the worst defender on him in the beggining ends up schooling the court with the best defender on him in the end."The Crybaby:
From an anonymous reader: "The guy who bitches about: the weather, the water fountain, the rules, the court, the wind, the net, the rim, his shoes, his socks, his health, each person there, his high school's coach who cut him or sat him, any play (calls something every time he's beat), etc. (To the crybaby, I say: GET STOKED! You are shooting hoops. Life is short.)"The Rhythm Guy:
From an anonymous reader: "Super talented, extremely quick, great hops and makes aesthetically pleasing moves. Makes that WOW play every so often. Can even be the hands-down best player on the floor for stretches, leaving someone who's never seen him play in awe. But really just an average player that lacks basic basketball skills necessary to be a consistent force at any level. This is a guy that when he hits that rythm (once every 10 games), can be devestating. But overall, he is constantly struggling, even again weak competition."The Girl:
From AK Dave: "Girls in pickup ball present a slew of issues, but the biggest one is the most obvious. If you are unfortunate enough to draw their defensive assignment, or if they somehow get switched onto you, its like driving in the 'double traffic fines' lane. Fuck up just THIS much, and you're going to pay for it. Any mistake you made will be greeted with an 'OOOOOOOOOOOoooooohhh!!! DAMN! SHE JUST SCHOOOOOOOOLED YOU!' Similarly, if she manages to hit a jumper, grab a rebound, or complete a pass in your general vicinity, you've been 'clowned.' By a girl!
"The girl might be really good -- I've seen girls who can fill it up from 3 and possess strong fundamentals. On the other hand, she might be really bad, in which case she is a sort of handicap, but the difference is, she also is a sort of 'built-in excuse' for the team she is playing on. Of course, whoever uses that excuse is a douche, but I think 'the douche' was one of your player archetypes as well, no?"The Deceptively Good Jumper:
From SirGirthNasty: "I'd call myself the 'Deceptively Good Jumper.' I'm only 5'10" and 170lbs. However, I suffer from Chicken leg-itis, and this somehow makes players think I probably can't jump. Through some bizarre twist of fate, I'll always be playing against someone with calf muscles that look like they were forged from iron and the suffering of children. But as it turns out, I frequently am a better leaper and as a result I get a lot of blocks in typical games. One night in my league, after about 17 blocks which made my ego become astronomically over-sized, someone commented 'How the fuck are you doing that with your skinny ass legs?' The answer: I have no fucking idea. It just happens. Now if I could just develop a better outside shot..."The Zero Effort Guy:
From an anonymous reader: "Although he has decent fundamental skills, he constantly refuses to show any form of effort. Not hustling after loose balls, not playing any defense or offense, trotting around the court, not setting picks or literally doing anything. Actually he is making his teammates wonder why he even plays the game. The only time you'll even notice him is when he chucks up a lazy 3-pointer or occasionally blocking a shot, which he uses as excuse for another 5 mins of doing nothing again."The Excuse:
: "This guy has an excuse for anything he does, right or wrong (however, excuses are usually made for what he does wrong). Whether he can't run the floor because he just got done with a triathalon earlier in the day (barefoot!), or whether his shot is off because of that time his hand was broken from punching through a wall to save children in a burning house, he has an excuse for everything."The And-1 Guy:
: "He has nothing but highlight reels in his head--which almost never really translates to the game. He's the one who dribbles through your leg just to miss the layup. He also trys to create overly exaggerated crossovers and spin moves en route to an almost guaranteed turnover. Every possession becomes his personal audition for the And-1 Mixtape Tour. Essentially, his only value is his moderate ball-handling skills. Everything else he does is laughable. He is often the New Gear Guy."The Asshole:
: "He's like the And-1 Guy, but he can actually score/pass/defend/etc. He's different from the Superstar because he has no class. Every posession is a blank canvas to embarass his defender(s). Instead of humbling greatness, he just wants everyone to know that he is the alpha dog, and that nobody on the court can compare. winning or losing is secondary to him being better than others and letting everyone know about it. He will also be the guy who, after a dunk on/over a middle-school kid, will get the ball, set it down on the floor for the opposing team to pick up, then casaully walk away with his nose in the air. Nobody wants this guy because of his Level-10 Douchebaggist Attitude."The Siamese Twins:
: "Technically, not one person, but two. They play on your "team" but effectively run the offense through themselves. They logically assume that you and the other teammates can not be trusted since they don't know your style of play and so exclude you from the game. Splitting the two apart will not do--they'll just go to another court, or leave if they don't get to play together."The Overdribbler:
From Hellshocked: "Every league I've played in has at least one. This is the guy who has every single And-1 mix tape memorized and whose sole purpose on the court is to cross people over. He is not happy unless he is playing point guard even though the only pass he knows is the no-look turnover. If he actually manages to drop someone he will howl for 30 seconds about the breaking of ankles and act as if he has just hit the game winning shot even though his team is down 20. In my experience, these guys are typically bad shooters. It is almost as if they were given a basketball but lacked access to a rim so their ball handling is all they ever worked on."The Good Fat Guy:
From Hellshocked: "Deceptively quick (at least for the pickup league), decent in the post, good shooter. Can use his bulk to defend taller players in the post and to get his shot off. Think Glen Davis."The Bad Fat Guy:
From Hellshocked: "Never runs on defense, barely makes it to the free-throw line on offense, a foul waiting to happen. Can set a damn good screen if he ever gets in position, however, and his profuse sweating makes him a pain to defend. Think Michael Sweetney minus all the skills that got him to the NBA."The Resident Tough Guy:
From Hellshocked: "For some reason, every league has a dude that most people just try to avoid upsetting. It could be that every time he is fouled it leads to a needless argument, it could be that he is bigger and stronger than anyone else, he might have killed a man with his bare hands or maybe he just takes any opportunity available to out-shout everyone. He is generally not very good but is treated like a star. As in prison, a good, quick, hard foul on this guy is a quick way to earn respect."The Stranger in a Strange Land:
From Hellshocked: "The guy who isn't from the area, the city or perhaps even the country who is playing at that specific court for the first time. They don't know the tacit norms that govern the style of play (he might be a much more physical defender than is typically tolerated in the league, for example, or the very opposite). He is typically quiet, rarely makes calls and does his best to blend in and become "the roleplayer". He is typically afforded more leniency, especially if he does not speak the language."The Jargon Abuser:
From Heretic: "The guy who has no idea WTF he's saying but will yell it out regardless of the situation. Examples include:
"Watch the weak side!!" when the team is just trotting up the courtThe Fat Guy/Smoker/Terribly Out-Of-Shape Guy:
"Zone! Zone! Zone!" When clearly they're playing man to man
"Watch the pick and roll!" when a guy is posting up
"They're coming at us with the Triangle offense!" when 3 guys in a row make passes without dribbling.
: "Even by the often-low standards of the pick-up court, this guy loses his wind embarassingly fast. Often interesects with the Tall Guy, and will quickly morph into The Handicap."The Hell-Just-Froze-Guy:
From Geert: "A player who can't play, never knows where to run, barely knows the concept of screens but not how to set or roll of them and can't play defense. His assigned defender can play of him to doubleteam or play help defense a lot, and still he never gets the ball. But then suddenly his teammates get him the ball (out of pity or emergency) and he suddenly hits a weird long range shot or makes a spectaculair drive with an awkward spinmove or backwards layup, and his defender feels stupid because he left him alone once again."The Highlight Reel Guy:
From gebwel: "The guy who insists on recreating/imitating ESPN's recent Top 10 plays, regardless of his ability and/or the situation. he'll throw a behind the backboard shot - just because kobe did it the night before - when a simple layup will do. or he'll try a jason williams-style no look pass from halfcourt, even if there's not a single opponent between him and a teammate waiting under the basket."The 1-Layup Wonder:
From an anonymous reader: "Does one type of layup -- in our league, it´s a young dude with no skills always going for the reverse layup -- which is really nice, since it´s like once you figured him out, he gets easy to defend."The Bad Breath Guy:
From an anonymous reader: "It seems that this bastard cannot resist eating a tuna sandwich minutes before playing. Or, worse, he's one of those coffee drinking guys who never ever brushes teeth, resulting in that foul deep deep deep rot air that gets expelled into your face because, of course, you will have to guard him."The Crossover Carry Guy:
From an anonymous reader: "Another clown who watches too much Mixtape reruns. The ball magically floats shoulder high, cradled between palm and forearm for a 2 count (maybe a 3 or a 4) as he shakes and bakes, oblivious to the infraction he's blatantly committing. He gets sour when called on it, stops doing it for a few possessions, but then, of course, reverts."The Sweat Bomb:
From an anonymous reader: "Dude the flow from your sweat glands is rivaled only by the flood sluices on the 3 Gorges Dam. It never dawns on you to bring more than one shirt does it. No, didn't think so."Mr. Swag:
From an anonymous reader: "This guy walks around like he's God...He doesn't really say much to anyone. He is clearly the best player on the floor. He makes an effort to make every move look effortless. He constantly looks like he is disintersted and merely going through the motions. He routinely passes up wide open looks. He can seemingly take over the game whenever he pleases, yet he waits until game is in duece to exert any effort and typically he is pretty successful. No matter what this guy always acts like he would rather be somewhere else and he is just killing time. He never calls a foul no matter how hard he is hacked. He always leaves it to the opponent to call the foul for him."The And 1 Faux Prophet Clown:
From an anonymous reader: "Guy gets fouled while shooting, calls out AND ONE no matter how poor a shot it is or how remote its chances of actually finding the hole. Great fun is had by me pointing out every single time that 1) we are not shooting foul shots in this particular game but if he likes we could take a minute to vote on changing the format of the pick up game to accommodate his wishes to shoot foul shots and 2) his shot has to actually go in for it to qualify for the claim of AND ONE, which, because of his clear lack of skill, did not happen."The Line Hawk Last Touch Hawk:
From an anonymous reader: "Even if this dude doesn't have a decent angle to make the call of ball in or out, he makes the call. In his team's favor. He could be lollygagging up the court trailing on a fast break but will, with great conviction, declare that the ball was dribbled on the baseline or went out off an opposing player 60 feet ahead of him. The probability of one of these bullshit calls increases logarithmically as game point nears."The Cherrypicker:
: "Assuming you're playing in a full-court game, this is the guy who makes a half-ass effort to get back on defense (when really, he's just tooling around near half-court line). He's going to wait for his teammates to get the rebound then demand it be passed to him cause he's, like, totally open. He could be considered a lay-up all-star, just don't make him play defense."The Escaped Prisoner:
From an anonymous reader: "I play in a league with some interesting dynamics. The Escaped Prisoner is a product of one local Native American Crime Family. Every once in while one of the family gets outta jail after knifing somebody or stealing fish from the fish ladders. They hone their bball skills every day and pack on a ton of muscle while locked up. The Escaped Prisoner delights in punishing us softies and releasing their years of frustration on the court in violent fashion. If you want to win you must shoot jump shots. Going in the lane means losing teeth."The Martyr:
From an anonymous reader: "When you go thru the whole game getting everyone involved making sure theyre actively engaged, then when game point comes, you drop everything, full court press old ladies, undercut priests and prepare to eat everyone's children if that's what it takes to seal the 'W'." See also Pickup Martyr
.The Shelless Turtle:
From an anonymous reader: "Kind of like the Stranger in a Strange Land but instead you stop playing to your strengths and continuously try to do all the things you don't normally do to either a) display your well-roundedness and/or b) because some ahole said you couldn't do those things and you hate stereotypes."The Samurai:
From TransINSANO: "Think Kobe Bryant when he's doing his Black Mamba act. This guy takes things way too seriously, basketball is his way of life and he is super focused at it, or at least he wants you to think so. Even if his friend suffers a bad ankle sprain and can't play anymore, instead of offering to help or take him home, he'll just say, "you ok?" and keep playing. Good or bad, he's playing every possession as if it's the most important thing you've ever seen."The One-and-Done:
: "Guy who looks, at the start of the game, to be one of the less-favorable stereotypes on the list. However, he gets the ball on the 2nd or 3rd possession and nails a long jumper or executes a great drive to the hoop for a layup. You think your initial impression was wrong, and try to feed him the ball on the next few possessions, but your initial impression was right -- he actually has no game -- it just so happens that his "Hell froze over" moment came the first time he touched the ball."The Shaver:
From an anonymous reader: "The guy who is so sickened by having to play on the same team with the scorer or the siamese twins that he will do anything in his power to make sure his team loses. He will often resort to matador defense coupled with no offensive effort. He has been known to run down the court and keep running right to the showers without uttering a word."The Brother:
From an anonymous reader: "The brother tags along with his kin very infrequently. They play as a pair, and the brother bringing him along has an apparent 'mothering' need to teach him the fundamentals during play. The brother IMMEDIATELY fills the role of the traveller and the handicap simultaneously, however worsened by the fact that big brother will consistently pass him the ball to give him the chance to shoot, effectively bringing the level of effort in game to a 0.2. People usually like the the guy who brings his brother, as he may often be the role player. The tragic tandem seldom leads to any satisfying gameplay, and is an auto W for the opposing team."The "I Score Or It's A Foul" Guy:
: "My friend is this guy. He will debate you, show him the skin where you slapped him, and bitch until you want to go home if you don't give him the foul. Funny because he's also the "Superstar" too being a former college player."The Decoy:
From Blue Mouse: "This is the guy that has something weird about him -- maybe a hairy mole on his forearm, or blood trickling down his shirt from his sensitive nipples -- and it distracts you from the game, allowing him to get the drop on you."The Wil Wheaton:
From Blue Mouse: "Generally a new player that is eager to impress the vets. He usually yells, "Good D!" after getting hacked and will call a foul on himself despite only grazing his man."The Honest Abe:
From LA Huey
: "He willingly calls violations on himself that nobody suspected (ie. reverse possession call because he actually touched it last). He also only calls fouls that the NBA called in the 80s. But even then, its usually because the foul was so obvious or painful that other player insist he take it.
btw, good work here. The pick-up ball guides and narratives have always been my favorites."The Glue/The Difference
From Cody A
: "The Glue is the guy that makes a team work. He's usually not the best at anything but he sees things that other guys don't and brings the team together. In a 3 on 3 game with rotating teams, his team always ends up winning, even though he's not the best player. Can often be negated by The Cancer."The Cancer
From Cody A
: "A good player in games of 21 and 1 on 1, but struggles in a game situation due to his own inattentiveness. Can score well in patches, can't play help defense and misses guys who are wide open. Can be helped by having good passing players on his team."The Kamikaze:
From JKain: "This Guy hits the floor on the end of every head-down-drive to the hoop, always chucking up a shot during the fall- more often than not resulting in an airball. Most of the time without any contact like he stumbled over his own feet. Think of a talentless D-Wade without foul-calls.
Sometimes looks like he fought a hell-of-a war out there afterwards...just without really contributing anything (other than hurting his team...and himself)."The I-Have-This-Old-Injury Guy:
from milaz: "He sits back on defense because he has an old ankle injury, of course from playing basketball. He gets the rebound and throws the ball down to offense like its american football and expects his teammates to score. If they don't he whines and looks at them like they failed him. He comes down court for an occasional three that he misses... due to that injury. He can't move much, but wants to play. He won't play all out but the rest of his teammates should."
Labels: pickup basketball, The Pickup Diaries