(Originally written by B.C. on November 27, 2013)
I’ll keep this brief, but if you play the game of basketball on a regular basis such as myself, then chances are that you have one or more things that just drive you nuts whenever you step foot on a basketball court. Whether you’re playing the game at an advanced level in the collegiate or professional ranks, or you’re an everyday guy like me who has a love for the game, and enjoys getting the opportunity to stay in shape by having fun in the process, then you’ve come across a few annoyances–that may or may not–make your visit to the gym somewhat less pleasurable. Here’s the rundown of some of my personal basketball pet peeves, as seen from a pick-up basketball player/rec league player perspective:
1. Players who take all damn day to get a game started
That’s right. We’ve all been in these situations where you just wanna start playing. You may be that person who only has a just enough time to squeeze a couple games into your already hectic schedule, and you watch in frustration as the guys who are up to play sit around and decide to get some extra stretching in, want to take 20 or so extra jump shots so that their jumper will be on point during the games (although that person who needs all of those extra shots usually never had a jumper anyway), and the two homeboys who probably carpooled to the gym together who decide that this is the best time to chat and reminisce on past good times.
2. Excessive Arguing
I’m gonna paraphrase the title of a classic street ball video game (The actual title of the game was “Barkley, Shut Up and Jam” in reference to the NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, who the game was named after) when I say “Shut Up and Play!” Undoubtedly, excessive arguing and complaining by players often stems from the lack of referees who can control the flow of a game with their enforcement of the official rules. However, some players like to argue just to get their point across, and dealing with hotheads such as these often prove nerve wracking to their opposing teams, but also many of their teammates as well.
3. Funky, crusty, musty, offensive, and oftentimes downright flagrant hygiene
Now, I know that this one can be a little tricky, because we ARE all out here running around working up a sweat, right? This is true, but I was told sometime ago that there’s nothing worse than “funk on top of funk”. There’s no shame in showering before playing, or at the very least, making good use of that stick of deodorant before running out there on the court. This definitely applies to those of you who love to go shirtless during play, while being touchy feely and physical with other players. We would all love to instill a little fear and apprehension into our opposition when we step foot onto the basketball court, but one thing that we definitely should not aspire to do is to be untouchable on the court because your body odor has rubbed off on everyone’s shirts. Not a good idea at all.
4. Bootleg general managers and their questionable draft picks
I know that we’re not being drafted into the NBA, but the team selection process works a certain way on the pick-up hoops scene, except it’s done on a much smaller scale. The team captains will decide to pick up their brother, cousin, friend, or even worse, that guy who isn’t even in the gym yet while there’s 7 or 8 other players on the sideline who are laced up and ready to roll.
5. Dusty and slippery courts
You ever see basketball players constantly wipe the bottom of their sneakers during breaks in play? That’s because the floor that they’re playing on is dusty, and causes players to slide all over the court like they stepped on some greased banana peels, which increases the chance of a freak injury or accident. Someone call the gym’s janitor….ASAP.
6. The undercutters, Edward Scissorhands, and low-down dirty basketball cheap shot artists
These are the players, generally older players who are past their athletic prime, or those who never had an ounce of athleticism to begin with. These are also the players who secretly resent the high-flying above-the-rim type of players. They’ll do anything in their power to ensure that these “showboats” not show them up on the court, and when I say they’ll do anything, I mean ANYTHING. They’ll grab you, step on your shoes so that you can’t jump for the rebound, hit you with quick and dirty elbows to the gut, and sliding their feet up under the jumpshooter that they’re defending so that the jumpshooter will be greeted with a nasty and ankle twisting surprise when he lands from taking his shot. Perhaps the worse tactic that they use is the one that takes a player’s legs out from him whenever he takes flight to lay the ball in and/or dunk. Chances are that these guys aren’t gonna pay your medical bill in the even that they succeed to severely injure you, so try your best to avoid these types of players as much as possible. Even better, if you’re a team captain, don’t pick them at all.
7. That one player who happens to own the only ball in the gym, and decides to leave after the first game
This player falls under the “I’m Mad That I Can’t Play With The Big Kids, So I’m Taking My Toy Home With Me So That No One Else Can Play Either” category.
Other than these slight on-court grievances, I have a great time!