cable guy ball

Update! 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:

"Shoot it!"

"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.

From clicc916: "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: From Japes: "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: From Edamamepyjamas: "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: From LotharBot: "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: From LotharBot: "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: From LotharBot: "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: From David: "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: From clicc916: "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: From clicc916: "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: From clicc916: "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: From clicc916: "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 court

"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.
The Fat Guy/Smoker/Terribly Out-Of-Shape Guy: From BleedingHeartPessimist: "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: From clicc916: "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: From Clifton: "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: From pl: "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: ,

121 Comments:
Anonymous Marc d. said...
How bout The Frequent Traveller? 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

Anonymous Mike said...
Hahaha...you are right on the money with these descriptions. I think I have one more though, the new gear guy. 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

Blogger BadDave said...
Don't forget the Judging Guy. You know - the one that writes articles about everybody.

I can confidently say I play just like Charles Barkley. In a chair, making snarky comments while eating los submarinos.

Blogger Japes said...
How about 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.

Anonymous Heretic said...
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.

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.

Blogger Edamamepyjamas said...
These are great. I've loved the series so far. I had one to add:

"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.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Post updated with reader submissions.

Blogger LotharBot said...
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.

Blogger David said...
Shouldn't "Sir Hacks a'Lot" be in here somewhere?

A defensive player who's "defense" consists of constant fouling whenever he's beaten by his man. Possibly a dirty player. Universally hated.

Anonymous Bateman's Legal Counsel said...
The "Once in a Blue Moon" Guy: 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.

Anonymous UpA said...
I used to play with my Literature teacher, a 300 pounds 6' 50 year-older, the first time I played a one on one with him I thought it was going to be my easiest game, boy, the man was tough and a great shooter, good rebounder and a hell of a face to face defender, his down point was speed which he made up by running the floor more intelligently than fast. I call this type of guys, The Understated, the kind of guy that no one cares about in the first stages of the game but ends up killing you. He's the direct opposite of the DAG. He will show up rocking a pair of old running shoes, sweat pants and a 100 year old t-shirt, most probably features a good belly and even maybe wear specs and a head band.

Beware of a guy who cares too less in image a too much on his shooting habilities....

Anonymous Bateman's Legal Counsel said...
Let's not forget "The Chucker"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOhvYhyzKjM

Anonymous Anonymous said...
There is also the Rock In The Stream. 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.

Anonymous kaos021 said...
Definitely the crafty veteran; those old guys are the worst to play with considering you get an elbow in the back or side every time they are near you.

On that same level, the rugby player is probably worse. 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.

Anonymous illogicaljedi said...
teh "unassumingly good basketball player"...he comes to the park looking like hes part of another subculture in which he probably is or at least dabbles in (ie 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.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The Crybaby

-the guy who bitches about: the weather, the waterfountain, 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.)

Blogger senormedia said...
The Crafty Old Vet Little Big Man* Role Player who can morph into The Hustle Guy depending on how much caffeine or 5-hour-energy I've had that afternoon.


*does 5'10" count as little for the purposes of the pickup diaries?

I used to get called baby Shaq a lot, but now at 47 it appears that the knees/legs may be finally ready to give up the ghost after 40years of banging inside with bigger players.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
the rythm guy-

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.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
"The Girl"

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?

Anonymous SirGirthNasty said...
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...

Anonymous SirGirthNasty said...
Also, there's a guy that I play in a church league with that has absolutely no discernible value to your team other than his grip of death. He's over 50, overweight, and often moves about the court like an impaired WW2 veteran. But god help you if a rebound happens to come in his direction. There is no way you can slap it away from him. And since there's generally no 3 second rule, he'll keep pump-faking the ball until you get tired of feebly attempting to strip the ball and he'll always score. It happens so often that people (myself included) get pumped if someone gets the ball from him.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The Zero Effort guy:

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.

Blogger clicc916 said...
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.

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?

Blogger clicc916 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Kyle said...
Where's The Ref?! The Ref knows always knows the score and and sees every foul, tipped ball, double dribble, travel, palming, and several other made up fouls. He also has the ability to rationalize every call against his team as either "cheap" or "in retaliation." The Ref calls almost every instance of contact against him as a foul. Unfortunately for The Ref, since he has no power and ends up slowing the game with his constant arguing, the only recourse is to shoot for it, which only ever occurs to him after several minutes of arguments.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Wow. A lot of good submissions. I'll update the post in a while.

Blogger Sid said...
Spot on with the names. About the shooter, I'd have thought you'd call the long range contested two-pointer the Kobe. Can it be the Mamba hate is simmering down?

Possible typo noticed:

If he actually gets the shot off, it's almost always either an airball and a brick.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
The Overdribbler:

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.

Edit: clicc919 already beat me to it with his "The And-1 Guy".

The Good Fat Guy:

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:

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:

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:

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.

Anonymous Heretic said...
The jargon abuser - 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 court

"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.


The Fouler - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SYUYWAvfWw

Anonymous Heretic said...
@ sid

Lebron hate stock has skyrocketed past kobe hate. I'm almost convinced the whole "The Decision" fiasco was masterminded by Kobe's publicist.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
I'm like 4 of these. Love this post

The Fat Guy/Smoker/Terribly out-of-shape guy. 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.

Anonymous Geert said...
The Hell-Just-Froze-Guy. 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.

Anonymous toughjuicepech0 said...
The Apologizer: That one dude who just feels the need to say sorry for any little mistake. Even if he misses a good look, he begs for forgiveness.

The Sore Loser: Oftentimes, he is seen as a competitor but it really is that he just wants to win a game. He won't necessarily do what he needs in the clutch, but will immediately try to start a new game. He might claim to have a disorder like MJ, but he won't put in the time or anything.

Anonymous UpA said...
@Heretic:

"The Stranger in a Strange Land:"

Ha! Been there, done that!

Paris & Toronto, it gets wierder on places you have no idea what the rest of the guys are saying! You never know if they are making fun of you or saying you are a douche!

And yes, you try just to blend into the mass,

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Post updated with more submissions.

Anonymous gebwel said...
highlight reel guy: 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.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The "1-Layup-wonder" 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

Anonymous Anonymous said...
THE BAD BREATH GUY
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
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
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.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Mr. Swag-

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.

Anonymous gebwel said...
oh, and perhaps you should add another trait to the superstar: the guy who always demand (and get) superstar calls, i.e. calling you for a foul for breathing within 1 feet of his layup attempt, demanding a jumpball when it's clearly a block, etc.
we understand that they're super-skilled and all, but it's frustrating when your good play on them end up in vain just because they refused to be beaten by lesser players. fortunately, their superstar aura will make people agree on their calls most of the time.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
THE AND 1 FAUX PROPHET CLOWN
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.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
LINE HAWK LAST TOUCH HAWK
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.

Blogger clicc916 said...
I forgot to mention
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.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Perhaps this is assumed with The Big Man or The Tall Guy, but similar to The Frequent Traveler is The Frequent 3 Second Violation. Both on defense and offense, this guy just does not understand the concept of how badly he is camping. Since the call is generally not called in pickup games, it can go over 8 seconds before the first violation is called out.

Also, immediately renamed The Zero Effort Guy as The Amare the instant I read it. /facepalm

Blogger Leland said...
He's able to set a screen when you call for it, and even able to iniate a pick and roll with the ball handler via eye contact. However, he never, ever, ever rolls to the hoop. You can't even run the pick and pop with this guy because he can't shoot outside of 10 feet and more than likely his hands are at his side so when you do kick the ball back he either misses the pass completely or fumbles it allowing the defense to recover.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Also, immediately renamed The Zero Effort Guy as The Amare the instant I read it. /facepalm

What really hurts is that I thought the same thing. Oh well, now he's New York's problem! High five!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The Escaped Prisoner: 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.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The Martyr: 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".

The Shelless Turtle: 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.

Anonymous jpaw said...
hey bawful just a question for you, how do your pickup "leagues" work? i play at 24 hour fitness mostly or a few outdoor parks when i get bored and its just whoever is there gets the games going and people call next. so when you say you have a league you mean like you have the same 10 to 15 guys show up once or twice a week or what?

i've been reading your blog since livin large and love it and the pickup league thing has always made me wonder.

Anonymous Nick said...
Collegehumor video--11 types of pickup basketball player

http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1772698

Anonymous TransINSANO said...
The Samurai: 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.

Blogger Clifton said...
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.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The Shaver - 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.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"The Brother"

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.

Anonymous Black and White said...
I was playing against a ''The Hell-Just-Froze-Guy'' the other day and he made a baseline shot with the board to win the game... I almost cried, lol.

Anonymous pl said...
Where the "I score or else 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.


There's also the "Athlete (tall/long/can run) but can't put the ball in the hoop to save his life" guy. He'll surprise you with some blocks and rebounds, but god help you if you pass him the ball for an open layup.

Anonymous Blue Mouse said...
The Decoy: 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.

Anonymous Blue Mouse said...
The Wil Wheaton: 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.

Anonymous LA Huey said...
I'd like to suggest renaming Kyle's "The Ref" to "The 'Sheed".
There's also the "Honest Abe". 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.

Blogger Sid said...
I've met the half court cherry picker. Selfish bastard.

Evil Ted put a vid out of another type, the hardwood bastard.
How to be a Hardwood Bastard

Blogger Cody A said...
The Glue/The Difference

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

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.

Blogger Gus and Emma said...
The "Double-Edged Sword" has been driving me crazy for decades. He can't miss when he's on the other team, but as soon as he ends up on my team, he turns into Game 7 John Starks. Is my game just that toxic, or did he use it all up when he was going against me?

Anonymous TransINSANO said...
Speaking of player types and their foibles, I found this STATue photo funny:
www.skullknight.net/griffith/STATue.jpg

If a picture says 1000 words, this one tells you all you need to know about the AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE SKILLS ACADEMY. I think that's an actual action shot of him demonstrating his patented "STATue defense."

Also, quick addendum to "The Samurai," last line should have said, "Good or bad, he's playing every possession as if he's curing cancer." Conveys the meaning better.

Anonymous JKain said...
Regarding "the unassumingly good basketball player"- I initally thought of him as "The Woody"- u know,referencing harrelsons role on that Perez-boobs flick (although that name might be...ill-advised)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"the only tries if hes on a good team guy" ie me. if he with a team that will pass the ball around and get the ball to the hot hand and everyone plays defense they will actually play hard (rebound, go for lose balls and do what it take to win), but if he is with a bunch of busters who like jacking up contested 25 footer he will just walk up and down the court waiting to shoot free throws to play with the next team

Anonymous JKain said...
The Kamikaze: 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).

likewise a sub-category of the and-1 guy...just so pathetic it's almost entertaining at the beginning- a running(then falling)Gag

Anonymous milaz said...
Excellent summary of pickup basketball types. And I am sure most of us feel we are in different category than the one others see us in... but anyway... they could have read "when you do ", b/c in different situations we do different things and with different teammates we react and play differently. I have noticed though that as you get older the way you play changes as well. And it depends on how tired you are, etc... as a team sport chemistry matters...

There is one more type:
I-have-this-old-injury: 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.

Anonymous Stockton said...
On nba.com, on the Howard signing:

"With Howard signed, the Heat now have an inside corps of himself, Bosh, Haslem, Joel Anthony, Jamaal Magloire, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and rookie Dexter Pittman. "

Isn't there a typo?... I read CORPSES instead of corps...

Blogger Basketbawful said...
hey bawful just a question for you, how do your pickup "leagues" work? i play at 24 hour fitness mostly or a few outdoor parks when i get bored and its just whoever is there gets the games going and people call next. so when you say you have a league you mean like you have the same 10 to 15 guys show up once or twice a week or what?

My leagues work like this. You pay a set fee for a six or eight week session (where the next session begins shortly after the current one ends). The same 10-20 guys show up each week, with new guys showing up occasionally to replace people who quit or "retire." We shoot up teams at the start of the night, shuffle people around to make things even (when necessary) and play as many games to 21 (by 1s and 2s) as we can in 1.5 hours (usually 3-4 games).

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Ball Screen Guy: No offensive skills and he knows it, but he wants to contribute to the teams success in the best way he knows how...The Ball Screen. Notice, I did not say Screen and Roll. He does not want the ball, and the defense knows this fact. Ball Screen Guy always leads to the double team trap while he watches you struggle, never removing his hands from his nuts.

Outlet Pass QB: Made popular with the hype around Kev Love's skill set and its rise in popularity. This guy is the cherry pickers best friend. The pocket is the baseline and he is not getting sacked. He gives new meaning to the Farve term "Gunslinger"

Anonymous michalbulhakov said...
The 5-year old. Pretty much the same as The Frequent Traveller but with a bonus feature: if you call his violations he'll respond by calling it on you in revenge, even though you don't travel. Usually ends up getting the boot.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
How bout the one-move wonder? A guy that has only one move. I know this dude on my court that always drives left and shoots this really awkward fadeaway with his left hand from anywhere 15 feet and in off the glass, and it always goes in. You know its coming, he knows he's gonna do it and you still can't stop it. Although to be fair he recently added a crossover to mix things up.

Blogger Dooj said...
The My-Fault guy: No matter what happens on the court, it's this guy's fault. If you hack him, he'll say, "No foul, I should be stronger." It's nice to have for a little while, but gets frustrating later.

Anonymous nomyork said...
The Hardcore-Softcore Guy: he plays the most intense defense, hacks like hell and his elbows will be on a collision course with your head on every rebound. but he has of course never commited a foul and if you call one on him, you will get a duncan-like stare down.
but as soon as the basketball is in his hands, even the softest breaze can be used as a bail-out call, every slight hit is an attempt to kill or at least seriously injure him.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
While we're sharing, here's how the pickup games I've participated in work/worked.

1) In university (University of Waterloo), we played full court 5-on-5 as soon as there were enough people. Teams were generally made by shooting free throws, although given that it was nine years ago I don't totally remember. One weird, and in my opinion very bad, rule was that if you hadn't played yet, you could always get on the next run. In other words, you could bump people who had been waiting for 45 minutes. Lame. We played to 11 with one's and two's. The gym was generally open all afternoon every day, and I took full advantage of it in 4th year with four classes that I didn't care about. A glorious semester of balling, drinking and little schoolwork. Heaven.

2) These days I play at the University of Toronto, generally with a bunch of other old farts (late twenties/early thirties) who aren't students any more but just like playing ball. We play halfcourt 4's (U of T is nicknamed "halfcourt heaven"), usually to 9 dead when it's busy, with everything one point. In typical pickup style there's still plenty of shotjackery from 3, even though there's no extra points for the distance. The same core group has been playing for 5-8 years, and we usually make teams amongst ourselves to get the next run. There's a trickle of randoms and new blood into the game, but the same core people are almost always around. On a busy day there are 3-4 teams waiting for the next run; if you get on a team with scrubs, you're hosed.

Weeknights are insanely busy and I don't go; weekends there's typically a good game from about 1.30-5pm.

So, bawfulers on vacation and looking for a run in Toronto.. U of T athletic center, weekend afternoons. Call 'em first to make sure there's ball that day.

Anonymous AK Dave said...

Anonymous Marc d. said...
@The Other Chris:

I went to UoW as well (small world), but didn't really get into ball until my post-grad at Western. They had a similar set-up there, except without the stupid bumping rule.

I always liked to show up real early, shoot around, play 2-2, then 3-3, then 4-4, by the time it gets to 5-5, you are fully warmed up and ready to hold court against the newcomers

Blogger Lord Kerrance said...
@ Other Chris and Marc D:

Crazy small world: I also went to Waterloo. Only played there a handful of times, though; I grew up in Kitchener and preferred my local games over the games at the PAC. The "fresh bump" rule seems to be localized to Waterloo; all the courts I've plasyed here have it, while none of the (admittedly few) courts I've played outside the city have it.

Anonymous Heretic said...
The Crowd Pleaser - He is a solid role player when playing standard 5 on 5 but if there is a crowd watching (or if there are any women at all watching) then he will morph into the holy trinity of The Scorer, The And-1 guy and The Over Dribbler. Once in a while he may marinate that pure bawfulness with The Excuse guy as a way of explaining to the crowd why every single move he makes results in the ball careening out of bounds.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
@Marc d. and Lord Kerrance

Water-water-water!

Well given that many thousands of undergrads attend UW, it's not *that* much of a coincidence.

Ah, the PAC. Nice courts, tiny locker room, terrible weight room. The facilities at U of T are much nicer overall. Given that UW consists mostly of unathletic computer dorks who would care less if the entire building imploded tomorrow, this is not surprising.

Waterloo anecdote: I played pickup with Mano Watsa a couple of times, when he was an assistant coach for the varsity team. Ridiculous how much better he was than everyone else without even trying. He was just goofing around, but still cool.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Doesn't Waterloo mean Toilet Water? There is the extent of my knowledge on Waterloo.

Turkoglu's official new team member introduction starts soon. I'm considering literally drowning myself in German beer.

Blogger BadDave said...
AD Dave - It's deliciosity!

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
@AnacondaHL

BALL

Blogger Lord Kerrance said...
@ Ana: As a Raptors fan I can't believe I'm saying this, but Hedo might work out for Los Suns. He needs lots of touches (that is to say, "ball") and space to be effective, and no one provides that like Nash. Secondly, Toronto is waaay more of a club city than Phoenix (to my knowledge), so he won't get in the same kind of trouble that he did here.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Turkoglu's official new team member introduction starts soon. I'm considering literally drowning myself in German beer.

Call me crazy, but I have this weird feeling like Turkododo won't be horrible for the Suns. If anybody can make this shit work, it's Steve Nash.

Blogger chris said...
Lord Kerrance:

Thank you for bringing up Toronto's bawful team, which allows me to bring this up once more.

:D

Blogger Knockitdownagain said...
The Bald Guy: The reasonably in-shape guy who disguises his male pattern baldness by shaving his head, which makes him look deceptively fierce and competitive but usually doesn't translate to putting the ball through the hoop. Usually a combination Sweat Bomb, Swag, or Shooter with Crafty Old Vet. Often a cherry picker, never an Honest Abe, and his shiny sweat sheen on his shaved dome serves as a Decoy.
Bonus points for having a lumpy head or weird shot form.

Anonymous Mads said...
I'll try adding a few:

The Dunker

The one guy in your pickup league who can actually make a few nice dunks when he is alone on the court. When the game starts, everyone tries to set him up for a dunk in trafic, on fast break, or of an alley oop pass (which ALWAYS results in a turnover). Even though he only manages to dunk once every second game, somehow everyone keep feeding him the ball whithout worrying about turnovers/their own shots/winning the game.

The New Black Guy

The new black guy who shows up, and who everyone expects to be good, and who ends up being guarded by one of the other teams better defenders. But then you figure out he sucks, and that the reason you haven't seen him before probably is, that he doesn't play a lot of basketball.

The New White Guy

The new white guys who shows up, and everybody expects to be bad, because they assume that the reason they haven't seen him before probably is, that he doesn't play a lot of basketball. This assumtion turns out to be correct about 90% of the time.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
No, this will be terrible. Shit contract aside, Phoenix now has TOO many 3 pt shooters and no one to fill the paint (Robin Lopez is seeming injury prone and Nash just can't consistently be aggressive to the paint). He's 31 and while I don't have PHX at 7 seed or lower (or out of the playoffs like most people predict), this mediocrity is just awful. I would have been happy with role players and fit pieces to replace STAT. Instead we get a logjam at SF and Turkopoo.

Anonymous Mladen said...
I played against a mutated version of "The Fouler" yesterday, which I would like to call "The Wolverine" (I hope nobody used that name already, because I didn't have the energy to read all the posts). I have the scratches to prove it.

Also, while we're on the subject, here's a little something from Sports Pickle:

NBA legend Michael Jordan ripped into the X-Men today, saying that if he had superpowers he never would have joined forces with other similarly gifted mutants. "There's no way I ever would have called up Wolverine, called up Storm and said: 'Hey, we should fight evil together,'" said Jordan. "No, I would have wanted to save the world by myself, competing with those mutants to do it. The X-Men are weak pussies. That's the truth." It was not clear whether Jordan was speaking hypothetically or if he thinks the X-Men are real, as he was into his seventh rum and coke at the Harrah's in Atlantic City. "I could still play in the NBA," he added.

http://www.sportspickle.com/might-have-heard:288/michael-jordan-says-the-x-men-were-a-bunch-of-weak-pussies

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The Sandbagger: Plays no defense, if he makes it back at all, but hauls ass down the court at the first sign of a turnover, rebound, etc., waving his arms and screaming for a pass.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
Turkoglou:

Turk is gonna average something like 16-7-5 next season with a handful of clutch shots. He was built for a team that is so focused on ball movement. He'll essentially be a better version of Boris Diaw back when D'Antoni had him playing C (or was it PF?). What this means for Phoenix's record, however, is debatable.

The problem with the Suns next season is they don't have any real finishers. Shooters galore, sure, but guys who can finish at the rim? Not so much. This is where Stoudemire's loss really hurts. For all his laziness and bullshit (and yes, he had to go no matter what) he would aggressively draw contact and get layups/dunks in traffic. Not too many players in the league can do that and certainly nobody else on that team.

Pickup Rules:

Down here (Dominican Republic) the general practice is to play to 21 (or in rarer cases, 31) but each basket is worth what its worth (2s are worth 2, 3s are worth 3).

Some courts have slightly different rules. I played with some guys once who counted and-1s. If you call a foul, the foul is accepted and the ball goes in it counts as a bucket. If it doesn't you get one free throw worth 2 points. You can't and-1 a game winner though. If you call a foul, you take it out from the sidelines or half court. Naturally this can lead to very aggressive play where a team is down 6 and starts fouling the hell out of their opponents until they're tied at 20.

Another court I played at had the rule that a team had to score three points in order to win, be it by a three point shot or two consecutive two pointers. If you are at 19+ and miss a basket your score goes back down to 18.

Most other countries I have played in they play to 21 with 2's being worth 1 point and 3's being worth 2 (or not allowed). I prefer the way we play down here because it makes for a more intense game. If a team isn't bringing it they can be out of there in 5 minutes. If both teams bring it the game can last upwards of 30 mins and resemble those glorious mid-90s Heat vs Knicks playoff battles.

Anonymous Adrià said...
@Hellshocked

I'm from Barcelona, Spain, and often play with and against dominican guys on "halfcourt" 3x3 (because the architect of the park was stupid and placed 3 rims ONE NEXT TO THE ANOTHER pointing to the same direction), but they play with hatable rules.

The first thing I don't like is that the offense is supposed to call fouls. Maybe you'll find it normal but I'm used to play with the defense calling fouls, and from my experience is harder to get in trouble. I don't say it's impossible, but you get what you give in most cases.

The second thing is that there is no three-second call. NEVER. You can park your truck there and have some beers and you'll be considered a fair player.

But the really moronic rule they impose is the no-need to get the ball to mid-court or out of the three-point line to change the team in control of the ball. Whoever rebounds the ball is allowed to score immediately.

So, if you join the three rules you'll have, as a result, what I call "Nightmare basketball":
5 guys going after a brick from 20 feet without calling any foul except from shooting fouls, and shooting at any opportunity they have though the karate chops served all around.
If you add that they call travel every 2 plays (with the correspondent never-ending arguing and yelling at each other) and that they are the same 15-20 people playing there for ages... Elm Street seems a lovely place.

I hate being 6'5" under this conditions, but spending some time there makes you feel like you went to the war, and lost, but at least you survived for revenge.

Peace for all.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
the double agent:

the guy on the other team that comes up to you when you have the ball and pretends to be on your team. frantically asks for the ball, and when you pass it to him, he instantly goes into the back court and makes a lay up.

i hate this guy. nothing destroys your credibility more than when your teammates realize that you're not entirely sure who's on your team. it's hard! 9 strangers i just met and i'm supposed to make split second decisions with the basketball. it's just instinct to pass it to whoever is most open, so i fall for this trick a lot. i don't have time to think about all the people on my team and match this guy with his hands up to some guy i just met; i just assume if he's calling for the ball that he's on my team. after i fall for it, none of my teammates pass me the ball, no one on the team tries to get open if i have the ball, and i have to second guess every time someone is open and wants it.

now that i can never get the ball, my only options are to get a rebound or to steal the ball. so when i do get the ball, i'm going to milk it for all it's worth. i know if i pass it, i'm not getting it back and i'll have to wait for another steal or rebound. i'm going to try to cross my defender out as many times as i can and do as many tricks possible until i inevitably fumble the ball. when it becomes a choice between an obvious travel and a terrible shot, then i'll catch it and jack up a contested fadeaway 3 pointer. sometimes i'll just travel and ignore it when everyone calls it and just keep dribbling until i get tired or bored and shoot it. it doesn't really matter if they call travel, they still have to get the ball back from me.

i'm actually a great teammate if my team passes me the ball and tries to get open and as long as no one on the other team tries to trick me. but if i realize i'm never getting the ball, i start looking out for myself and don't give a shit about the rest of the team. really, i don't want to play like that, but you try playing the game 1 vs 9 and tell me if you come up with a better option than a fadeaway 3!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
in case you were wondering, my record is 4. i've fallen for that trick 4 times in one game. the guy would walk up to me and ask really nicely, almost whispering, "hey why don't you give me the ball?" and "come on, give me the ball." he was just so damn convincing.

Anonymous Ak dave said...
I think the "Double Agent" should be its own WoTD. I'm with Anonymous: I hate that guy! I get suckered by it all the time :(

Anonymous Ben said...
The outdoor court near me is frequented by high schoolers that wear uniforms to school, which leads to every player wearing the same white t-shirt, and the basketball teams' purple shorts. Some of them take advantage, stand behind the three facing the basket as if they are on offense, and then put their hands up for a pass.

Blogger Clifton said...
Hey, I've seen The Kamikaze before. We just traded him for Turkododo.

Anonymous michalbulhakov said...
And of course there's always The Kendrick Perkins, it's the guy who genuinely believes he never commits fouls, so when he's called his face momentarily paints an image of pain and disgust, just as if he was standing in a bucket of excrements.

Blogger Will said...
I'm pretty sure the "double agent" anonymous is secretly Kobe.

Blogger Nick N said...
The Clown: The player who never takes the game even remotely seriously. He'll make a stupid play like trying to throw the ball to himself over your head, anhd when you snuff it out, he just starts cackling like the game is a big joke to everyone. This guy can either be hilarious when its just a few buddies shooting around, or infuriating on game point to stay on the floor.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I will seriously consider making The Double Agent a Word of the Day of the anonymous commenter gives me an attribution to use for the post. I want to give due credit.

Also, I will add the additional reader contributions later today.

Anonymous OneZero said...
my suggestion: The Copycat

dudes who tries to copy an NBA superstar's game but failed terribly since, the said superstar is a well...NBA superstar

the worst would be people trying to play like Kobe or AI and jack terrible shots

I personally tried to play more like CP3 mainly due to my size and stature, but thankfully he is a good example of a point guard.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
What about the Nate Robinson? A short guy who looks like he is just another undersized player with average athleticism and out of nowhere starts blocking Superstars cleanly on dunk attempts, makes dunks in traffic/tip jams, hits all kinds of crazy shots, great point guard skills, and is generally the best basketballer your local area will never know because he is only like 5 foot tall and no good team will take him seriously at that height.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
theres the kid, little kid shows up, has to beg to let older guys play, thought of as a handicap at first, then the game starts, and he lights it up

Anonymous Anonymous said...
theres the kid, has to beg everyone to let him play, after they reluctantly agree, the game begins, and...he lights it up, he becomes a pickup basketball favorite, and many of the older guys try to cultivate his talent

Anonymous grover said...
I'm a fan of the Fat 3 Baller version of the Role Player.

Dude comes out looking totally out of place, but his teammates who have played with him before have no qualms about it. They know he is on the court for a reason, and it's not athleticism.

Anonymous No Ring King said...
To me, the worst part about defending The Girl isn't getting beat, it's not knowing how to handle her physically.

One of the teams in our league had not only a girl, but one that was also very hot and very young. There's just no way I can put my forearm into her sweaty back or bump her without feeling like the world's filthiest old man.

Blogger Baooo said...
Hope this is not too late... I have a few college roomates who completely did not fit in any of the above (with so many already mentioned, just strange right?)... be prepared to be dazzled:

The Oreo: I know this is a highly controversial name, but it just works out that way – a black guy with a white man’s game. This type can even be extremely athletic (my roommate had a track scholarship) or has good handle. It’s just that he lacks the aggressiveness to ever penetrate or create contact with his slick handle and jackedness. So he often resorts to run around till he finds an open 3 spot.

The Growth Spurt: This guy was introduced to basketball as a guard. Then he experienced a ridiculous growth spurt, in the worst case at the very end of high school. He is then automatically chosen as the Tall Guy in college pickup ball. He has no post move, avoids contact, lacks the mentality to fight for rebound. At the same time, his growth has been so dramatic that his handle and shooting groove are completely lost with the new height and enormous hands. This guy is basically fucked by Nature.

The Fundamenster: While pickup ball is a time for many to goof off, this guy takes it seriously like a team death match. Often in the point guard position, he’s different from the stuperstar that while clearly the best player on the court, he still looks to pass the ball and get teammates into rhythm first. When all else fail, he moves lighting fast into the lane and drains a high arc, midrange jumper. He often avoids flashy move and take the most efficient as well as high percentage action. This guy is sometimes loathed by showboaters simply because his midrange skill kills them in an outright boring fashion.

The Theoretical Scientist: This guy is a religious viewer of the game, with a keen mind for analysis in things such as spacing and screen. Only problem is, he has just started playing, has not played much or outright has no ability. Depends on variations, this guy normally plays his ass off on defense because he knows that’s the only way that will help him avoid being the 12th man. He lacks the quickness for steal but causes many deflections, and is a great help defender. On offense, to make up for a lack of any skill, he voluntarily sets on ball screens, off ball screens, run around to disrupt the defense, and most importantly, makes the occasionally sneaky open layups

The Cotton Candy: Imagine a stick figure, and imagine every time that stick figure runs down the court, he does a spin move. And it's so sugary sweet that even though you know it's coming, you can't stop it. (If you don’t know how cotton candy is made: a stick is spun and swirled in a circle to gather up sugar in static form shooting out from a machine)

Blogger Baooo said...
Hope this is not too late... I have a few college roomates who completely did not fit in any of the above (with so many already mentioned, just strange right?)... be prepared to be dazzled:

The Oreo: I know this is a highly controversial name, but it just works out that way – a black guy with a white man’s game. This type can even be extremely athletic (my roommate had a track scholarship) or has good handle. It’s just that he lacks the aggressiveness to ever penetrate or create contact with his slick handle and jackedness. So he often resorts to run around till he finds an open 3 spot.

The Growth Spurt: This guy was introduced to basketball as a guard. Then he experienced a ridiculous growth spurt, in the worst case at the very end of high school. He is then automatically chosen as the Tall Guy in college pickup ball. He has no post move, avoids contact, lacks the mentality to fight for rebound. At the same time, his growth has been so dramatic that his handle and shooting groove are completely lost with the new height and enormous hands. This guy is basically fucked by Nature.

The Fundamenster: While pickup ball is a time for many to goof off, this guy takes it seriously like a team death match. Often in the point guard position, he’s different from the stuperstar that while clearly the best player on the court, he still looks to pass the ball and get teammates into rhythm first. When all else fail, he moves lighting fast into the lane and drains a high arc, midrange jumper. He often avoids flashy move and take the most efficient as well as high percentage action. This guy is sometimes loathed by showboaters simply because his midrange skill kills them in an outright boring fashion.

Blogger Baooo said...
(part 2)

The Theoretical Scientist: This guy is a religious viewer of the game, with a keen mind for analysis in things such as spacing and screen. Only problem is, he has just started playing, has not played much or outright has no ability. Depends on variations, this guy normally plays his ass off on defense because he knows that’s the only way that will help him avoid being the 12th man. He lacks the quickness for steal but causes many deflections, and is a great help defender. On offense, to make up for a lack of any skill, he voluntarily sets on ball screens, off ball screens, run around to disrupt the defense, and most importantly, makes the occasionally sneaky open layups

The Cotton Candy: Imagine a stick figure, and imagine every time that stick figure runs down the court, he does a spin move. And it's so sugary sweet that even though you know it's coming, you can't stop it. (If you don’t know how cotton candy is made: a stick is spun and swirled in a circle to gather up sugar in static form shooting out from a machine)

Anonymous Sean said...
comparison guy... tries to match up all pickup guys with an nba player that matches their game

OpenID hoopsStar3210 said...
How about the Hype Man or Antagonizer? Doesn't do anything himself but will run up and down the court talking excessive smack for anybody and everybody else on his team.

I personally love playing against these guys cuz shutting them up puts me in my happy place but I could see where they would get old too

Anonymous botaz said...
The Permit Holder

Can often times be a guy that doesn't have the game to roll with the rest of the guys in the pick up run but is a friend of any number of the players. By securing the gym permit the permit holder ensures his spot in the run, eliminating any players form the run that rip his game, setting his own rules and getting the benefit of the doubt on calls because he holds the permit and he can take his ball and go home and no one will be able to play without him.

the permit holder can also lead to invitations to his scrub friends that really can't play and can kill the run in time.

Blogger Bad Mother Fucker said...
I would like to suggest:

The Fixer-upper:

The guy who constantly blames his missed shots/fuck ups on the changes he made to his mechanics. You will often see this guy work on his mechanics at the sideline doing the same exact shit that's caused him to fuck up.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
How about "The Kareem" - the guy who takes one absurd shot over and over again, insisting that he AND ONLY HE can make this.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"The Best Bench Player"

This is the guy who knows all of the ins-and-outs of the game, and has a great basketball IQ. However, he lacks the coordination/skills to actually put his ideas to good use, at least consistently, so he is much better off yelling advice from the bench. Think Stan Van Gundy, only less angry.

The Best Bench player is also often a Big Guy who is best as a Point Guard, or a Little Guy who's a great Center.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'd like to add one more to this fantastic list.

The Bad Dresser- Dickie pants, hiking boots, dress shoes, denim shorts, it doesn't matter. This is the guy wearing clothes that's obviously not suggested for a game of basketball, or anything physical for that matter. They're not too good as their clothing limits their abilities. Maybe he can't run so fast because of his hiking boots. Maybe he can't stop quickly because of the slippery bottoms of the fancy dress shoes he's wearing. Or maybe you can hear him ANYWHERE on the court (regardless of whether he's on your team or not) because he's playing with $4 worth of change in his Dickie pant pockets.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The Loose Cannon - This is the guy that immediately shoots the ball AS SOON AS he touches it. Even if he is near the damn half court line. No one knows if he can dribble, he never tries to. If he is not past half court yet then he will immediately pass the ball as soon as he touches it. You'd think the ball was made of hot lava or something.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The Wild Card - This guy is usually somewhat athletic and has decent fundamentals. His problem is he is unbelievably in consistent and streaky. On some days he can hit threes and grabs a lot of boards, while at other times he is misses every shot and has no hustle. Often a very emotional player, and the success or failure of his first couple shots determines his performance for the rest of the day.

Links to this post:
Create a Link