The Ultimate Pickup Basketball Etiquette Guide

I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.

That’s the famous line from the movie Network (1976), and that’s how I feel these days when I play basketball. So many of pickup basketball’s unwritten tenets are broken on a daily basis.

The principles of the game are simple: play a handful of games, burn some calories, banter about current events, seek camaraderie, then go home and brag about your accomplishments.

However, there are always a spoiled few out of the bunch. Don’t be any of the ass-clowns below.

Accessories guy – Just because Foot Locker had a 70 percent off sale doesn’t mean you leave the house wearing the clearance aisle. Give your wife her leggings back, its 95 degrees after all.

Jersey guy – We all know you once paid top dollar for that Tracy McGrady Orlando Magic jersey, but opt for something less obtrusive. Your nipples will thank you later, and your basketball bros won’t remember you as “Tracy.”

Shirtless guy – Your sweat-soaked shirt was your best source of offense and now you’ve gone commando? This makes you the equivalent of the Bubonic plague.

Three-point sniper guy – You’re not Stephen Curry, so stop camping beyond the arc like it’s a day after Christmas sale. Move around. Set a screen. Grab a rebound, or go home.

Reckless abandon guy – This isn’t Pamplona’s running of the bulls, so don’t charge around the court like you just downed a container of NO-Xplode.

Pat on the ass guy – You want to congratulate me on a good game? Grab me a Gatorade, not my ass.

Know it all guy – He begins every game by asking if they should play man or zone, is a stickler for in-game adjustments and is the first to talk shit about a teammate as soon as they hit the water fountain. Section 9, Code 73 indicates you need a new hobby.

Living in the past guy – He once scored 11 points in a high school game, his friend plays Division Three ball and he hasn’t hooped it up in five years — or so he says just to cover his ass in case he plays like shit.

Cut your fingernails guy – If I wanted to go one-on-one with Wolverine, I’d play a game of Marvel vs. Capcom.

Foul smelling guy – Two words: Right Guard. Actually, make that four words. Add Left Guard, too.

Video game guy – Hey, Iverson, pass the ball! We’re not extras in your highlight reel.

Turnover guy – He travels so much he needs a passport every time he plays, but whenever he’s called out on it, he vehemently fights back as if accused of murder.

Over the hill guy – You know who I’m talking about — the cagey veteran that’s usually the oldest dude on the court. He wears pads on both knees, volunteers to take the ball out every half-court possession and keeps score to look resourceful. Sadly, his Alzheimer’s doesn’t make this all that pragmatic. But no worries, he only has one game in the tank.

Cherry picking guy – We’re not vacationing in Fresno; run back down the court.

Jordans guy – Did you come to play, or get off on compliments for sporting a pair of shoes you stood in line for three days to buy?

Ass-ics guy – The last time you picked up a ball was when you tossed it to your cat. Foot your Asics back to your Prius, not to the hardwood.

And there you have it. Bookmark it. Print it. Keep a copy in your wallet or get ready to get called out next time you commit any of these heinous crimes.