Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rules of The Game

It appears that Boyd has once again managed to find some way to get some time off work, so we have asked his brother, Jim (an alleged logomaniac), to bring a little something to this site. As some of you may recall, Jim delivered a pretty awesome contribution to this site a while back, which you can read here. Anyone secure enough in his manhood to do an NBA's Prettiest article is welcome here.
- Taylor

As my little, and by little I mean younger, brother is about to go under the knife for yet another gut related surgery he asked me to step up to the proverbial plate and do a few posts during his absence. I accepted his invitation to write a few of my thoughts down for the enjoyment of the faithful followers of this magnificent blog. And without further ado, I proceed.

I am a lover of the game of basketball. I love the NBA, college hoops, the And-1 Mix Tape Tour, and even a good old pick-up game. I’ve played basketball my entire life. I played for the Hillsdale Elementary School Hawks, the Westlake Junior High Mustangs, the Granger High School Lancers, and many church basketball teams, including a Catholic League team called Saint Teresa’s when I was seventeen years old, even though I’m not a catholic, but a Mormon (I won MVP of that league, FYI). I’ve played on hardwood, asphalt, and concrete driveways all over this great country of ours. In Brazil I laced them up on a hard-packed dirt soccer pitch with a rim nailed to a tree over one of the goalposts, a piece of plywood used for the backboard.

So I guess you get the picture. I love basketball and will play it any time, any place, and any opportunity I get. In fact, I play a pick-up game with Boyd every Wednesday night at a church near his home. And it is because of an incident that happened last week at this very pick-up game, that I now write about some of the rules, both written and unwritten, that must be followed in order for me to enjoy myself while playing basketball with a bunch of dudes. Why is it important that I enjoy myself while playing, one might ask? Simple. I matter most to me. You may have other rules that are important to you, and if so, feel free to share, but these are my rules so lets get to them.

I am going to shoot a lot. It doesn’t matter if it’s my first night in the gym, or if I’ve never met anybody on the court before. If I get the ball, especially on the three-point line, there is a very high probability that the shot is going up. Fortunately, I am a good shooter so most of the time I make my shots, my team wins the game, and nobody has any complaints. Every so often though, I run into a bad shooting night and if the guys I’m playing with have never seen me make a fade-away baseline three-pointer before they’re going to question my shot selection and wonder why the old, semi-overweight dude keeps hoisting up shot after shot. I’m going to keep shooting regardless of my percentage because it’s rule number one, and I also heard a quote from some basketball theologian once that said you are being selfish if you’re open and don’t take the shot. I don’t know who said it, but I consider this man a genius, and I’ve made this quote a huge part of my personal creed.

You have to backcourt the ball on a missed shot or a steal if you have the unfortunate circumstance of having to play half-court basketball because of the lack of ten players. We are not in South America or some other country where basketball is still in its infancy and they don’t truly understand the correct rules of the game. Of course you’re going to get a lay-up if you steal a crosscourt pass in the middle of the key because you left you’re your guy to steal the pass and nobody is guarding you, and everybody expects you to backcourt the ball not just go in for the uncontested finger roll, you moron. If there is ever a question, just backcourt the ball and all will be well.

Shut the hell up and just play. Everybody who knows me knows that I am a lover, not a fighter. I shun confrontation and look to avoid controversy if at all possible. But if there is one thing that gets me steamed up faster than Sweet Lou Holtz after a touchdown on a missed defensive assignment, its when some dude who has never played before in a long running pick-up game shows up and starts yapping from the get go. Don’t complain about foul calls, don’t tell someone that they should have switched on that one, don’t clap for the ball on the perimeter and then complain of poor shot selection if you don’t get the ball on the kick-out. You don’t have a right to say anything to anybody until you’ve been showing up for at least a couple of weeks and even then I’d wait a little longer before you say anything to me. Don’t make me angry, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. Just shut your mouth and play basketball.

Call your own fouls, and call them both ways. I absolutely hate the dude that brings his high energy, physical brand of defense to a pick-up game and then takes the “offense calls fouls” rule to a whole new level of gayness. If the guy he is guarding is one of those guys who just doesn’t call fouls (like me), this defensive A-hole will push, slap, and hack his way to four or five steals a game without ever calling a foul on himself. I hate this guy because everybody knows when they foul another player, but he pretends not to. If I even touch another player when he is involved in a play I will automatically call the foul on myself. Defensive dude will always try to defend himself (pun intended) by saying that if he fouled then the offense should have called it. But if the offense does call a foul on this guy he is the first one to go through the roof, laugh hysterically, or kick the ball to the other end of the court. Calm down and call a foul when you hack the crap out of both of my arms, that’s all I ask.

Don’t be a hot head/red ass that wants to fight at the drop of a hat. We all just want to play basketball, get a little exercise, and go home uninjured. The red ass shows up with a chip on his shoulder and his anger meter set at DEFCON 1 (or DEFCON 5, whichever is the one where shit is about to go down no matter what). I am semi-fat, very slow, old, and fairly non-athletic, but because I am a good shooter, at some point during a game I am going to pump fake my defender into the air, take three slow motion dribbles to the basket, and finish with a lay-up, Karl Malone style, with my hand behind my head. I do this not because I think it is cool or that I am cool, but because I think the hand behind the head dunk was the lamest signature move in the history of the NBA. I do it as a mockery to the soft game of Karl Malone (now I said soft, not unsuccessful, and certainly not bad. I think Karl Malone was completely dominant and unstoppable at times and I have nothing but respect for him, except when it comes to this lame move). I do the hand behind the head lay-up because it makes me, my brother, and my friends laugh. Red ass, on the other hand, does not find this move funny in the least and will instantly try to start a fight when this move is executed against him or his squad. Once everyone calms the hot head down and explains to him that I always do that lame move as a joke, the game can go on. In my sick twisted mind I will always set a goal to accomplish the Karl Malone lay-up a second time just to see if red ass gets the joke, or if there is still intense anger burning behind his eyes.

I finish with some minor rules that don’t need any explanation:
-Offense calls fouls-no complaining no matter what.
-Nobody takes a charge in a pick-up game-stop flopping moron.
-Don’t dive for a loose ball near anyone’s knees-there’s no award for hustle here.
-Keep score by twos and threes as God intended-math is only hard for kindergarteners.
-Full court four on four is lame.
-Zone defense is for lazy bastards.

That’s all I’ve got.


Boyd said...

Nice, Jim.

I know you hate the clapper. So do I. But is he worse than tthe "ball, ball, ball, ball, ball" guy? That guy is never getting the ball if I have it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the clapper will get the ball from me on the far side of never. I'll soot a three-point hook shot before I swing the ball to the clapper.

Anonymous said...

I'll also SHOOT a three-point hook shot before I'll swing the ball to the clapper. I'll both soot and shoot it.

Che said...

Excellent article Jim. Let me guess, that Asian guy violated the back court after you steal the ball rule.

I would like to submit some rules from my perspective on the game. Please take in mind that my perspective comes from a guy who is almost 6', weighs in at about 180 - with a 20 lb weight in his pocket, owns a hairline that hasn't just receded - it's surrendered, and the aformentioned bitch-ass face. The rules are as follows:

If we've never played, I don't mind you not passing me the ball the first game - I don't look like I should be very good. However, I better be running the offense by that last game to 35.

If I'm in the middle on offense, don't look me off. At 6' I am your deep post threat! If I'm in the middle on defense, shoot over me. At 6' I can block and rebound better than you, goofy flat footed sasquatch, and you, slow footed fat sandwich. Both these guys think that their body type will give them paint supremacy. I am not out of position when I'm in the paint.

I will only make a 3 pointer if its the game winning 3 - and if that's the case, game over!

Finally, my game is greasier than the baby oil Boyd uses to masterbate with. When I make an unconventional shot and people who don't know me roll their eyes, somebody needs to explain to them that is the game I grew up playing, and I will take and make that shot again.

In addition, not only charging, but carrying should NEVER be called in a pickup game - I keeps it street! And don't be red ass if your older than 21 - ya ain't going pro!
-Stay sweet

Anonymous said...

I also start out strokin triple, usually from the top of the key and then start stoppin and poppin with a few step back here and there