The 9 Pickup Basketball Players You’re Most Likely to Encounter, Ranked
Photo: D. Stevens/Getty Images

The 9 Pickup Basketball Players You’re Most Likely to Encounter, Ranked

Who got next?

Photo: D. Stevens/Getty Images

9. The overzealous one

This dude has no understanding that pickup b-ball is a recreational activity. He plays like there’s a scout watching and ready to recruit a single hard-nosed competitor to the NBA. He takes charges. He claps his hands on defense. And he fouls. Hard. Because no cheap baskets. The Los Angeles Clippers’ Patrick Beverly is his spirit animal. Fuck this guy.

8. The 12th man on a D-3 collegiate team who busts everyone’s ass

You think you can make it in the NBA? You sit and watch people like Jared Dudley play and think you have a shot at scoring — let alone beating him — in a game of 21? Well, wait until the worst player at the worst college basketball program in your city steps onto the court at LA Fitness and looks like Kevin Durant out there. The humbling comes for us all.

7. By-the-books baller

This is the guy who argues every single call and wants to stick to every rule of the game. He’s usually screaming about three-second violations, establishing possession, and illegal defense. And everything is a traveling violation. (See #3.)

6. The OG

What this fiftysomething baller lacks in athletics he makes up for with crafty fundamentals, skyhooks, and bank shots that damn near destroy the backboard. His trash talk, which is nonstop, includes calling everyone on the court “young blood.”

5. Mr. Fits

This is the dude who comes dressed like he’s in an Eastbay ad. He has the Chicago Bulls warmup jacket and tearaway pants, with a Jordan jersey and official team shorts beneath. He’s got Air Jordan Bred 11s on his feet, with a matching headband, compression sleeve, and a Gatorade water bottle, too. He shoots 0-for-21 for the afternoon.

4. The mid-range White guy

There’s nothing more accurate than a jumper from a White guy with scrunched-up tube socks out on the concrete shooting into a double-rimmed basket. Maybe the hair on his legs affects aerodynamics or something? It’s just an unspoken rule — this guy is some derivative of Steve Kerr, John Paxson, or Danny Ainge and is going to be water from 10 to 15 feet away.

3. The “AND1 Mixtape” reject

Has he made a single jump shot in his entire life? Probably — but no one has ever witnessed it. Instead, he’s routinely spotted dribbling around like an idiot with no place to go before turning the ball over after dishing an uncatchable no-look pass.

2. The perspirer

An unappealing combination of shirtless, sweaty, and hairy, this hooper insists on regularly using his post-up game and making bodily contact with his opponent as often as possible. Win or lose, this guy is salty.

1. The player-coach

This dude runs his team like a tight ship. He calls plays, runs intricate sets, and is known for shouting “YOU GOTTA MAKE THAT” or “GET THE REBOUND, BIG MAN” at anyone in earshot. Nothing is his fault. You pray for an L just so you can switch teams.

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