Inspired by our original piece on pick-up basketball, we present a recurring series. In Adventures in Pick-Up Basketball, we take a look at the hastily-organized game and the incompetent people who play it.
There is a fellow years, perhaps even decades, removed from his days of competitive basketball. He doesn't get to play much anymore, so every time he touches a basketball is very important to him. This usually occurs at the park while you and some friends are casually shooting around.
He somehow confuses your talking, telling of jokes, and half-serious game of 21 for a competitive game, and once he steps on the court, your good time is ruined. Please see the diagrams below:
He instantly delegates tasks to you and your friends. Some of you know what he's talking about, and some of you don't, but his tone is such an earnest and serious one that you can't bring yourself to simply ask for the ball back.
Here is how he imagines the play to unfold:
And this is what it actually looks like.
The result, of course, is the same result you see in 90 percent of all pick-up games: everyone makes a beeline to the net and waits for the rebound. For many of us, it's the only plan of action. Occasionally we will take a break from acting like a moth drawn to a spotlight by weaving around the court aimlessly, as though your broom managed to get us with a solid whack without actually killing us.
The stranger, bless his heart, refuses to yell at us for completely disregarding his instructions, but he is hellbent on keeping you in his social prison for as long as he can.
It's nearly impossible to avoid this guy in a public setting. If he sees you, you're done. This, friends, is why it's important to maintain friendships and engage in physical/social activities well into adulthood.