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Please Enjoy This Brief Video Of Devin Booker Being A Pickup Weenie

Photo: Maddie Meyer (Getty)

In general, it’s fine to have informal house rules in a pickup basketball game. “Guard your man” is a good one, for example: Few things are more annoying or more ruinous to the flow of play than the lazy sack of crap who sags 20 feet off his man, substituting the aggregate strategic soundness of letting an amateur take open three-pointers in place of the risk of getting roasted off the dribble. The thing is, you have to agree to these rules up front. You can’t make them up as you go. You can’t suddenly decide left-handed dribbling is against the rules right after your guy blew past you for a layup.

Here is a fun short video from an informal half-court game featuring NBA players Devin Booker, Ben Simmons, Tony Snell, and Joakim Noah, at least (it’s grainy footage and I can’t positively identify the other guys), in which Booker catches an entry pass down in the corner, spends six long seconds standing still instead of making a move against his lone defender, and then decides to complain when Snell comes over to trap him and force the ball out of his hands.

That’s lame! The “let’s work on our game [instead of double-teaming me]” bit is special baloney. Making decisive moves before a second defender can arrive—as opposed to dithering around with your pivot foot for all of eternity—is an important skill to develop, after all, if skill development is what you’re after. (Particularly for Devin Booker: Possibly he would not have to “get that shit all season” if he didn’t have a habit of swallowing the ball in a single location every time it came to him.) That’s not what this is about! Booker just wants the freedom to cook his defender without feeling crowded or hurried. Which is fine. You just have to make that a rule beforehand.

I appreciate busted-ass Joakim Noah for having none of it, and just being like “Fuck off, man.” Joakim Noah does not have “game” to “work on”! He’s old as hell. This pickup game is probably one of the last hundred or so basketball games of his life! Quit wasting his time!

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