I could blog about Batson v. Kentucky or pickup basketball, so I chose the latter.
They closed the gym I played at last year on campus. Budget cuts, apparently. I just hope I actually get a diploma before they padlock the entire place or simply implode it.
So now my Friday afternoon fix requires a trip to the Rec Center. Little background on The Wreck, there was a line today of muscled dudes to get into the weight room. I am not joking. A fellow muscled dude with a badge was holding people up until someone came out. It was like the world's worst nightclub.
The basketball courts are pretty good though, and normally you don't have to wait too long. But today cemented my status as an old man who may be losing what little magic he had. I've been using the "up and under" a lot lately and other energy-conserving moves. I'm also staying back on defense a lot and not even running to the offensive end because either a turnover will send me scrambling back anyway or I'm too tired. I think soon the other players are going to start calling me "Pops."
Let me be clear: I don't think basketball has passed me by. I just think the subtly different form of "pickup basketball" has passed me by. Let me note a few examples simply from today.
1) I got my hand caught in a dude's hair! Yes, I went up for a rebound and nearly lost a finger because some guy wanted to both play basketball and look like Peter Tosh. That was a little traumatic for both of us.
2) I believe a bit too much in fairness. This manifests itself in many forms. Little enrages me more (in a very quiet manner) than calls based on the score. Calling your own fouls does not mean you have the right to deal with bumps at the beginning and then call a foul if someone breathes on you at the end. My rule is I don't call fouls by anyone on me. If they foul me hard enough for it to actually affect me, everyone will know it and will stop. As a result, this can hurt my effectiveness.
Secondly, on the matter of fairness, I won't stand for irregularities in "who got next." If two girls and a dude in a World B. Free throwback have been waiting, they get to play. There is no discussion. Today, a girl had been waiting game after game, so I told her she could play with me. When our turn came up, she got to play and run the point guard. Full disclosure, we got slaughtered, but I was happier with that outcome than if we had won and she had not gotten to play. I will not sit idly by while such tyranny is allowed to propagate unchecked!
3) I just want to play the way I play, but too many times guys on my team are telling me what to do. Today, I played my first game and we destroyed this other team. Then, those losing team's point guard joined our team because one of our guys left. In this next game, I was being guarded by a guy who probably could bench press around 400 pounds. As such, he played like a guy who can bench press 400 pounds (LeBron excepted, of course). Namely, he was a bit "mechanistic" and preferred brute force to wisdom or body control. But despite his obvious strength advantage, the fact that I was taller than Mr. Muscles by about three inches caused the new point guard to adamantly implore me to "post him up." My rule is I don't really post anything up (and that includes actual posts). Rather than take the advice, I just got the ball on the wing, drove around Mr. Universe and laid the ball in. This only angered The Hulk, who proceeded to bury me under the hoop repeatedly and call for the ball. I don't know if he ever scored, though.
Here's the point: let's just all play smart and make the intelligent play. Square pegs, round holes, make the extra pass, take what the defense gives us, cliche, well-worn mantra, etc.
4) I don't care as much as these guys anymore. Win or lose, I'm just glad to get to run around and clear my head. Basically, I just don't want to get hurt (and that includes any hair-related injuries), get a sweat going and then go home. That's the beauty of what we call "Law School Basketball." Everyone who plays agrees with those tenets and thus most problems are solved. We are still hoping to have Law School Basketball again this year, so I hope we can find enough people.
I admit that I sound like Walter Sobchak, but I don't think my suggestions are too much to ask. I do love pickup basketball and can think of few things that are more fun or easier to get involved in (you just show up and play, that's why basketball is great), but as I age I might be getting a little crotchety. Oh well, I guess it's my right.
Gustav go away!
Cancer go away! (Some kind of harsh language on that link, but I think it's funny)
Today's Arizona Adventure!
3 years ago