This week my buddy Jeff went down with an arm injury. This post is in honor of him. He’s the best teammate a guy can ask for, on and off the court. All of these characteristics describe his effort and skill on the court. Send him some love and prayers.
1. Hustler (Rondo on floor)
The Hustler has that perpetual motor. He lays himself out for loose balls, covers all of the team with help defense, is relentlessly active with screens, cuts, rebounds and the whole lot. What else is there to say, the dude hustles.
2. Magnetic Hands
As I play more pick-up basketball, I realize how important it is to pick up the guy with the magnetic hands — the guy who grabs all of the rebounds. For a lazy shooter like myself, I can appreciate how a rebounder gives me extra shot attempts on every possession and takes them away from the other team.
Not Mo, actually. But you gotta love the guy who doesn’t hang out on the perimeter waiting for the ball. The Cutter makes moves towards the basket and makes everyone else look like Ricky Rubio. He can move without the ball and that’s awesome because I like having the ball.
4. Eyes Behind His Head
Some guys just know where you are all the time. Sometimes it’s a tipped outlet rebound, Tyson Chandler-style to you waiting on the free throw line for an open shot. Sometimes it’s a quick shovel pass out of a double team that he shouldn’t have been able to see. Either way, this guy has a knack for finding you at your spot.
It’s always a good idea to pick up the smartest guy in the park. A high basketball I.Q. means that you get a guy who is always setting screens, cutting to the basket and being disruptive on defense. He takes the right shots and makes the right passes. He spaces the floor where you need it and fills in the gaps.
6. The Monk
The team can’t all be made with egos, so it’s nice to have a skilled player on your team who isn’t going to take every shot. He isn’t cocky or arrogant, he’s just there to do work. He’ll knock down a couple of shots and instead of a heat-check, he’ll pass it to an open shooter. Humility without passivity makes for a good teammate.
7. Shutdown Corner
There’s always that dude on the other team that no one wants to guard. Maybe he’s a big man, a knock-down shooter or that skinny kid who runs like he’s on speed. Well, the shutdown corner guards him. Every time. He doesn’t mind taking the tough defensive assignments and your legs and ego thank him for it.
All these traits and more sum up the playing style of my buddy Jeff. I’m wishing you a speedy recovery and we’ll come back better (but safer) than ever next season.