Friday, March 27, 2009

Black Men Can't Dunk?!?

Bored with my usual gym routine, I decided to hit a nearby rec center for my noontime workout today. I don't ball there very often, but it's a good place to get a decent run in, and the competition is seldom that great. Which is good, because my game, at age 35, is Average at best.

When I arrive, there are 9 other dudes shooting around, clearly waiting for one more to join. I walk right in, and they immediately divide teams. Sorta. 5 Black dudes (who seem to know each other, but don't they all?) go to the other team, I am put on a team with 4 Asian guys (who also seem to know each other. Do they all, too?) and the pickup game starts.

The game ends just as quickly. We get rolled, 12-5. The brothas on the other squad were literally doing some Globetrotter Sh*t on us, bouncing the ball between legs, hitting 30 foot 3 pointers, and throwing down fast break alley-oops. I do my best, scoring 4 of our 5 points, mostly on putbacks and sneaky Antawn Jamison-style baskets in the paint. When they aren't busy getting their layup attempts pinned to the backboard Josh Smith-style, my "teammates" spend their time launching contested 18 footers. It isn't my finest hour, but I did my best anyway. Go hard or go home, right?

So, the game ends and I go grab water, waiting for the next run. When I turn around, the 4 Asian dudes on my team have already picked another player (another Asian dude) who has just arrived to join our team. I'm thinkin' "cool, maybe this guy can actually ball". But no, it turns out they want me to sit so their friend (I'm assuming they knew him) can replace me and play the next game, in their quest to redeem themselves against The Brothas.

It is the ultimate WTF Moment. I scored nearly all the team's points in a drubbing, yet they want me to sit down? Awww hell nawl!!!

"F'real? That's what's up?" I ask the "captain" of my former squad?

"Uhhh, yeah. He plays with us all the time." he replies, nervously.

Unable to process the situation, I relent and go sit on the sideline as the rematch (sans me) starts. I am freakin' blown. How can these bamas dump me from the team when I was the freakin' team!!!! For one brief moment, I know how Terrell Owens feels.

Anyways, I decide to know ruin the momentum, and go hit the elliptical trainer (in another section of the center), then return a few minutes later to the gym to gather my stuff and bounce back to work. When I walk in (this is no more than 10 mins later), the game is already over. I don't need to tell you who won, and judging by the brevity, I can assume it was another a$$ whipping.

The "captain" sees me gathering my stuff and calls out to me.

"Say man... you wanna play again?"

"Nah, mane. I'm good", I say, walking out the gym even more puzzled than before.

Question: Did the Asian dudes discriminate against me by not picking me for the 2nd game, even though I scored nearly all our points? Is this racism or merely the unwritten rules of pickup ball? Were they just picking their buddy because they were familiar with him? How's your game these days?

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