You gotta love the old man at the Y cliche. Here’s an older guy that makes up for a lack of athleticism with craftiness and a good knowledge of the game. He’s been there (see also: Normandy), so he plays patiently and makes good decisions with the ball. Not to mention that having an old guy on the floor also makes everyone behave better. Everyone wants his respect, and to shake hands with calloused fingers and that old man strength grip.
Streetball gives us all a means to connect with the kids grew up with. When I play at the court I grew up playing at, I see people I played with as a kid. I see how their bodies grew strange and awkward. The best part about this is that you can keep playing with old friends. Even after you’ve gone away for school or whereever, a pick up game has the power to be a homecoming party.
My dad wasn’t around when I was growing up so seeing a dad bring his son to the park makes me want to weep on the spot. It’s heartwarming. You get the feeling that you’re witnessing a special moment in these people’s lives. It’s good to see when parents can be patient and present and good mentors and coaches for their kids. You don’t always play with these duos but having them at the park is a beautiful thing.
Every now and then you get to play with a real baller. I’ve never played with any ex-NBA but the times I’ve had the chance to play with good college players were awesome. Old pro’s know the game I love like I know… nevermind. Their basketball IQ is streets ahead of us puny humans and their well-rounded game make them a threat from everywhere. It’s a pleasure to play with them and take notes secretly in your head while you pretend like you’re not staring.
Everyone wants the glory. No one wants to do the dirty work necessary to win. Every team could use a guy who plays tough defense and cleans up the boards (rebound like a boss). Occasionally, you weed out the egos and you find a gem who’s not looking to look good. He’s just looking to play hard. They make you look good by turning your bricks into put-backs. For this, I salute the Garbage Men.
We should all be so lucky to know this kind of player. He’s got eyes everywhere on the floor and will find you open before you realize you were open. The power of this person is that he gives you the confidence to cut and run around screens to get open looks. When you take off the constraints of a point guard with no court vision, you’d be surprised how you improve too.
7. Big Man
The Big isn’t always big in stature, he’s just confused and plays big. He plays strong in the post, enabling you to space the floor the way it was meant to. Pick and rolls, drawing double teams and kicking it out to a happy you can make a true classic Biq worth his weight in gold. A fight in the post is something special