Like many of you, I’m in my mid-twenties and am finding that my athletic abilities are rapidly fading. Even though I can’t jump like I could when I was 19, I still enjoy a good game of pick-up basketball every now and then. Pick-up games are a funny thing. Every gym you go to is different: different sizes, different rules, and different schedules. However, no matter how different the gym, you can find some of the same players in every game, no matter where you are. Here are five of those players.
The Warm Body
We all know this guy. You and your squad show up to the court, but there’s five of you, four guys that want to play, and one guy shooting baskets by himself. He could be 13. He could be 60. He could be some guy in corduroys on his lunch break. It doesn’t matter who he is, you are only asking him to play so you don’t have to run 4-on-5, or even worse, play with subs. The irony is, this guy is a complete non-factor, so you might as well be playing 4-on-5.
See also: That random guy and his girlfriend, the stoner who is shooting up more than just baskets, and the old guy who may have a heart attack after two trips up and down the court.
The Guy Who Gets Mad
There’s one of these in every game, every gym, every day. This guy is usually pretty good, and you can tell that he’s played a lot of ball in his day. Nice jumper, good handles, but the dude can’t keep his cool. Misses a layup? Yelling, screaming, and cursing ensue. You foul him? He’s in your face. If, for some reason, his team actually loses, he’s slamming the ball on the floor, and storming out of the gym.
See also: That guy who protests every foul call like it’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
You know the type. If he’s on your team all you hear is “Ball!”, “I’m open!” or “Hit me!” He invariably starts the game hot, making his first couple shots. Then, he takes one from a little bit further, and misses. That’s of course a fluke, so he shoots again. And again. And again. After missing all these shots, of course he hits the game-winner, only reinforcing his irrational self-confidence and setting him up for the next game. It’s a vicious cycle, but shooters shoot.
See also: The guy who you know is actually a good shooter but is just having a bad day, or, a variation of “The Body” who makes a fluke game-winner.
The Guy Who Can Only Dunk
Nice basketball shoes. Tall. Athletic looking. You see him dunking the ball easily before you start playing, and you think “This guy is gonna kill us.” But once the game starts, man is this guy awful. Jump shot? A miss every time. Can he dribble? Only off his foot. Whatever, it doesn’t phase him. Just give him a nice long outlet pass so he can travel his way into a dunk and he’s happy.
See also: The Guy Who Can Only Shoot, The Guy Who Can Only Dribble, or inversely, The Guy Who Can’t Do Anything.
The Guy Who Can’t Be Stopped
He’s the best player on the court and he knows it. If he’s on the other team, you hate guarding him, and if he’s on your team, you might just be sick of him doing it all. Gym regulars know him, but still can’t stop him. When your team needs a bucket, he’s the guy that goes and gets it.
See also: The Ex-College Athlete, The Guy Who Is Still In Shape, or, on a good day, The Chucker.
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