Boyd’s recent contribution got me thinking about the guys we play ball with. I can’t stand the guy who can barely dunk but thinks he’s Vince and spends the entire time between games throwing himself the bounce lob or having someone throw him an oop. I need to give love to the guy with goggles and braces on both knees. I’m the guy who gets ticked off when someone doesn’t call out a pick and I get blown up by someone Boyd’s size. I’m also the guy who loves to play with guys like Boyd, because when he walks into the gym people assume he sucks if they haven’t seen him play. I love that, even though he kind of does suck. PlayBoyd would have you believe that his range starts when he enters the gym… Anyhow, when discussing the guys we play ball with, Boyd didn’t mention my favorite guy—the one who never shuts up. You know, the guy who talks like Gary Payton but plays like a male cheerleader. I have a story to illustrate my point.
I’ve got to give it up to my boy Dyer on this. He never shuts up. Ever. A few years ago we played together in an AAU league and we were going up against the league’s leading scorer. Dyer suggested that he guard the guy, and right from the tip Dyer is in this guy’s ear. Dyer is telling the guy all about how it will be shackles and handcuffs all game long and that there is a distinct possibility that the guy might go scoreless on the night. The guy just laughed him off and proceeded to gun. You know how talking smack to some guys makes them play worse? Well, not this guy. He’s hitting threes all over the court and Dyer still won’t shut up. So, in the early fourth quarter the guy hits a three to give him 41 for the game and he looks at Dyer and asks: “How many do I have to hit to get you to shut up?” Apparently a few more, because even though the guy was really giving him the business, Dyer wouldn’t stop talking. The guy ended up with 53 points for the game with 13 three pointers. It was awesome. Some people just don’t know when to quit…
If Dyer didn’t know when to quit, my boy Alan Webb was on a completely different level. Webb, Dyer and I were playing in a 3-on-3 tournament at the community college. Webb is 6-6 and the guy checking him was about 6 feet tall. The kid is jawing with Webb, so he starts jawing back. When Webb starts talking smack it’s like listening to a trucker or Andrew Dice Clay. It can get bad. The other team was fouling at the end of the game to try and stay in it and the kid fouled Webb to put him at the line. They were in each others faces and the rest of us had to separate them. A security guy was watching the game and he came over to the court to tell them to knock it off. Well, before the free throw, Webb looks at the kid and says: “This one is for your mom. She loves me.” He then knocks down the free throw as the kid goes berserk. The security guy promptly comes onto the court and tells Webb to knock it off, and Webb starts talking smack to the security guy. Well, security guy gets upset and gets in Webb’s face and eventually he physically drags Webb off of the court. He then handcuffs him on the sidelines and drags him out of the building.
We had never had a teammate get arrested before, so we didn’t know what to do – we ended up finishing the game 2-on-3. After the game we went outside and Webb is sitting out there on the sidewalk. He asks if we brought his gym bag out. I had it so I gave it to him and we headed to the car. Webb said: “I’m glad they didn’t go through my bag—they would have found my dime sack.” And he promptly whipped out a bag of weed.
Boyd talking about the goofballs we play ball with made me think of these guys and how amazing they are. Sometimes I miss the good old days.