My junior year in high school was...awkward. I had a new body and a new wardrobe, but I was still socially awkward. In high school, back in my day at any rate, social awkwardness was an unavoidable consequence of my lifestyle.

To wit: I loved playing video games. So much so, in fact, that I took the Nintendo versus Sega wars very seriously. I also played Dungeons & Dragons, which was the high school equivalent of locking my genitals in a time capsule for future generations to dissect and study in order to understand why my life was so barren and sexless. As if all that wasn't bad enough, I was a straight A student who was on the school newspaper (because I wanted to be a writer) and the school's literary magazine (because Cindy, my longstanding high school crush, was also on staff and had encouraged me to join).

And did I mention I was rocking some serious Coke bottle glasses?

Look, these days, being a nerd and/or a geek can be pretty cool. There are actual living, breathing women who think geeks are hot. And there are hot chicks who are geeks. This was most definitely not the case when I was in high school. Most girls treated geeks like they bathed in toxic waste, and if you happened to stumble across a female geek, chances are she looked like she really did bathe in toxic waste.

The social pyramid of my high school, from highest to lowest, was: jocks and cheerleaders, preppies (those were the kids who dressed well and had reasonably good table manners), hoods (those were the kids who were jean jackets, carried switch blades they never used, and didn't shower), nerds/geeks, hippies (that is, the kids who pretended to be hippies by listening to The Doors and not wearing deodorant), and The Losers (as described in Part 1).

So that's where I was: somewhere around the lower middle of the social pyramid...although closer to the bottom than the top. This meant that me and my friends -- who were fellow nerds/geeks -- were in the same boat. And, like Michael Ray Richardson might have told us, that ship be sinking. We'd hang out on weekends talking about girls we had no chance of dating and trying to convince ourselves that playing Super Mario Bros. 3 or having a kickass D&D adventure was better than, say, going to the homecoming game or attending prom.

We all lie to ourselves to be happy.

Like many social misfits, I needed an outlet for the frustration of being, well, a social misfit. Basketball became that outlet. During most of the first semester, the weather stayed nice enough that I could continue playing outside. I was becoming bolder, traveling around and challenging people to one-on-one. More often than not, I'd win. And few things made me feel better about myself than pummeling somebody on the basketball court.

One problem I was running into, though, was those Coke bottle glasses I mentioned. I was becoming -- and have remained to this day -- a reckless, all-out kind of player. Crashing the boards, diving after loose ball, playing with reckless abandon...those were the things that won basketball games.

They also beat the hell out of you.

My glasses were always getting mangled. I had to go to my eye doctor at least once a week and ask one of the assistants to bend them back into a semi-recognizable shape. I'm pretty sure those assistants learned to hate me. When I walked in, the receptionist would look at me like I was covered in fresh animal feces. It got to the point where she wouldn't even say "hi" or speak to me at all. She'd just stick out her hand and wait for me to hand my glasses over. Hey, what can I say...I got my money's worth out of whatever I paid for those specs.

Still, it was becoming enough of a problem that I was seriously considering getting contact lenses. It didn't hurt that, during biology class, Alicia H. -- who I believe was somewhere between the cheerleader and preppie layers on my school's social pyramid -- casually remarked about my lost weight and said she thought I'd be handsome if I replaced my glasses with contacts.

Handsome? Me? No shit?

Not surprisingly, I soon made an appointment to investigate getting contacts. Saying it didn't go very well would be something of an understatement. I have no idea what went wrong, but whatever solution they used to prep the contacts burned the hell out of my eyes. The whites turned beet red and the skin around my eyeballs became what my eye doctor called "aggressively swollen."

The doc said something like, "Well, that can happen," and he tried to schedule me for another appointment to try something different. I opted not to show up. I would stick with my awful glasses. For now.

Near the end of November, my school started up an intramural basketball league. There were no set teams, however. You just showed up and shot free throws to decide teams. I figured joining that league was the next logical step in my basketball development. In relatively short order, I had created some skills and become a fairly decent one-on-one player. Now it was time to learn how to play on a team. Or so I thought.

You know how some things are described as "organized chaos"? Well, this intramural league was more like "chaos only." There was no coaching or direction of any kind. Just 20-30 undisciplined high schoolers with varying levels of ability (mostly bad) who embraced all the worst habits of pickup basketball: terrible shot selection, reluctant passing, nonexistent defense and the near absence of anything resembling fundamentals. Guys played out of position. Almost every player on the court thought he was either Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan. Big men didn't rebound, little men couldn't handle the rock. So on and so forth.

It was, without question, the worst of the crappy crap basketball I could find. In fact, looking back on it now, I'm fairly certain I've never played in a worse pickup league than that one.

But I had no way of knowing that at the time. This was my first experience playing team basketball. Sure, comparing it to watching Larry Bird and the Celtics was like comparing vomit to a $100 steak dinner, but I just figured that's why the pros were the pros and the amateurs were not. This was training, right?

Still, it was hard, sometimes impossible, to enjoy any improvement in my own skills. Most players thought shoot first, second and third. And because everybody was so shot-happy, that meant nobody wanted to pass, because there was a better chance of seeing God than there was of seeing that ball again. This may have been the true origin of the Seven Seconds or Less offense. Only it consisted of six seconds of sloppy dribbling followed by a bad shot or a turnover.

I figured: "Whatever." I ran the court. I crashed the boards. On those rare occasions when the ball found me, I tried to take good shots or, if I wasn't open, make smart passes. Although in this league, the smartest pass would have been to throw the ball out of bounds. That would have saved everyone the pain of what was probably going to be an ugly shot.

I can't say I was learning much about playing defense. The quality of play was so bad that defending your man wasn't really necessary.

Overall, the intramural experience was a bust in that it didn't do anything to make me a better basketball player. But I was playing basketball, and, at that time, that was enough to sustain me. Unfortunately, it convinced me that a) most competition was bad and b) I was better than I actually was.

My game was deficient in several areas. I wasn't a good defensive player. My offensive game was solid but limited. And I had not yet learned to adjust my style of play based on the competition. Mostly because I hadn't yet faced the better ball players.

During the semester break, my mom got a phone call from her friend Cricket. (Her real name was Linda. Cricket was a longstanding nickname. Not sure where it came from, though.) Cricket, who lived in Anderson (which is an hour-ish away from Kokomo), had a son named Ryan. Ryan and I had been pretty tight when we were in elementary and middle school. But then my mom and Cricket had a falling out, and when parents have a falling out, so do the children.

Cricket wanted to make nice with my mom. That making nice resulted in a conversation about how their fight had ruined my friendship with Ryan. One thing led to another and the two women decided Ryan should come to Kokomo for a four-day visit. Neither of us were really into it, but we weren't really given a choice in the matter.

On the first night of Ryan's visit, I had already made plans to watch a live Celtics...regardless of whether I had a visitor. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that, like me, Ryan had become a big basketball fan. I was unpleasantly surprised to find out his favorite team was the Lakers. He proceeded to talk smack about Larry Legend and the C's. Like, relentlessly. To the point where I was ready to throw down. I didn't have a sense of humor when it came to discussing Larry. He may as well have been trying to pee directly into my mom's open mouth.

Yeah. That first night didn't go so well.

We spent most of the next day playing Nintendo were going okay until he opened up on Bird again. "That guys done," he said, "finished. He's old and has a bad back. And he was kind of overrated to begin with."

Them was fightin' words.

I challenged Ryan to a game of one-on-one, and he readily accepted. Even though it was late December, there was no snow on the ground and the temperature was in the high 30s. Perfect basketball weather! Or...something. We jumped into my Plymouth Fury and headed off toward my home court at Boulevard school.

Ryan was a year older than me. He was also a couple inches taller and a little more athletic. We had similar builds, but he was a little further along in his physical development than I was. During my relatively brief basketball career, I usually found myself matched up with someone shorter, smaller and physically weaker than myself. Not always by a lot, but by enough to give me an advantage.

I had no clearcut physical advantage over Ryan.

What's more, he'd been playing basketball for years. And at that point, he was better than me. We played a game of 21 and he beat me pretty handily. I tried all my go-to inside moves, but it was almost impossible to get my shots off over his extremely long arms. I scored off a couple nifty moves -- an up-and-under and a spinning jump hook -- but he quickly figured them out and managed to deny those attempts on following possessions.

He beat me in the next game of 21 too. And the next. And the next. I kept going to the same moves over and over because they were all I had. I didn't shoot threes. I didn't take long jumpers. I played down low and had a basic spot up jumper inside 15 feet. Ryan took all that way from me. And I didn't know enough about defense to stop him from scoring...which he could do from inside or outside. Plus he had a quick first step.

After he had beaten me several times, he started playing me at half speed, keeping things close and then closing me out at the end. And he was doing it pretty casually. I was getting more and more frustrated. I finally resorted to a kind of pickup trickery. I stopped announcing the score out loud so he wouldn't know how close I was to winning and turn it on at the end. I finally scored a bucket to win 21 to whatever he had.

"Wait, wait, what?" he yelled. "You didn't call out game point."

"Yeah, well, sorry," I replied.

"Oh, that's such bullshit," he said. "I hope you enjoy cheap wins, 'cause that's all that was. I cheap, dirty win."

Somehow, despite finally winning a game against him, I felt worse about myself.

Ryan refused to play after that, which was fine with me. My ego couldn't take another loss like that. We drove back to my house in silence. We spent the rest of the day in silence. But when evening came, Ryan was ready to wave the white flag.

"Hey, are there any cruising strips in Kokomo?" He asked.

"Uh, yeah, why?"

"Let's go crusing," he said. He sounded excited about the idea, and I thought if I agreed to go cruising it might make him forget about what had happened during basketball.

We jumped back into the Fury and headed toward Kokomo's only cruising strip: a three or four block stretch of road that ran by the Krogers grocery start, the now-defunct Hills department store, a McDonalds and the town's only Taco Bell. Wild times, I tell you. Wild times.

"So what do you do around here to pick up girls?" Ryan asked.

"Uh...." I had no idea because, of course, I had never successfully picked up a girl.

"C'mon," he said, "you must know some girls."

"I know some, yeah."

"Know them. Yeah. Yeah, I get it." He was clearly not impressed. I felt like an idiot.

After a short silence, he said, "You know what your problem is? You need to loosen up. And I can help you with that." Then he pulled out a joint.

I nearly drove right off the road.

"What the fuck is that?" I asked, even though I knew exactly what it was.

"It's a joint," he said, giving me a look of disgust, "what's the problem?"

"Uh, that is the problem. Why the hell do you have a joint in my car?"

"Why do you think?" he said. With that, he depressed the lighter in my car.

As the lighter was heating up, I said, "Don't smoke that in here."

Ryan didn't reply. When the lighter clicked to indicate it was hot enough to use, he pulled it out and lit his joint.

"Man, I told you not to light that!" I was starting to freak out.

"Matt, you really need to learn to relax." He took a couple long, deep drags. "Hey, pull over."

"No way," I said. "Not until you put that out."

"Fine," he said. "You pull over and I'll put it out."

"Fine," I said.

I pulled over in a lot across the street from the parking lot most of the other cruisers parked in. Ryan got out of the car, but he didn't put out the joint. Instead, he climbed up on the hood of my car, laid down and continued puffing away.

I rolled down the window. "You're going to get us arrested!"

He didn't respond. I rolled up the window and sat there in silence...and fear. I really thought a cop would pull up any second and haul us of to jail. It only took him 5-10 minutes to smoke that joint, but it felt like hours.

After finishing the joint and tossing it into the street, Ryan hopped off my hood and got back into the car. "This shit's lame," he declared. "Let's go back to your place."

We didn't speak on the ride back.

The next morning, I woke up a few hours before Ryan. I was still wigged out about the joint escapade. I was terrified my mom was going to find out I told her about it. Mom was pissed. She made a quick phone call to Cricket, who arrived to pick Ryan up before he'd even gotten out of bed.

That was the last time I ever saw Ryan.

But his visit, as humbling (from a basketball perspectie) and upsetting (from my irrational fear of arrest and punishment) had been, it had taught me an important lesson...

Pickup Rule #4: Diversify Your Offensive Game

The doom of many pickup ballers is a lack of diversity in their offensive games. Some guys can only shooter jumpers. If you close out on those guys, they become completely ineffective. Some guys can only drive to the hoop. If you lay way off them and utilize help defenders, chances are they won't be able to get past you. Some guys can only play inside. If they're guarded by somebody bigger, stronger and/or more athletic, they'll probably be neutralized unless they have a wide array of post moves (and most people do not).

But if you can shoot from any range, drive and finish, and play inside? That will make you pretty hard to stop.

For instance, let's say you score on a couple inside moves. Now you're defender is going to want to keep you outside. Now you'll probably be able to get some open jumpers. Hit a couple those, and your defender will probably try to close the distance, allowing you to get him up in the air on a pump fake and then drive right on by.

Avoid developing habits. Your best shot might be a three-pointer from the top of the key, but if you always shoot from there, people are going to figure you out. If you always do a hard dribble to the right, dribble back left and take a step-back jumper, people are going to figure you out. Not everybody, maybe, but the savvier defenders will, and then you're going to get shut down.

I try to challeng myself to do something different on every offensive possession. If I drove right last time, I might drive left the next. If I went outside on a recent possession, I'll check to see if my defender will give me a jumper. The more unpredictable you are, the harder it will be for defenders to create a defensive scheme to stop you.

This is what I learned from getting my ass handed to me. And I started showing up early to the intramural league to practice new shots, new moves, new drives. I finally started practicing three-pointers. I moved out of my comfort zone whenever possible. Since I was finally coming to understand that the basketball we were playing was crap, I decided to use the league as a laboratory for my game.

And that's what I did.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
holy shit dude, that's a little paranoid about a single j. maybe if he pulled out a crack rock that would have been a normal reaction.

Blogger chris said...
Wow, you really make US 31 in Kokomo sound, not exactly Washington Street. :D

Since you started working on your threes, at what point did you consider working on your Antoine Wakler fours? ;)

CAPTCHA: "fased", as in "Fased by the reality that their cap space might not be spent at the seafood market, the Dolans instead dropped as much of it on Apostrophe as humanly possible."

Anonymous Anonymous said...
u write your stories really if you came out with a book i wouldn't be the only one queing up for it...

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Sega Genesis 4 eva.

Anonymous Marc d. said...
So I presume you landed firmly on the Nintendo side of that "debate"?

(notice the quotations? the only thing Sega had was blood in Mortal Kombat, and I guess Sonic was kinda fun)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
So, Nintendo or Sega?

Blogger Japes said...
As always, an awesome story Bawful. It's a damn shame you never spoke to Ryan again. I would've liked to see Matt vs Ryan part II: Revenge of the Nerd! I bet you'd destroy him now.

Blogger chris said...
So US 31 wasn't quite the Magnificent Mile, I assume. :p

In intramurals, were there any moments in the early days in which you were posterizing the less dedicated?

CAPTCHA: "fased" as in "The Dolans were so fased by all the available cap space, they ended up throwing as much of it as they could on Apostrophe."

Blogger Dan B. said...
Based on his performance in his first NBA "game" (it's summer league, come on), even back then you could probably have competed with Daniel Orton. 1-for-8 shooting, severe foul trouble, ejected for fighting (in friggin' summer league!!). Way to represent the University of Kentucky, Orton.

(FYI, people are giving him hell for only averaging 3 points and 3 boards per game in his one year of college, but to be fair, he played an extremely limited number of minutes, and was injured his senior year of high school, so it took awhile to get back into form, so it's not as bawful as it sounds.)

AnacondaHL -- I still play Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

Anonymous Sarc said...
I cannot believe you told your mother about him smoking pot.(have you seen him since?)

I usually just go with whatever the D is giving.

But, I don't mind using the same move twice or more in row.
I tend to do the opposite in a game. Go to it a bunch and then mix it up.

Example: I love it when I do a quick 1-2 pullup a couple times and then get the pump fake for the foul or head fake for the drive and dish.

As I have gotten older I enjoy the psychological murder. Mostly because I am no longer the highest jumper in the gym.

Bawful- Do the guys in your league know that you are Basketbawful?

Blogger Knockitdownagain said...
EVERYBODY who has had somebody tell them Kobe is better than Michael Jordan needs to watch this, it just about made me cry its so refreshing and true.

The greatest rip in the history of statistical beatdowns, the guy who made it should be given a medal.

Anonymous UpA said...
You told your mother he hit a joint, low blow dude, even Ex-P Clinton has done it, wait, he also did that thing you know where with you know who... well, I'll run by his example!

BTW... Sega was for grown ups, Nintendo for weaklings... Altered Beast!!! Frikin' amazin'

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Oh, also, supposedly LeBron has just joined Twitter.


You can refresh the page as much as you want to see the following list rise literally every second. But I got the name from Chris Paul's twitter, and I'm gonna go ahead and pray this is an amazing troll.

Blogger Unknown said...
I like the array-of-moves strategt, but I tend go to the one that works two or three times first, then use a fake with that move (pump fake, stutter step, etc.) and get the defender off balance to go to the next set of moves.

It's like playing Street Fighter II for Super Nintendo (the greater console of the two). Sure you throw some fierce hadoukens, but mix it up with a slow hadouken followed by an aerial attack into a combination. That's just science.

As for console wars, depends on the type of games you liked. For the RPG and platformer guys, SNES was far superior, for those into fighters and sports, Genesis edged out Nintendo (Joe Montana Sports Talk Football anyone?)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
holy shit dude, that's a little paranoid about a single j. maybe if he pulled out a crack rock that would have been a normal reaction.

I was 16 and scared shitless because I grew up on anti-drug ads. What can I say?

Wow, you really make US 31 in Kokomo sound, not exactly Washington Street. :D

That made me laugh, although your geographic knowledge kinda scared me there, Chris. ;)

u write your stories really if you came out with a book i wouldn't be the only one queing up for it...

Is it too much to hope you're a book agent?

Sega Genesis 4 eva.

Sadly, my experience goes all the way back to the Sega Master System.

So I presume you landed firmly on the Nintendo side of that "debate"?

You presume correctly. My buddy Statbuster was a hard core Sega man, though.

It's a damn shame you never spoke to Ryan again. I would've liked to see Matt vs Ryan part II: Revenge of the Nerd! I bet you'd destroy him now.

Yeah, it is too bad, because really, we were just being dumb kids. And yes...I would have very much wanted a rematch.

In intramurals, were there any moments in the early days in which you were posterizing the less dedicated?

I'm not sure they make posters of soft jump hooks where the shooter barely elevates off the floor...

As I have gotten older I enjoy the psychological murder. Mostly because I am no longer the highest jumper in the gym.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I never was much of a leaper, so I can't say I've lost much of that. The older I've gotten, though, I've definitely learned to appreciate the mental aspect of the game...outthinking opponents, making clever adjustments. Evil Ted and I are always making little adjustments during games. It's amazing how one defensive switch or running a play you weren't running can swing a game.

EVERYBODY who has had somebody tell them Kobe is better than Michael Jordan needs to watch this, it just about made me cry its so refreshing and true.

I've said this repeatedly: Nobody can be compared to Jordan without coming up short.

Bawful- Do the guys in your league know that you are Basketbawful?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Bawful- Do the guys in your league know that you are Basketbawful?

Oops. Missed this one first time around.

A handful of guys in my league do know and follow the site.

Blogger Dan B. said...
AnacondaHL -- ESPN's Rachel Nichols just posted that LeBron's publicist confirmed that really is LeBron's Twitter account, for whatever that's worth.

Blogger Michael Hsu said...
Nothing on Amare to NY? Another ridiculous contract out of Phoenix.

Thanks Steve Nash for ruining every team that pick up a player from the Suns.

If players were not such money whores Phoenix would be the team to beat!

JJ (Bell - the defensive stopper?)
Q Rich (When he could shoot 3's)

Goran freaken Dragic

Blogger chris said...
I'm not sure they make posters of soft jump hooks where the shooter barely elevates off the floor...

That's called the "prenatal skyhook."

That made me laugh, although your geographic knowledge kinda scared me there, Chris. ;)

When Dan B. and I traveled to Crabtown in 2006, I did the navigation. And it was my first time ever in Kentucky OR Ohio. :D

Blogger Basketbawful said...
ESPN's Rachel Nichols just posted that LeBron's publicist confirmed that really is LeBron's Twitter account, for whatever that's worth.

Almost 60K followers already and not a single tweet. Man, I'm living the wrong life.

Anonymous BigBadCarter said...
Dude...only YOU could learn Basketball Lessons from a guy smoking weed on the hood of your car.

It reminds me of the old GI Joe "Lessons" at the end of every cartoon. Yes, Team Joe stopped Cobra from turning all of the gold in Ft. Knox into Brussels Sprout Casserole which they would then poison and feed to the President in order to steal the Missile Launch Codes from him...but at the end of the episode, the REAL story was that we should learn to share our popcorn with the poor kid next door who smelled like smoked sausage and dog piss.

PORKCHOP SANDWICHES!!! (props if you know remember what that means)

Blogger Unknown said...
Lebron's Twitter - Sounds likes he found his forum to make his announcement. Looks like we'll hear something by Thursday.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
PORKCHOP SANDWICHES!!! (props if you know remember what that means)

I do. Do you know what this means:

Body massage!!

How's the home improvement project, btw? I'm glad you get to spend your vacation hauling around, what was it, 20 tons of sheet rock or whatever?

Blogger Unknown said...
Random note, the Church of England didn't have @KingJames locked up? For shame, Anglicans. For shame.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Narcing on a dude for smoking a J... weak sauce, Bawful.

That said, he was a douche bag for lighting up in someone else's car without asking. Double-douche-points for then laying on your hood and continuing to smoke. Did you consider just driving off and/or hitting the gas, then slamming the brakes to get him off your hood?

WV: shembarf- that's how I feel the day after the long weekend.

Anonymous Azreous said...
John Hollinger has said that Robert Sarver wasn't aware of all of his sign-and-trade options with Amare (ignoring the possibility of even getting just a full trade exception back) and renounced Amare's Bird rights way too early.

That's why you're supposed to have a GM around for the biggest free agency period ever, Bob. You dumbass.

Also, body massage machine GO!

(And I've gone with a new name so I'll stop overlapping with the 350 Chrises around here. I know everyone is excited.)

Blogger Dan B. said...
For anyone who doesn't get it...

1) Porkchop sandwiches!
2) Who wants a body massage?

You're welcome.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hey just wanted to say your Pickup Diaries are awesome to read. Keep it up---Seriously! I will try and get you a movie deal- this is good stuff man

Blogger chris said...
Since someone mentioned pork sammiches and we talkin 'bout Central Indiana...

I only think it is relevant to highlight Indiana's culinary contribution to the world, which Dan and I find glorious...


Azreous: Hey, at least I can be differentiated as "lowercase chris" or "Lacktion Chris" or "the guy who was unfortunate enough to become a purple pauper fan." :D

Blogger Caleb Smith said...
I was going to say that its really messed up that you snitched on Ryan, but actually he sounds like a douche, so nevermind.

Also, this line had me cracking up:
"He may as well have been trying to pee directly into my mom's open mouth."

Blogger Unknown said...
Saw this on the ESPNInsider trade feed: "Reportedly Dumars is on Mikhail Prokhorov's list of NBA executives he'd like to talk with in regard to replacing Nets out-going president Rod Thorn."

We now have the answer to the question "Does this Russian guy know anything about running an NBA team?" Prepare for a long time of sadness, Nets fans.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...

@KingJames: "Hello World, the Real King James is in the Building "Finally". My Brother @oneandonlycp3 gas'd me up to jump on board so I'm here. Haaaa"


Blogger Unknown said...
Let's get back to pick-up games. I'm waiting to hear stories about practicing or witnessing the greatest go-to move: the sky hook. I stand in awe to the few that can do the move effectively.

I feel like that move went away because no one wants to be associated with the great (yet wussy/pissy) Abdul-Jabbar. It's just cooler to be like Mike.

Anonymous Ash Haque said...
You snitch!!!

Anonymous Ryan said...
the gi joe psa parodies are great. forgot all about them. Funny stuff

ps- bawful, just cuz im posting a link to an awesomely funny video on your site doesnt mean ive forgiven you for telling Cricket what i did.

Blogger David Robinson said...
and somehow I doubt that that was actually Ryan.

Blogger David Robinson said...
I'll add this to the list of pickup Diary frustrations, (and maybe you're going to cover this in a later installment)

The player who knows what he should do, but just can't pull it off.

I think I might fit into this category, as I know I SHOULD diversify my game, and change thigs up, and try to do just that...however I'll dribble the ball off a defender's foot sometimes, or take a 3 that's just a little too deep.

I think that may be more frustrating, because I know what to do...but not how to.

I need to be a coach or something.

Anonymous SirGirthNasty said...
I had a similar experience. I was very late to the basketball party (I've only been playing pickup for probably 5 years. I'm 24). Initially, I was completely god-awful, and since I didn't really have any friends with sound fundamentals or skills I had to rely totally on learning the game myself. I spent countless hours analyzing basketball games. It's gotten to a point where I sometimes just can't enjoy a game as a fan, I feel like I'm trying to mentally breakdown every play. But anyway, I think what keeps me addicted to basketball is the tireless quest to improve. You can really never stop getting better at basketball, if you try hard enough.

Anonymous Leo said...
Hey long time reader here! (just never really commented!)

I really want to thank you for the website and this pickup game series. I've been following and checking everyday for a new entry. The simple rules/tips really helped me big time. I was playing today and just kept thinking about passing, setting picks, not taking dumb shots, getting rebounds and what a big difference my game was. Both teams were ohhh and ahhing for my shots and effort. This series has really helped me change my mindset! You are like a pickup game coach!

PS - right away I pick out players that jack up shots lol...didnt notice them the same before.

Thank you and keep up the good work!

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Del Negro to the Clips is looking finalized. Bawful, on a scale from 1 to matchmadeinheaven, how big is the smug grin on your face right now?

Also, if you haven't heard, drama queen LeBron has announced 7/8/2010 9 PM EST on ESPN to reveal his choice. I don't even want to do a wrap-up post anymore, I'm just too disgusted.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
@AnacondaHL - Ooof Del Negro to Clippers. Watching him coach the Bulls was the first time I ever used the term "rookie coach." I will say, Rose acted like he wanted Vinny to stick around, meaning Del Negro might be able to reach young players rather than them tuning him out. Can Sterling and Al Davis form the Worst Pro Team Owner All Stars?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous Azreous said...
I really hope Lebron narrows it down to two choices, sets a hat for each franchise on the podium, and then dramatically chooses one of them to the cheers of the audience.

...But is later exposed as a worthless fraud.

Anonymous Tape said...
Celtics fans rejoice! Cs to meet with Kwame Brown.

Blogger Silva said...

Anonymous AK Dave said...
@BadDave: Nice call. But I don't think LeBron has Walken's moves. He seems to only have that dice-rolling move and nothing else...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I hate to tell you, but Nerds/Geeks/Hippies/The Losers are all actually on the same big lower level in high school (Think the bottom of food pyramid). Geekz/Nerds just try to rationalise that they are higher than they are, but in reality they aren't.

Oh and that girl in Bio class, she was just playing with you! Girls can be cruel...

You should have hit up Ryan for some tips on picking up girls. Can't believe you ratted him out to your mom. But I guess that is what a Laker fan deserves!