Based on a true story, I took you on a journey through the mind of a Basketball run-stopper in hopes that you will never have to go through that type of pain on the court. Now, I feel like I must explain all the major roles you will see at your local Y, neighborhood blacktop, and campus gym. Some of them you will know from their title, but I guarantee light bulbs will illuminate when reading the description of each character. After the random picture, I re-introduce you to some people you already know.
The Beast...Dog. Everyone knows the guy that is the understood best player on the court. He walks it, he dribbles it, and he lays it up. Among regular people, The Beast is usually a hell of player in high school that plays at the local D-2/Comm. College because of grades. I named these type of hoopers as such because while at Pitt, my crew and I were waiting our turn to get on next. And this J-Rich look-alike (he'll be known as J-Rich in future mentions in this post) says, mid-layup,"I'm a beast...dog." We were dumbfounded. So ever since then, people who were beasts were beasts, dog; but not better than "The Beast...dog."
The Opportunist. This guy is just an average player at best. But what he's good at is latching on and being a part of a five that has a bunch of really good players on it. This way, he stays on the court with minimal effort, and looks great if he does make a play on such a good team. It's similar to whomever was at center during the Phil/Mike/Scottie Bulls. Just be open and let everyone else do the rest.
The Antawn Jamison. Antawn Jamison is quietly one of the more productive players in the Association. Always, at or near 20 points and t0 boards; he continues to remain efficient as he gets older. His trademark is an array of "flip shots" from awkward angles, leaving younger forwards wondering how he's scoring. Every local gym has an older guy that still dominates as his athleticism dwindles. He doesn't jump very high or run very fast; but he's schooling cats on the court with all sorts of hooks, floaters, and fadeaways. Like Jamison, he rarely ever talks unless a teammate makes a bad play. A true veteran presence for any pickup team's five.
The Mike Miller. For this explanation, I have to start with Tracy McGrady. In Orlando, he bacame great friends with Mike Miller. This made Miller impossible to trade because their star player was so attached to him—similar to Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley. The locl courts have a guy that's cool with everybody. He's very likable, despite his game not being reflective of his personality. He may not be terrible, but he's certainly the weak link. Somehow, he finds his way on someone's team because he's a great guy. This results in your team possibly not being as good as it could be. But hey, at least everyone's smiling.
The Rasheed Wallace. Personally, I believe 'Sheed is the most gifted of that class of power forwards that includes Duncan, KG, Webber, etc. For reasons only known to him, he chooses to be unselfish. It's most evident in the fact that though Wallace has a tremendous shooting touch, his post game is so much better. Yet he seems to want to constantly float around the arc, waiting for kick outs. There's a guy that comes to gyms worldwide that can murder in the paint; yet chooses to shoot jumpers most of the time. In addition to that, he also won't exploit mismatches even though teammates implore him to do so. He plays rather standoffish, contributing when it's convenient for him. It's selfishly being unselfish.
The Desmond Mason. This dude can jump out the gym, but his Basketball IQ is lower than Mateen Cleaves scoring average. Anything that isn't a block or a dunk is a skill he doesn't possess in his Basketball repertoire There's nothing much else that needs to be said. He's a living N.E.R.D. album; or a shark—ether in motion or ineffective. The straight-line dribble is about all The Desmond Mason can do on the ground, with a maximum of one switch-of-hands dribble (read: not a "crossover"). I'll never play with one of those.
If you frequent the courts as often as me, then you know there are many more characters you can find there. Leave some in the comments.
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