NCAA and Pickup Basketball
I'm 32. I'm 5'10'', 220. I have all the tools, good shot, decent handle, great passer, energetic defender and rebounder, limited by my age and height out there.
At the local LA fitness there are plenty of people younger, more athletic, and in better shape than me.
I consider myself a decently intelligent person. Watching the Spurs and the Mavs that beat the Heat in the finals, and watching a ton of college basketball this year, I know about spacing and screens and finding mismatches. Even though I've never played organized ball, I'm learning a lot watching college bball this year especially.
So when I show up the the gym, and play pickup ball, it sucks for 2 reasons. 1, I dont' have it as much at 32. I also don't get enough shots when I am one of the better shooters out there, I think its the grey hairs, but mostly because of the people at the gym. 2, I'm old enough and have seen enough bball now that even though I never played organized ball, I know the game so much better than these knuckleheads, who think everytime they touch the ball they either have to shoot or take it to the hole in traffic. Its so frustrating when people don't pass.
I started playing motivated by this season's NBA and NCAA, but I actually am starting to dislike playing. Maybe I just need to get in shape and be a star so that I can play both ways, hah. That isn't likely, but it sucks that most people just don't know how to play the right way, and they're schooled. I can't stand bad shots!!!
Just focus on your individual skill and when in fact you do get the ball make your first opportunity count to prove your worth to your teammates. Pickup ball is more so an eye test thing, especially if you've never played with the group of guys you are with. Everyone who plays pickup ball does not have an organized approach to the game even if they once played school ball or AAU ball. For the most part it's "I gotta get mine" mentality out there.
that mentality has to change man. I read an article about the AAU kids just showcasing themselves and not even worrying about the fundamentals or even the W or L and how that carries over even to the NBA.
These kids have to think "i gotta WIN" rather than "i gotta get mine". I don't care how many points I score, as long as I help my team win.
Not everyone is Kobe or MJ, but the good games are when its tight and everyone starts playing hard at the end. That almost never happens in pickup bball, at least not in suburban PA, haha.
I agree with everything you're saying man but when it comes to pick up ball people always try to play hero ball even if they stink.
I'm from Australia and after a 3 year long ankle injury I had to move organized basketball clubs, however joining the new club there's a rule that you have to play in the lowest ranked team available for at least your first season. Prior to my ankle injury I was playing at a state level and then I'd been kicked back to a low grade local competition of about 6 teams, I went from knowing all the plays and running the offense to not even having players know how to set a screen properly.
Now these kids were pretty awful but a few of them really wanted to learn and without being a dick about it I tried to teach them a few things about shot technique, spacing and pick and rolls and they really appreciated it. For other players on the team, they didn't respect me or care enough to become better players and thought they knew it all.
Now playing with these guys made me not really want to play at all, everything was in shambles and we were getting blown out all the time, no one ever really showed up to practice or they never took it seriously. I just kept doing my little things in practice and on game day playing my role and doing what I knew I needed to and eventually the players who wanted to get better followed suit. Next season myself and two other players will be moving up to a higher grade whilst the others are stuck in the lowest team possible.
The point I'm trying to make is just do you. Do what you know how to do as best you can and don't get sucked in to following other people's play styles, be the best player you can be and eventually you'll find people who respect that. Work on your individual skills and things will come naturally regardless of your age or height. If you really want to change pick up games be vocal and lead your team. If you're still not satisfied with that then maybe some form of organized ball is for you? The thought of winning something like a little trophy or playing in a regular team where you can learn the strengths and weaknesses of your teammates is often enough to change that mentality.
Sorry for the massive post but I've had a lot of experience dealing with players and colliding mentalities especially recently, and if nothing else I needed to get it off my chest. Hope it helps.
I'm also pushing 32, and although I have done a great job of maintaing my athletic ability, I'm pretty tall (6'2'') I don't always pass the eye test as a guy who will be good ( although I had a pretty good high school career, but didn't make the jump to NCAA ball). I just don't look like a ball player. I have a beard, a few gray hairs, and don't keep up with the lastest shoes, and often play ball in an old concert T.
I still love to play, even against younger guys that have never played a minute of organized ball and just want to chuck 3's and play the ISO game. A tip...hit the offensive glass. Guys generally don't box out well in pickup games, and you get about two or three offensive boards, get a couple cheap buckets or an extra shot for someone else and guys will realize you can play and start giving you the ball more.
If you're a student of the game, you can also get appreciation from doing the little things. Get a big block, score two or three buckets without a play being called for you, stuff like that will always be rewarded, but pickup ball is like everything in life, you can't just show up and expect it to be fair, you have to prove yourself.
The Wolf of Street Ball
Its just getting lamer by the day. When the perceived better athletes, get the ball in open space, and run down the floor and chuck a horrible horrible 3 pt shot.
You know how they say you must always feed the big man, to keep him happy? That never happens. I think the more i'm realizing how to play smart ball, the more I get frustrated with these kids that don't want to play smart and definitely don't want to listen. Not even run plays like you guys said, just make good passes to the open guy, get everyone involved.
Its sad that we have to do dirty work to get "respect" and get the ball. I know I'm a better shooter than these clowns, they're the ones that should be getting the boards to be able to shoot.
The sad thing is, and the reason I wrote this out here, is because a lot of this parallels into the NBA today. Young kids that don't want to listen and just want to attack the rim.
I hated the way the first Heat Bron Wade Bosh team played. It was all 1 on 1 ball and they were just more talented. But I really like the way Riley has put this team together with role players and snipers that can play with Lebron perfectly.
Its not a JR Smith and Melo situation. Still hate the Heat, but thats because i'm not a frontrunner!
I fully understand where you are coming from as far as getting your bigs involved because that's my mindset as well. The thing is every big does not play big at all and I end up finding this out quick at times. A week ago at my local gym I were on a 2 on 1 break with my big and what he did was a complete facepalm reaction afterwards. Instead of filling the lane to give me the option to attack the rim or pass which mostly was what I was going to do, he flared out to the 3 which I ended up kicking it out to him anyway because I did not want to force a bad 1 on 1 situation. Almost forgot to mention that he didn't even get his shot off, someone hustled back to block his attempt. I have a lot of C'mon man moments when I hoop weekly.
at least you tried bro.
From what it sounds like, you're going to McDonalds and getting frustrated that they don't have prime rib. Pick up games are fun, but its a different type of ball. I prefer city league because you can run an offense, play against guys who, in a lot of cases, played high school or college ball, and since you pick your teams you don't have to suffer through proving yourself to an 17 year old who thinks he's Lebron.
Just sounds like you're not really cut out for pickup games. That's fine, but there are many ways to enjoy the game, I'd look at leagues, they often have divisions based on skill level, and you can play with guys who know your strengths and weaknesses.
Joewolf1 I must admit you always comment with some good stuff.
After playing yesterday, all I can say there is nothing like playing in your primary gym. When you have guys who know your strength it's so much easier to perform.