Tag Archives: Pickup Basketball

Retiring The Jet

Me and The Jet go way back. We first met on December 24, 1999. The Jet was on my Christmas list, and when I unwrapped him and pulled him out of his box, I knew we’d have a lasting relationship with another.

Smooth, leather, and with just the right grip, The Jet was a throwback to a different era, a prelude to a PETA-enforced generation of composite wannabes.

The first time I ever took The Jet to the gym, my basketball team didn’t put him down for an entire practice. The Jet was cool from the get-go, socializing with everyone, making friends, but still coming back to me at the end of the day. We were tight like that.

As the years passed, The Jet and I would run games all over the place. High school gyms, middle school gyms, elementary school gyms, college gyms, the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club, city community centers, church gyms…you name it, we ran it. The Jet was our designated game-ball, and him and I had that rapport, that comfort with one another that you can only develop after a number of years together.

Continue reading Retiring The Jet

Running With Stoners

One thing sportswriters love to do is tell their stories about pickup basketball. Perhaps it’s an ego thing, or maybe the camaraderie fuels their words, or maybe we, as an audience, just enjoy reading about the human side of sports. Either way, I’ve read a number of good pickup stories over the years, but I have yet to find one that even closely resembles mine. So without further ado, here goes.

Some guys run pickup games with old-timers. Some run games with kids. Other run with work colleagues, or family members, or longtime friends. I run with stoners. Potheads, if you will.

To clarify my situation, these stoners aren’t the only people I run with, and I, myself, do not share their fondness for the reefer. But it just so happens that over much of the last decade, I’ve happened to cross paths time and again with this group of people who value marijuana and basketball equally, and at the very least it’s been entertaining.

Continue reading Running With Stoners