The Name Game

Jun. 8, 2016

Many moons ago when Dr. James Naismith created this game that we all know and love, since then many terms have been thrown around about the game and players. You say "Doctor" and immediately we know its Julius Erving, mention "The Admiral" and David Robinson comes to mind, or "The Answer" and Allen Iverson enters your mental, "Magic" and Earvin Johnson is the man.  Those are some nickname associations.

Then you have some positive terms:

BUCKETS - A offensive player known to be able to get points at will. One of Director/Coach Marlon Wells (EBO, The Bishops School, San Diego, Ca.) favorite things to say is Blessed Are The Bucket Getters.

CLUTCH - A player with the ability to perform under pressure. A player with a ability to come through with the clock running down and the game on the line.  Kobe Bryant has a reputation for being clutch.

DIMES - Long before Dame Lillard and Kevin Love collaborated for a Hot-16, well in Kevin Loves case, a luke warm 8-count, many have used this term. This is a term used for players with amazing vision. The ability to find teammates and deliver the ball with pin point accuracy for a easy assist.  Some have style with a wrap around pass, a behind the back pass, or a 45-foot between multiple defenders bounce pass that hits a streaking teammate for a easy lay-up in transition.


But today we are not speaking on some of the positive nicknames, or positive terms.  We are here to speak on some terms, phrases and/or lists that you DO NOT WANT associated with your name and your game.  Some I've coined myself, others I've picked up from some of my friends across the country.


Lets get right into it:

SCHOLARSHIP THIEVES – A player who look good in one game or event and somehow fooled the onlooking college coaches into believing this is REALLY who the player is. The college coach is so moved by the performance, that said 'thief' gets offered. Talk about out kicking your coverage. The stole that scholly!


HOLLYWOOD  – The player who is doing the most. A screen gets set and they just act like they got hit by a NFL lineman.  Or maybe the ball is clearly already out of bounds, but for sheer affect and fake hustle they do a full sellout Rodman-esque type dive after the ball.  You’re not fooling me. I see your fake hustle.


SCHOLARSHIP GIVERS – Ahhh, one of my absolute favorites.  There are many of these players out there on the circuit. You’ve seen them. When they’re on offense they can’t get by anyone so the defender looks outstanding against them, every screen they personally set the defender always makes it through or around, and on defense they are consistently getting roasted.  They lose every matchup, therefore on that day, whoever they went against earned themselves a scholarship at their expense.


CONE HEADS – These are our workout warriors.  Our dedicated in the driveway performers. Every other second there is a clip of them popping up showing just how awesome they are…… themselves, no defense around anywhere.  Just a them weaving thru a bunch of cones, with special effects and music in the background.  The video is clean, they look outstanding, and the overall visual would make Hype Williams and Diddy proud. BUT truth be told, this is the only place they can play.  


THE ALL-MANNEQUIN TEAM – Players who make up this team are closely related to the aforementioned Cone Head family. These players uniform is freshly bleached, not a wrinkle to be found. They accessorized to the fullest: Shooting Sleeve, check. Custom socks, check. Rarest kicks, check. Personalized Headband, check. Nike balance band, check.  Two pumps of smell good, and they are ready to play……..well not really.  These players look the part, but do NOT play the part.  ALL LOOKS, but a minimal game.


PUDGE MUFFIN – Basketball is a sport with requires running, jumping, sharp cuts, good balance and excellent lateral movement. One would think that Little Suzy Snack Cakes would want to be in good shape. Here in the United States our uniforms are not meant to be snug like the Australian National Women’s team. Your uniform shouldn’t be so snug that it can be confused with a Onesie or a leotard.  A few extra pounds, ok. Several “I Want Everything On It” burgers later will reflect in your appearance and in your game.  (credit to Lisa Bodine aka The Godmother)


MORTICIA – Bless her little heart. This is the player who dies on absolutely every ball screen. Then dresses it up with “YOU DIDN’T CALL IT OUT”.  Morticia has a funeral on absolutely every screen. Live a little Morticia, I promise you can fight through.


POUND CAKE – A player who absolutely loves to see themselves dribble.  A bunch of non-needed combo dribbles often done from a stationary position, sometimes done going East & West.  The dribble as if they’re getting a point per dribble.  Get rid of that thing already. Stop POUND CAKING!


HOT APPLE – This is a turnover machine.  Just a turnover waiting to happen.  A player is wide open you throw it just a shade too high.  A player with a consistent upside down assist to turnover ratio. In the words of Mike Singletary “Can’t win with them….!”


SCISSORHANDS – We tend to find this is Post Players. They get good position, a nice base, offer a good target and a great post entry pass is thrown directly to them, I repeat, directly to them, and they just consistently  fumble or drop the ball. Then they blow into their hands, rub them together, wipe them on their jersey, then point to the entry passer as if to say “My hands were slippery, My bad!”  No one has slippery hands for a season or a career Ms. Scissor hands, you just can’t catch. Open your hands, spread your fingers, and see the ball all the way into your hands. Put away the shears. 


ANT VERTS – A player with infantile bunnies.  You definitely find this in the previously mentioned Purge Muffin ballers, but others have these as well. They are knows as a vertical jump just high enough to get over an ant.  These players represent Team No Bounce!


GROUND HOGS – this player is inspired by my man Nicc Jackson (Elite Girls Basketball, Bluestar Media).  This player is not necessary garbage per se’.  In fact they actually have some talent. But they talk a lot of crap, Mom and Daddy talk crap and think their little Ground Hog deserves more pub. Well she’s a Ground Hog because her game is grounded, it doesn’t travel. She is locally good.  She beasts on all the nearby players. Anything within a short driving distance she gets it done. But once it’s time to hop on a plane and hit a top notch National Event, then the game is over. Somehow her game never quite makes the trip. EXPOSED!

HEIST BOX - Previously stated by none other than local Bay Area Coach Samuel Sims, this is the modern day Black Hole. This player never sees any teammate open. Play be darn, they have a better idea. You set them a ball screen, they consistently reject it! The just see the ball and basket. Every shot is a good their mind!  They never seen a pass they wanted to make. Errant shot after errant shot, their confidence doesn't falter. They are all about volume and style. Forget about score, time, and situation, it is all about them!