The Newbie’s Guide to Pick-Up Basketball in Brooklyn


So, you came off the bench in high school as a solid suburban two-guard who played good defense and could shoot foul shots. You played intramural in college. Now that you’ve settled in Brooklyn, you’re kind of thinking you want to get back into playing basketball, mainly because it’s a really good (and cheap!) workout, but the local courts seem a bit daunting to you. Well, it’s time to toughen up and jump in… Here’s what you’ll need to know.

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  1. this shit is funny, and pretty well researched. one thing you forgot, Mr. Writer: DONT show up at the court with your 3 friends and then refuse to join a bigger game because you only want to play 2 on 2. thats wack. and it usually comes off as a fear response, which makes the locals feel weird. trust me.

    though i guess you did say that thing about “always say yes to games” so this is more of a group-based suggestion on the same theme.

    other things that people from not Brooklyn don’t know that you might wanna know:

    1) Utah is a game that plays just like the game 21 that they play in the rest of the country. Except every shot counts as 5 points and you play to 100 instead of 21. Also you cant use the backboard on your foul shots in Utah.

    2) Airballs, steals, and blocks where the initial shot doesn’t touch the rim or backboard… when any of these happen the ball doesn’t need to be cleared back to the foul line. The defensive team can take the ball straight to the basket.

    3) People from Brooklyn RARELY play with 1’s and 2’s. RARELY.

    4) You dont ALWAYS have to win by 2 points. For example, you can play to 16 “straight”. Or if the game gets tied at 15, you can go to “18 straight”. Win by 2 doesn’t happen as much, because its generally annoying.