Don’t be that guy: Pickup basketball

In the Vanguard’s ongoing commitment to keeping our sporting events and gymnasiums free of riffraff, we’ll be presenting you with a series of guides on how to avoid being “That Guy” everyone hates. This week: how to not be a douche on the court.

Now that the NBA playoffs are in full swing, many are taking to the basketball court to step up their game because, as we all know: Ball is life. Weather it’s the blacktop or the hardwood, many of us have often bared witness to “those guys” during a pick up game. B-ball culture tends to attract a certain type of dude who has managed to strike the perfect/imperfect balance of cockiness and delusion. Some of these guys are much easier to spot than others and have certain notable characteristics.

There’s the I-swear-I-can dunk guy who is looking for that perfect alley-oop to slam it down and draw the cheers of onlookers. More often than not, this aerial attempt results in a sloppy turnover, which looks nowhere near as cool as it did in homeboy’s head. But don’t worry, bruh, he’ll get it next time, he swears.

Another one to look out for is Mr. Fashion Show. This guy shows up to the court in all of the latest and most expensive basketball apparel. He’s often rocking the latest Jordans he’s spent hundreds of dollars on, and alongside his head and wristbands is a Nike shirt with some motivational saying on it, like, “Basketball Never Stops.” Underneath said Nike shirt is yet another shirt which he reveals halfway through the game if for no other reason than to show everyone how much he shops at the Nike outlet. One thing to remember when stuck in a game with this guy: Do not scuff his kicks!

You might also encounter The Coach. He’s usually the first to criticize his teammates but takes no responsibility for his own shortcomings. If he misses a shot, he’s likely yelling for his teammates to crash the board and get rebounds. If he gets layed up on, he’ll tell you “switch on that screen next time.” This dude will likely be preaching to his team about the importance of defense just as the game-winning shot goes up uncontested. The Coach is hindering the cohesiveness of the team and should be avoided at all costs.

Then there is The Old Timer. He is hands down the oldest guy on the court, coming back to relive his glory days and teach these young bucks how it’s done. Adorned in short shorts and knee high socks, The Old Timer is always quick to remind you that he’s still got it. Exercise caution when guarding the him, and maybe let him knock down a couple bank shots. His pride is on the line, and his self-image is all he has left.

Finally there’s Mr. Buzzer-Beater. This dude wants to be the hero of the game and takes excessive amounts of long-range shots. No matter how many he’s already missed, he holds out hope that he’ll sink that game-winning three-pointer. Although the rest of the team has stopped passing him the ball, he still camps out in three point country hungry for the glory of the long-range game.

Next time you’re out on the court keep an eye for any of these dudes, and don’t ever let yourself become one. Remember that you’re out there to ball out and have a good time, not to feed your ego.