As part of promotional efforts for NBA 2k14, Michael Jordan picked his all-time pickup basketball team: Jordan himself, Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Hakeem Olajuwon. A fine team, no doubt.
But what would be the worst pickup basketball team ever?
The Fat Sweaty Guy
What is he?: He’s a fat, sweaty guy with a completely smooth body that has a constant coating of sweat slime. Even the slightest contact with him leaves you feeling like you were sprayed with a soaking b.o. fire hydrant. He is likely wearing an ill-fitting t-shirt, nauseatingly tight mesh shorts and a cheap pair of basketball sneakers. Glasses or sports goggles are also common.
Signature move: A very slow low-post move that always includes his soaked armpits getting in the face of his defender, followed by him getting blocked.
Stat line: 1 baskets, 2 rebounds, 5 turnovers, lots of wheezing and failing to get back on defense, 11 gallons of sweat perspired.
The AND1 Reject
What is he?: Your team’s point guard, a position he just took without asking. He failed to make his high school team, but he believes he has become a playground and local gym legend since failing to latch on with the Mediocre High Fightin’ Scrubs. He is 99 parts swagger, 1 part useful basketball skill.
Signature move: A crossover at the top of the key, followed by five stutter steps and a spin move down the lane, then a hop-jump, no-look, behind-the-back pass off the red EXIT sign above the gym doors.
Stat line: 2 assists, 14 turnovers, 6 people hit with passes who were walking along the sidelines.
The Pregame Specimen
What is he?: He shows up at the gym and it’s immediately clear he’s a player. Tall and muscular, he had to have played somewhere in college. Maybe even professionally. Oh, yes, you’ll be picking him first. Then the game starts and … sweet merciful god. This guy is horrible. He can’t dribble, he has no idea where to be on the floor and his shot looks like a man trying to hurl a boulder through the air to kill a bird. He is the worst first pick ever. You are the Michael Jordan of pickup basketball GMs.
Signature move: Shooting an airball from 5-feet while everyone looks confused.
Stat line: 0-for-8 shooting, 4 turnovers, 0 questions about where he played in college after the first 2 minutes of the game.
The Gunner Who Needs His Shots to Get Going
What is he?: A long-range marksman who feels he just needs to get some shots up to get in rhythm and then watch out. He’s never gotten in “rhythm” in his entire life, as he absolutely sucks at shooting. But he’ll never get in this “rhythm” if he doesn’t keep shooting, right? What don’t you understand?
Signature move: Taking an outlet pass at midcourt, dribbling up the court a few more feet and then launching a three-pointer from beyond NBA three-point distance … a three-pointer that lands six-feet short of the basket, where The Pregame Specimen somehow fails to catch it and then fumbles the ball out-of-bounds. The Gunner does this again 30 seconds later.
Stat line: 0-for-14 from three-point range, but that last one rimmed out so he’s feeling it for next week.
What is he?: He’s you. Much slower than he used to be, with an ever-decreasing vertical leap. Lazy on defense and on the boards — and with only a few decent moves on offense, anyone who plays against you more than a few times can easily shut you down.
Signature move: Two dribbles into the lane, jump stop, head fake, and then a 12-foot jumper. That’s a really crappy move, you know.
Stat line: 3-for-9 from the field, 2 rebounds, 3 turnovers, 0 self-awareness.
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