Sunday, October 09, 2005

Players: Playground taxonomies

It appears that one of the biggest cliches in pick-up basketball writing is the taxonomy of playground ballers. In fact, I remember writing one for Sister Eustacia's English class in ninth grade. An earlier post mentioned the The Spaz, The Fat Kid Who Stands at the Three-Point Line All Game, and The Guy Who Calls a Foul No Matter What. There have also been posts and comments on the Ballhog, the Coach, and the Big Mean Guy.

The following links offer detailed taxonomies. None are great, but they give a sense of the genre.

For profiles of the Shit Shot Artist, the Quick Whistle and the Labrador Retriever click here.

For the Rocket Arm and the Kung Fu Master, click here.

And for a discussion of which NBA players fit which types, including Reggie Miller as the Guy Who Calls Too Many Fouls, and Jon Barry as the Guy Who Just Bought an And 1 Mixtape, click here.

Add your own types below.


Jeff said...

Every gym I've ever played at has at least one Guy Who is Inappropriately Dressed. At NYU, there was this totally crazy guy who always wore tiny little running shorts to play. You know, the ones that are kinda flappy and expose the lower globes of the backside. As a result, everyone could see his buttcheeks as he ran all around. Yuck.

Anonymous said...

While I don't have the range of experience that most of the readers and posters have, I've noticed a character that is best called The Really Tall Guy Who Can't Really Play But Was Brought Along Because He Happens to be Really Tall.

No skills, but kind of grabs rebounds and tries not to throw the ball out of bounds when he comes down with it. I'm not sure this is prevalent enough to include, but just throwing it out there.

CJB said...

1. The Ivy League,"I was on an intramural team at Penn" annoyingly consistent jump shooting white guy.

2. The Bob Marley listening frat guy who acts a little too jockish for his own good despite having a beer gut.

3. The stoic guy who never gives or receives compliments or talks.

4. The hack (guilty as charged!)

5. The guy who should be really good given his build and height but is frustratingly not good and makes you say "if I had his build I would be in the NBA".

6. The woman who is vaguely cute in a mannish sort of way but has earned the respect of the guys with her game, so you have to say "she's better than most of the guys out here".

7. The wanna-be gangsta who smokes a blunt before the game, uses inappropriate racial epithets and then gets mad and quits halfway through the game after he starts losing

8. The guy who's always trying to cheat with the score.

Jeff said...

I recognize each of your types as people we actually play with. I wonder who #7 is? Hmmmmmmm.

Jeff said...

I got another one. There's a guy here in Berkeley who is the Overphilosophical Hoops Guru. You can't get this dude to say anything that's not deep and meaningful, and it's SO FREAKING ANNOYING. Sample conversation from the other night (almost verbatim):

Me: Not too many guys out tonight. Looks like the run'll be weak.
OHG: The games are whatever you want them to be.
Me: Yeah, but there's barely anyone here, and those kids over there are like 12 years old.
OHG: If you want to improve, you've got to elevate your game.
Me: How can I elevate my game when there's only six middle schoolers on the court?
OHG: Never underestimate your opponent.