Pickup basketball is all about casually jogging from arc to arc, giving zero semblance of anything that could be mistaken for defense, and firing up a three anytime you touch the rock — all without ever breaking a sweat. Most people get it, but on occasion, some neurotic spaz will show up and ruin everyone’s day.
He’s the exhausting asshole that face guards you all the way down the court and slaps the floor with tenacity. The pestering dick who dives at loose balls at your knees, takes pride in putting a body on someone to box out, and recklessly throws his gangly, razor-sharp elbows because he has no control over his uncoordinated limbs. This guy is the absolute worst, and this guy was once Bernie Sanders.
Bernie would run fives behind St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Vermont every Wednesday back in the ’70s, and this is the scouting report the guys who had the misfortune of playing with him recently gave to Les Carpenter of The Guardian.
“He wasn’t very fast.”
“He was crafty.”
“From mid-range, 10-15 feet he could kill you.”
“He was a guy who was willing to stand up and be the voice.”
He also knew how to battle on a basketball court. Aside from his jump shot the one thing people remember about his games were his elbows. They were bony and hard and hurt when they made contact with your ribs. And they seemed to find their way into the side of every player at one time or another.
“You didn’t want to run into Bernie because you would get an elbow,” Borger says. “Not intentional, but he would come down hard.”
I bet he put it off the glass with that mid-range set shot, too. Just catch, ‘bow to the face, bank city, repeat. So dirty and soul tormenting of a style that you almost have to respect it. Old school as old school gets. But still, fuck anyone who tries in pickup..
[via The Guardian]
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