Averaging A Double-Double in Your Rec League Does Not Mean You Are LeBron James
The scene: 7:15 p.m inside a gymnausium at an Adult League basketball game held at Fairfax High School. A lanky 24-year old whose hair seems to be hoping to channel Bob Dylan circa 1965 steps to the line to shoot the first of two free throws. His team is up by 10 in the first half.
The gym is empty, save for a score-keeper, the players, two referees and a whopping total of four spectators there to watch the rec league game. As the player (me...obvs), steps to shoot the free-throw, suddenly one of the previously quiet spectators cackles, "You fucking suck, you scumbag."
Being loudly called a scumbag in the midst of the free-throw throws me off a bit and I miss long. I turn around to stare at the voice that has just called me a "scumbag." It's an average-looking, unfashionably dressed girl who looks like she'd just stepped out of a library where she'd been reading Jane Austen novels all day long. She seemed to be the girlfriend of the team's opposing center, a lumbering Greg Ostertag-like goon who despite standing 6'6" was getting d'ed up by the 6'2" defensive specialist/blogger extraordinaire, Jones on the NBA.
As I step to shoot the second free-throw, the Greg Ostertag-clone/boyfriend of said heckler (who only had the game of Ostertag, but more closely resembled former Utah Jazz center, Mark Eaton), says very loudly, "this guy can't shoot free throws. He sucks."
I sink the second free throw.
For the remainder of the game, despite the fact that his team is losing the entirety of the game, despite the fact that he is getting shut down by a guy four inches shorter, despite the fact that he can't hit a shot further then six-feet from the basket, Ostertag/Eaton continues to talk shit to not just me, not just Jones, but also Crockett, who he keeps telling, "I want to see you shoot, bitch. I want to see you shoot." Not a smart move. Crockett has a deadly 15-footer.
But its not just him, every time I step to the free-throw line, his girlfriend has developed a sinister hate for me and starts spewing different epithets to insult me.
"You fucking suck...What a fucking loser...Boo, 24 is terrible!!!"
Resisting my urge to charge up into the stands and pull a Ron Artest, only one thought floated through my mind: what the fuck is wrong with people!! Who feels the need to talk shit during a rec league basketball game, let alone to tell his woman to start heckling too. I can understand talking shit during a high school or college basketball game. Hell, If I had a dollar for every time I talked trash back during a high school game, I certainly wouldn't be blogging right now. But this guy and his woman looked like they sold sub-prime mortgages for a living. They weren't street. They weren't hard-core. And despite their best efforts to dissuade themselves otherwise, they certainly weren't "gully."
Seriously, if you talk shit during a rec league basketball game, stop. Now. You aren't cool. You're playing in an adult league. You're about as far from the NBA as Chris Martin is at convincing me that Coldplay is a good band. Stop. Think about it. You probably work 65 hours a week and I know that playing hoops is the time when you're gonna' "blow off all that steam," but you aren't LeBron James, you're a goofy looking white guy who shows up to every game wearing the same faded headband. Shut the fuck up.
And if anyone out there thinks its cool that his woman was "down for the cause," because she was talking shit too, she wasn't. First off, it would only impress me if the girl was cute. But since her looks hovered somewhere between abject mediocrity and "maybe if I had about 4 drinks," the only thing impressing me was this couple's stupidity. There's nothing more bad-ass than heckling your boyfriend's opponent when there are 12 people inside a gym at a poorly played recreation-league game. Nothing!!
I have probably only played basketball against 10 people in my life who had the right to talk trash. All of them played DI basketball or could have. Dropping a consistent 12 points and 10 boards when league's median height is 5'11" does not give you that right. Sorry. And I don't feel this way because of any lack of basketball ability. I probably consistently average 18 points and 10 rebounds a game in every rec league I play in. But do I talk shit? No. Because ultimately, I realize that I'm only good in the context of the fact that the average person just isn't very good at basketball.
So the moral of the story is don't talk shit. You don' t look dope. You look disastrous. And as for the game, of course I'm fouled with about 27 seconds left. It's a one and one and my team is up three. I approach the line..
"This guy will fucking brick it. He's such a loser. He can't hit a fucking thing."
"Scumbag!!! Loser!! You suck!!!"
We win by five points.
And ultimately, as I'm leaving I get one last good look at the couple and shake my head and laugh, knowing that in 15 years that poor sap and his girlfriend will be that one set of parents at every Little League game that no one wants to sit next to. Their poor child will be embarassed that his parents will be retards and I'll be there laughing ...mainly because my son will smash on their little miniature Mark Eaton-esque offspring. And be able to sarcastically mock them while doing so.