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Basketball Players, Beware of This Man August 21, 2007

Posted by Marquis Chapman in Basketball, NBA, Sports.

If you’re a person that loves to play basketball and get a pick up game going, it would only be fair to warn you of this man I’m about to talk about.  This man has appeared in every basketball gym and park you can think of and is notorious for ruining thousands of pick up games a year.  We have all been victims at one time or another, and if you haven’t seen him yet, you should be be extremely careful if you don’t want to be the next victim.

The man I’m talking about is that middle aged guy that plays with the young guys in an attempt to relive his glory days. We’ll just call him “old school.” He comes in many shapes and forms, but he is always easy to spot. My objective here is to help you spot him so you don’t become yet another victim.  I’m going to describe some instant giveaways that the old guy you’re playing might very well be “old school”.

Beside age, the easiest way to spot “old school” is to look at his attire.  Usually he’ll be wearing some type of clothing that belonged to him in high school or college. It might be a jersey, might be some shorts, or it might even be a headband.  In addition to that, he most likely will  be wearing knee pads, elbow pads, high socks, a huge mouthpiece, and possibly goggles.

If your unable to judge by clothing, just pay close attention to the way he acts or what he says while warming up.  If he takes an extremely long time to warm up due to his hour long stretching routine, he’s “old school”. If he’s extremely siked up to play, he’s “old school”.   If he attempts a hook shot, he’s “old school”.  If he shoots with two hands, he’s “old school”. If he at anytime starts talking about an amazing play he did back in high school, he’s definately “old school”.

These are all great signs in order for any baller to spot “old school”. The most obvious signs however, are when you actually start playing with him.  This is the part where the pick up game gets ruined, and you and your friends become victims.

Now, the first thing to pick up on is if he’s talking more than he’s playing.  He’ll be talking trash to everyone, and won’t be doing anything significant on offense and defense.  He’ll also attempt to play physical by hacking you when playing defense, but will definately not allow you to be physical with him, by calling a foul almost everytime he has the ball.  Also, due to his age, he will hold the ball noticeably longer than usual in an effort to catch his breath. These are just some of the most obvious signs that you’re probably playing with “old school.”

I sincerely hope that this article will help any basketball player that has not yet come in contact with “old school”. I myself was a victim a couple of years ago and vowed to protect other would-be-victims.  If you have not yet been a victim, I hope you  remember my signs and please, always remember to play with caution.




1. kidal25 - August 21, 2007

This is funny stuff. I remember going to the courts once at my place but it was packed of kids just like me. I don’t go regularly to the courts so I rarely see the “old school” dude. I know my dad is so “old school” because he does all the 70’s stuff, the hook shot, and he always talks about the great days of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar when he and I play 1 on 1 in the driveway. But our courts in our community are pretty empty. Since I am at the golf course everyday I see a lot of old people but I think their older than old school.

2. The Mixtape Monster - August 21, 2007

Oh my gosh, this IS classic. I remember in a couple of years ago in my UNC days there was always this old dude who refused to play with the guys his own age in the gym. He would sweat profusely, then drop the shirt and be all sweaty and hairy. He also rocked a mouthguard and only shot long range threes, then would STILL get beat back on D. Shameful.

3. Sportsattitude - August 21, 2007

I would qualify as the flat-out “old guy” on the court at this point, but thank God I don’t share the qualities of the type you correctly warn us all about. Have seen ’em and tried to avoid ’em – and not adopt their tendencies – at all costs. It’s one thing to be “old” and another to be “old school.” I’d like to think I am hip enough to run with the youngsters without standing out any other way than gasping for air.

4. His Dudeness - August 21, 2007

I am with SPortsattitude. I would fall within the “Old School” label agewise, but I too would like to think I do not display those obvious signs. I admit you will catch me flinging off the ocassional hook shot, and everyone got to catch their breath from time to time. I guess that is why I stick with playing with the other “Old Schoolers”. I am old enough to know which group I am supposed to be playing with.
However, you will never catch me in a pair of knee highs or Stickton short shorts.

5. bueller - August 21, 2007

I play soccer but it’s still very true. We have a guy calling fouls every time he is touched…..ridiculous. Then he takes 5 minutes to recover and get back in the game.


6. Marquis Chapman - August 21, 2007

Wow. They even exist in soccer. Something has to been done.

7. K.C. - August 22, 2007

I am kind of ambivalent about the ” old school players” being that I am one now. What you got to remember is that if you are young and you really love the game you will morph into a old school player. It will happen before your very eyes.

8. Van - August 22, 2007

Try waking up for ball at 5:30 AM at the YMCA and finding yourself surrounded by “Old School’s.” You become the outcast and soon after you realize you just set yourself up for a nice game of basket hanging, full court baseball passes, and little to no defense… makes me think why the hell I woke up so early.

9. nysportsfan - August 22, 2007

this reminds me of a guy we nicknamed “Wu Tang” years ago. An older gentleman that actually looked like he could ball (whatever that means). But we shouldn’t known better from the white on white Pony sneakers with the light-greenish tint on the sole (from mowing his lawn we guessed) After a few chops and kicks later, we found out he really couldn’t.


10. Laz - August 23, 2007

Yeah man, they exist in soccer and I tell you what.

Those chain-smoking, pot-bellied Euros might not move as fast as they used to but they can still dribble circles around younger foes on the pitch.

(Un)fortunately I’ve had the chance to play with the basketball and the soccer kind. Admittedly, the soccer “old school” has more game than the basketball one.

One time in intramural soccer, we (a team of young Mexicans) went up against a team of middle-aged, chain-smoking (as they ran around the pitch!) Turks who well, took us to school, a truly humbling experience.

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