Time: 8:45pm,- 5 on 5, full court, indoors, first to 8 points or 10 minutes per game. In case of a tie a “golden shot” aka first shot wins.
So far one team with: one girthy 6’6 guy with a post up game, a soft jump shot and a knee brace, two small guys with speed, good handle, fast hands, and good decision making, a slasher and a square guy with handle, a long range shot and the ability to look like he’s moving in slow motion in the middle of the paint - call them the Winners and they have dominated the court. This crew, using both skill, finesse, power, and loud mouths silenced all the other and younger, 7 foot tall and dunking with ease who now languis on the sidelines with the rest of the acolytes thirstily practiced their shots at the other end of the court when the ball had advance in the other direction - waiting for their turn.
The list is 4 games deep which means that the acolytes, the young men and women strung along the out of bounds, glaring on the court, laughing at the missed shots, sizing up the good players - squinting like hunters through a scope - sizing up the prey. The floor squeaks.
The square guy, dribbling with his right hand, enters the paint in slow motion. He dribbles around his back to his left, makes a slow-fast move to the basket, then bounces the ball from his left side around the back again but through his legs and back to his right hand. The defender is confused. He had over-committed left and now the ball was back in the square guy’s right hand who by now is too deep into the paint to stop. He uses his effortless touch to finish it off. The winners have just had another easy victory. At no point were they down and the game ended with 3 minutes left on the clock having reached the 8 point limit.
It takes an unnecessarily long time to get the next game organized. People are honing their shots, sharpening their focus, chatting away are the acolytes. A group of young girl ballers are sitting with their buddies on one side of the court. This is the cool crew, they look like serious basketball players, laugh like them and talk like the whole world revolves around their jokes. At the other end is another crew of acolytes, they are regulars, know the scene, and have a reserved air that belies their high school coolness. They’re good kids who can ball with the bad kids. In the middle are the freelancers, free agents, radicals, older guys and white guys. The sorts of folks that no one really wants on their team - but end up on the teams anyway.
Finally order is established and a scraggly team steps on. They are a motley crew.Call them the Ringers: One white guy with floppy hair and not enough height, or flare, to call him pistol pete. Then another small guy, a roundish, lined beard, puffy neck with skinny legs who manages to be fast and struts with confidence. They had some height too: one guy who looked the part - answering to the name Tony, another lanky guy with a whiners scowl, a blue tank top, and balding head - one of the old guys - the other was a stocky ex-football player, with his white bandana, blue shorts that he’s had since playing football in college and the only guy or girl out on the court in running shoes - grey New Balance.
“Man, i hope you got some basketball shoes to change into” one of the acolytes squeals.
He stays quiet, knowing his game, and minding his business.
Judging from the way the Winners had been playing they clearly had the advantage in size, they played like a team - even running plays - and they were cocky - arguing every call, and waggin their toungues before it even started. Winners start out with the ball because they’re, well, winners. Immediately they attempt to go own into the post with the big guy with the knee brace. He’s got a wide jaw, and a killer turn around jumper. New Balance gives him the fore-armed shiver, keeping him at a safe distance. When he does go up for the shot, he does so with a hand in his face - close enough so that the sweat splashes on his palm - good defense for a old guy clearly over-matched. The ringers get the rebound and the stage has been set - this would actually be a game...
TO BE CONTINUED