Whether playing in the backyard, at the local gym, or at the city park, most basketball fans have played pick-up hoops at some point in their lives. In almost every game, there's at least one or two players who single themselves out as being the most irritating players on the floor. Here are the top five things a casual baller can do to make himself the most disliked person on the court.
5. Hogging the ball- This one goes without saying. If you don't pass to your teammates, people aren't gonna like playing with you, even if you do score all your team's points. Kobe could come to a pick-up game and score all of the buckets in every game, and it still wouldn't be a good time. The point of playing in a pick-up game is that everyone, even those who are athletically-challenged can get a chance to touch the rock. Decent ball movement and teamwork can make any group of average players look like the San Antonio Spurs.
4. Constantly wanting to argue or fight- Given reasonable provocation, its only natural to have the instinct to fight, especially after being the victim of a hard foul on the basketball court. But, sometimes there are those players that seek out disagreements solely for the sake of proving their manhood. In pick-up games, there are no technical fouls to hand out, so someone who constantly looks for conflict in a casual game can't simply be ejected, but he can become one of the more disliked people on the court by trying to escalate unnecessary confrontations.
3. Always calling fouls, even on minimal contact- This can make any ball player, at any level a highly resented one. Some physical contact in basketball does go over the top, and warrants a foul. Often times, in pick-up games there is a blurred line between what is and what isn't a foul. But those who call fouls when someone does so much as lay a hand on them can become incredibly aggravating. Even LeBron James would garner some disdain from other ballers in the gym if he continuously called light fouls on opponents.
2. Always calling travels and carries- This one really pisses me off when it happens to me. Not surprisingly, the call is usually made by someone who has a tendency to carry the ball, or travel himself. I don't think there's anyone in a pick-up game that hasn't gotten away with a carry or a walk, and constantly watching your opponents' feet can make you immediately the most disliked person on the floor.
1. Calling an offensive foul- This one takes the cake for the most annoying call in a casual basketball game. If this call is made on me, I immediately decline to respect the call. Offensive fouls in pick-up games simply should not exist. A defender will never stop to plant his feet correctly, ever. Even if the offensive player pushes off, its probably because the defensive player is in his grill too. In order to accurately call a charge, or even a push-off, there needs to be both a referee on the court, and the semi-circle in the paint, which many courts still do not have. A defender making this call himself will make him by far the most annoying player in the game, and maybe even cause a confrontation with his opponent.