Home Featured 4 People Who Should Never Play Pickup Ball Again

4 People Who Should Never Play Pickup Ball Again


In case it wasn’t clear by my last few posts: I love basketball. I love it so much that I’m possessive about it. I get upset when someone plays it without respecting its beauty. Since we are still too far away from the NFL season to delve into it, I want to talk about four of the world’s worst people to run across when playing pickup basketball.

John Q. Hustle: This is the guy who realizes he sucks, but has convinced himself that good ole-fashioned grit and determination can replace skill and actual talent.

Newsflash: It doesn’t. And you look pretty ri-damn-diculous while we’re at it.

This is a guy who plays like a less skilled Tyler Hansbrough. While you may not think that is possible, I’m here to tell you it is. Classic symptoms of JQH are loud grunts, lots of picks, and no shots taken outside of 9 feet. The issue with JQH is that he makes any game longer, more frustrating, and lower-scoring. Yes, that also equals less fun. I hate you, John Q. Hustle. Learn how to shoot a jump shot.

Allen Iverson 2.0: This is the guy with the [insert team] authentic jersey, [same team] authentic shorts, [$100+ Nikes…always Nikes], and a shooting sleeve.

The name for this guy actually comes from someone who convinced dozens of people a major university to call him “Ivo.” he dressed like he could have hopped out of the stands during Game 7 of the NBA Finals and joined in. But his game reminded me of the real Allen Iverson…at 58 years old…on bath salts…playing blindfolded.

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If you see someone dressed like an NBA player, assume that he sucks. I hate you, AI 2.0. “Dressing for the job you want” does NOT include NBA player. You just suck.

The Former Football Player: “Retired” football players should be fun in pickup basketball. They are in shape, coordinated, and usually have played basketball in the past.

The problem is, their football background makes them magnets for contact. I swear, former football players have flashbacks to the gridiron like WWII veterans. They just like to hit/grab/bang/chop/hack/bump anyone in their way (pause?). I can’t stand playing these guys because I’m not playing for a championship ring. I don’t feel like being fouled every time I shoot the ball. It’s not that serious. In fact, it’s nowhere near that serious. Ever. At all. I hate you, Former Football Player.

“Do You Know Who I Am?” Guy: Probably worst of all is DYKWIAGuy. This is the player at your local court who received a D1 scholarship or played some level of professional ball in the past.

As good as this guy is, he usually adds nothing to a game because he’s convinced himself he’s too good for it. He’ll spend his time shooting 30 footers or dribbling 72 times before doing anything. Try to set a screen for him? He’ll wave you away. Call for a pass? LOL. Your best bet is to try and grab a rebound.

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DYKWIAGuy is the worst person to play with because you’ll wait for 90 minutes to play, then have your game decided by a stranger who tries to win by playing 1 on 5. First of all, DYKWIAGuy, if you were that good you wouldn’t be playing pickup ball with me. You’d be at Madison Square Garden. Secondly, I hate you.

Well this post made me upset. I’m now typing with clenched fists somehow and I just punched a kitten. The summer usually brings out these (and more) terrible people. Hopefully you can pick these guys out and avoid them.

Can you top these YMCA-pariahs? Who else have you run into at your local court? If you don’t recognize these guys, then you ARE one of them. Please never play basketball again.



  1. i think i'm #2, low-key…

    i don't rock $100 pair of kicks, but apparently since i match when i'm on the court (or in the gym)…i lose cool points.

    it's one of those random habits i try to lose, but i know i won't…

    *spots up for the outside 3*

    1. I think you can match, you just can’t wear the team jersey and shorts with matching shooting sleeve. IMO, people who are guilty of this don’t know it. They think people see them as the player they are dressing up to be, lol.

      1. Exactly….to add insult to injury is when those dudes add on the accessories (head band, arm band, knee brace but has a perfectly fine knee, etc.., lol)

  2. I'm, not so surprisingly, John Q. Or at least I used to be before I decided to save everyone the grief and chill on the bench.

  3. lmbao…..this was hilarious and just what I needed to start my morning off on a light note…love your commentary Joe Sargent……you should be on ESPN or SportsCenter….lol
    Back in the day I was a female John Q, always wanted to get in on the guys games and challenge them. For a short girl my outside shots were pretty good. No I couldn't dunk on anybody obviously, but once in a while I could shoot over somebody's head and make the shot. A lotta practice does make perfect….*smile*

    1. I’ve been telling people I should be on ESPN for years. We are now an Army of 2, lol. Seriously though, thanks!

      I always respected the women who could hold their own in a pickup game. They could always catch somebody sleeping and hit a few jumpers. Great when they’re on my team, frustrating otherwise!

      Man I want to find a court soon!

      1. I always respected the women that could actually hoop….but they have to be able to ac-tual-ly hoop! lol. The ones that just kind run up and down and no one takes them seriously are the worst. No dude really wants to check her that tight or wants to take advantage of a mismatch in the post. It's a lose/lose. You dominate, well you're suppose to…she scores at least ONE bucket or steals it ONE time you will be ridiculed for the remainder of the day, lol

        1. Exactly Larry……I never just run up and down the court. I actually try to rebound and play defensively as strong as I can. Basketball is good exercise.

      2. lol @ Joe. I do enjoy your posts Joe; such a refreshing change of pace. I definitely try to hold my own and give brotha's a run for their money. They stay sleepin on me because I'm a foot plus shorter than them….but like Allen Iverson, i'm quick and agile…..they can't catch me….*wink*

  4. Comedy! #3 Any time I've played pickup in NY or LA, I've found that former football players can be kinda terrible at basketball mechanics. All hard foul everything

    I'll admit to being #2…I never did jersey thing, hate wearing another man's name on my back. But I do throw on my 11s w/ Nike tearaways when I get the itch to hoop. I hate the guys who did nothing but watch And1 film and swear it's a tryout whenever there's an audience. Ol Sebastian Telfair 2.0
    My recent post I’m Ok With Not Fitting Into Your Corporate Box

    1. Man when And1 really blew up it was a wrap…like oh “skip to my lou” nah how bout you call for a screen or pass the damn ball

  5. You know what? I was gonna make a jab. I really was. But I'm gonna delete it and shake my head and with an all-knowing smile just get the bengay….

    Grown Ups is one of my favorite movies ever. A man prolonging the investment of a minivan to prove to himself he's still young IS kinda cute. Frustrating. but cute. So I'm just gonna chill on the excessively hilarious jokes that ran through my head while reading this because — Kevin James was kinda sexy in his matching uniform though.

    1. ( *flashback to watching my boys play hoops and the explicit fantasies I had during the gunz show……..until they did the gayest sh*t ever in the locker room* COLLEGE athletes. Yes. Just yes.)

      *comforting back rub*

      I'm sure your basketball games will get better with age, Sarge. …. …..

      1. I’m not sure I’m old enough to comment on this post, haha. There’s an NC-17 rating here somewhere.

        …and I’m pretty sure you’re the first to call Kevin James sexy. Grown Ups 2 is being filmed by the way.

        1. lol @ the look on my face.

          =O!!!!! yay! That movie was so funny. and lol. He's cute. I like his charm. It gives him an appeal as a big guy.

  6. Man i hate all 4 guys u mentioned, especially John Q. Hustle who ironically always makes the shot to be captain and not another one after…a couple of people i also hate playing against

    1. The Curfew Guy- It was written..a pick up game decided by 3pts or less a rematch is not a courtesy its a right. Of course theres the one guy who ALWAYS gotta ruin it take his ball and go home.

    2. The Paul Pier…nah Dwyane Wade- The guy who calls a foul everytime he misses. He waits for contact like there are actual and 1s in pick up basketball, he’s the one that snarks “ball dont lie” when he doesnt get his call

    3. Mr. Outta shape- Hell this was me for a while eventually i got all the rust off. The one who just flat out runs out of gas, cant get back on defense, only shoots 3s cuz he’s too lazy to drive, usually gets scored on to end the game.

    1. Yes! Haaaaaate all those guys as well. Especially DWade. I have played too many guys that are on that “made basket or call foul” BS.

      I spent some time as Mr. Outta Shape as well. Even had to buy a knee brace. She’d those pounds though, lol.

    1. Yeah, he sucks. He’s like Al Bundy from Married With Children. Convinced himself he’s still that guy from his High School memories. In his mind he’s Steve Nash…denial is powerful ain’t it?

  7. Confession: I haven't played a game of pick-up basketball since like 2005. I used to ball out every day at the gym as the 'cardio' portion of my workout. One day I went up for a rebound and came down on someone's foot, rolled my ankle, and saw God in the searing light of pain that shot through my body. My ankle swole up to the size of a softball and as I sat incapacitated for the next week I realized it was highly unlikely I was getting picked up in the first round of the next NBA draft. Aside from a couple games of 21 since then, I gave up the hoop dreams. That said, in addition to your list, I hate…

    Napoleon Point Guard Complex: For whatever reason every guy under 5'8 assumes he should be point guard by the nature of his size regardless of his actual skill set or lack there of. He will also drive to the hoop with fury of Thor's hammer looking for the AND1 highlight. Don't let this short bastard also be a former football player…….

    Guarding the Girl: I actually have nothing against women playing, I just don't care for guarding them. If you play her too hard, you're a punk. If she crosses you over or scores any points what-so-ever, AND DON'T LET IT BE THE WINNING POINT, you're also a punk. Doesn't matter if this girl is Lisa Leslie tall and straight out the WNBA. If a woman crosses you over and puts the J on you, you gotta stay out the gym for like two months and switch up your whole wardrobe in the hopes people dont recognize you. Cole World.

    1. I guard girls like they are Lisa Leslie. Can’t take a chance! I’d rather be a “punk” for blocking her than take early retirement because she made me tumble to the ground.

    2. Guarding the Girl:

      Confession – I LOVE being this girl. I don't play often (anymore) but every once in awhile I'll join my coworkers for a game. It was all laughs and giggles the very first time we played til I hit the winning point.

      Hilarious post – great start to my day. I sent this to my cousin and he got so tight reading it, cosigning the hate for every single persona.

    3. see when it comes to guarding the girl..thats when you do the small tests…

      like halfheartedly play D the first time she comes up the floor w/ the rock, then for 3 seconds, you put that Defense like Jordan/Pippen did on Kukoc in the Olympics.

      not for long, just for 3 seconds. enough to give her a little rush that …. "good luck hanging with the big boys"

      of course, play this off in the beginning, before y'all play by saying how you rarely ever ball…yadda yadda etc

  8. lmao at the "Ivo" reference. Ivo was the funniest because he was the worst dude in the gym. Not just in the game, he instantly became the worst player in the building as soon as he walked in the gym. The absolute worst guy that you didn't mention is "Player-Coach guy". You know the one that wants to direct you to different spots on the floor. Tell you what shots to take, and what you should be doing even though they've never seen you play before in life. "A big man you should be down near the hoop" this statement is automatically said to the tallest guy in the gym, even if the guy is 6'1 because "a big man" is relative.

    There is also one other general rule. If a guy takes his shirt off to play basketball every game there is a 93% chance he sucks.

    1. Good ole Ivo. I can’t believe he convinced people to call him that! Unless his real name is Ivan Ivanifson.

      Player-Coach does suck. Usually a sarcastic “thanks coach” will back them off though.

  9. The best thing about pickup ball is all these characters. If you are at a professional or collegiate playing level, you should go play with them. If you are above the antics of pickup basketball, you should join a league. There's tons of competitive leagues for those folks who really can play the game.

    If not, it's come one, come all and all are welcome to get in on the action. I think the people who judge antics at the court are always right below being able to join a competitive league and only a tad more seasoned than these characters listed here in the post and the comments.

    #5 Harry Potter – Smart enough to know that I was never gifted with any real basketball talent. I'm not a great shooter, or dribbler, or jumper. I'm just an athlete, but also very smart. And because I know the game, I can pretty much outsmart people with a ton of more basketball skills. That's not to say I can't shoot, dribble, or jump. Like I said, i'm an athlete, basketball just wasn't my preference…. ever.

  10. Mr. New York: Thinks he's the second-coming of Shamgod. Fearlessly drives the lane to call the slighest of fouls. Thinks the appropriate respionse to any controversial call is "I'm from *insert Boro*"

    Coach: The usually older gentleman who believes his years of experience give him the right to direct everyone on the floor and serve as the authority for all calls. Enjoys setting picks, throwing outlet passes into the stands, and wild bank shots.

    The Ringer: Comes in many varieties. Balding slightly chubby guy, guy wearing sambas, guy with the created player generic jersey, guy with the crazy lazy eye. Look like shit but get on the court and go 7 for 7. The best when on your team. Absolute worse when they end your day.

    I'm Open Guy: The guy who is open on every play and has no problem letting you know. Even though he can't shoot and usually isn't open.

    1. All good ones. Especially “I’m Open” guy. Definitely open for a reason, though he’s the last to figure that out. Denial is a helluva drug.

  11. Maybe add "Mid-Life Crisis Dad" to the list. The guy who USED to be athletic, remembers the glory-days of high-school ball, but now has a teenager who consistently dunks on him. The "mid-life crisis dad" ™ actually could end up being a mix of the worst of all 4 —> J. Q Hustle + AI 2.0 + etc…

  12. ALL.OF.THIS.!!!!!

    Lol, man I know a few of all of these types. The worst is the combination of the JHQ and football player dude. They're just goons for the team and nothing is a foul to them.

    Another type of pick up dude is that dude that goes, what I call, "Beyond the Glory". You know what I'm talkin about. When a dude has those 'beyond the glory' moments he is trying to play above his skill set take the worst shots,making the worst plays at the worst possible times (toward the end of a tight game). Dude, know your role! When it's crunch time now all of a sudden you trying to be Jordan when the first 11 points (of a game to 12) of the game you were chillin playin within your game? GTFOH! lol.

    1. Haha…reminds me of the scene in Fresh Prince where Carlton stole the ball from Will and tried to shoot the game winner all in slo-mo.

  13. i think i hate iverson 2.0 and retired football player the most. you can always tell who's not really good in basketball by their gear. there's no reason you should be matching from head to toe while hooping. for what? i wear a cutoff t-shirt and shorts. plain. simple. i let my game to my talking for me. retired football players are the worst too. not that basketball isn't a contact sport but i'm 6'6 and 190 pounds. i don't feel like soaking in epsom salts every time i hoop.
    My recent post Build a Fence to Keep Asians Out???

    1. Yeah, it's tough with the straight up footballers, considering there's no such thing as an offensive foul in pick up ball, lol.

      I remember one time a dude tried to take a charge in a pick up game in college at the rec…we all just looked at him and kept on playing while ignoring his "foul" call….his own teammates even, lol.

  14. I skimmed the comments, but did we get Mr. I Think I Can Hit A J From Anywhere? This is the dude that regularly pulls up for 35-foot jumpers, and thinks it's a good shot because he can hit one out of eight of them. (skims post) I think he's in DYKWIA Guy, but at least DYKWIA Guy usually can hit those shots.

    Don't forget Mr. I Profusely Secrete A Thick Slime Of Sweat And I Always Play With My Shirt Off.

    1. The Mad Sweater definitely should be on here. It’s a little too personal because I sweat though. At least I have the decency to keep my shirt on. Not like the rest of those animals.

  15. This is hilariously spot-on! I humbly would like to add these:

    – The "Bizarro World MJ" – (shocked this wasnt mentioned…guess it could be akin to #4)- this would be the guy who wants everyone to clear out of the post areas so he can painfully contort his body through a sea of defenders and get ABSOLUTELY NO-F'ING-WHERE.

    – The "Cry-baby" – (double shocked this cat wasnt #1)- this cat is the most annoying dude on the court in the fact that he makes ALL CONTACT an automatic foul. What he's trying to do is create an environment where no one wants to guard him or have any contact with him so he can drive to the hole uncontested (as if he is beasting) – C'mon son…I gotta get home for dinner bruh – ya'll shoot for it or something if the call is controversial.

    1. Definitely should have included “Mr. Glass”. Eff that guy. There are two versions too. Guy who calls everything. And guy who calls everything AND gets mad as if he doesn’t know there is contact in basketball. How could these people have made it to adulthood without ever being fouled in pickup ball?!

      Good add.

  16. What about Mr. SkiptomyLou/HotSauce/Shanethedribblingmachine?

    This is the guy that sorely and erroneously believes that he can dribble through ANY double and triple team and and will go behind the back and back between his legs, clear space, drive and miss the d@mn lay-up…..yet somehow get satisfaction because he "shook somebody." Usually this guy has absolutely NO J whatsoever, lol. You can usually tell who this guy is before your game because hes the guy parcticing dribble drive moves against NOBODY like Nutso, LOLOL

    I abhor your existence sir, lol

  17. Mr. 6'8wasteofheight – This is the guy who is tall…….and thats it.

    He can't board, he can't shoot, he cant defend, he cant close off the lane……he can't do anything….he's just there, lol

    Not to be confused with Mr. 6'8bigsofty – this is the guy who at least tries down low to do his thing…..but he's as soft as twinkie filling, lol

    1. Can’t count the number of times I’ve said “if only I was 6’8” lol. I wouldn’t be writing on SBM. I’d be hoisting my 8 consecutive championship.

      Definitely some good adds. Those tall dudes are suuuuuuuch a waste if they can’t hoop.


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