Has the Basketball World Changed?
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on October 14, 2014
Years ago when I played lots of pick-up ball, it was, as often as not, a disaster. Constant arguing about calls; guys who did nothing but chuck the ball up; nobody playing defense; an empty soulless attitude and game. Of course, you learned where to go to find the better games, the games where real basketball was played. (Pemberton Street in North Cambridge was usually pretty good; Conway Park on Somerville Ave with the square metal backboards with the holes in them was a good spot, too, almost any day and any time.) Still, even those places could slide into scenes like the weigh-ins the day before a championship fight. I pretty much gave up on it all.
A couple of weekends ago we were in NYC for the Climate Change March and afterward, we were going to meet some friends and their kids at a playground; maybe 43rd St between 8th and 9th Avenues. There was a small fenced in basketball court (typical NYC cage court) and there was a game going on: 4 on 4. Couple Asian kids; a couple black guys; couple others of this and that thrown in. I stood back and watched a bit, just wondering what the game would be like. And there it was: ball moving, players finding one another under the basket, even a backdoor cut and layup. Next thing I knew, I had my fingers laced through the chain link fence, up close to get a better look and feel.
How did this come to be and is it the norm? And if it is the new norm, where did this come from? Was it the NTL Weekly Practice Programs and Weekend Camps?
Or maybe it was the move-the-ball and ye will find the open player on the way to the NBA Championship, San Antonio Spurs basketball?
Whatever it is, I’ll happily be looking for more of it. This can only mean good things for basketball and the world!