Monday, February 09, 2009

Court Attitude

We Can Try

Luang Prabang, Laos – I said to one of the staff today, “I leave in a few days. Tonight, we drink Beer Lao,” to which he responded, “We can try.”


More Top Eight Favorite Moves

By now, you’re probably wondering, ‘Ok, then. What’s your sixth favoritest move?’

That would be on defense, 1977, South side Chicago, 173rd and Martin Luther King Drive, four-on-four. Nigga name Jeri-Curl Earl and Iceman Ike coming down the court on a two-on-one fast break, and I’m back peddling on defense, stopping in the paint.

Earl give up the rock to Iceman above the top of the key and Iceman puts it on the ground then fakes the give back to Earl and goes on up for the slam.

I know the nigga is selfish, and ain’t no way in hell he’s gonna give it back to Jeri- Curl, especially with them hos watching, and him wearing brand new Adidas low-top kicks, so I act like I’m going for his fake, with my OWN DAMN head fake, and with perfect timing and anticipation, go right on up with the nigga, slappin’ his shit into the bleachers right out of his hand as he was pulling the trigger for the slam.

Having been taken totally off balance and out of rhythm, he landed on his back underneath the basket, and I said, “DON’T BE BRINGIN’ NO BULLSHIT IN HERE!” as he was laying there trying to catch his breath, to the delight and amazement of everybody there, hooting and slapping high fives, who didn’t expect me to cuff the Iceman’s shit.

(this could end right here, but of course, there's always more to the story. You wanted in-depth, didn't you?

I was runnin' with three brothers, Flash, Face, and Circus Shot, but over there, it sounded like, 'Sirca sha'. We went up against Iceman, Jeri-Curl, Evander 'Ev' Dooley, and another brother named, 'Lateshow', but it was really 'Lake Shore', a nickname. Don't ask me how he got it. I didn't know the last names, either, except Ellis and Dooley.

Iceman, Jeri-Curl, Ev, and Lateshow had held the court for over an hour when my game come up, and I had already got my team together, with Circus Shot being our only weak link. There was a reason he had that name. Face was incredible from the outside, and Flash could score at will against anybody out there, so I figured we could take those guys, and we did.

I must say, however, during that game, in which, with that rejection in the above story of the Iceman's shit, I was redeeming myself from an earlier play down low in the paint when Lateshow pulled an offensive board and put it on the ground on the baseline, then with his back to me, gave a head fake like, one dribble and he's going right back up with a turn-around jumper, except he put it back down and went on out to the three point line, turned and cashed it.

I wasn't even in the play, defensively. When he gave that little head fake down on the baseline, it lifted me out of my shoes. I was all up in my chest, hyperventilating and thinking I was going to stuff his shit, anticipating him going right back up, but he didn't. That was one of the best fakeouts I've ever seen on the court, and he wasn't even looking at me. He KNEW I was there).


The fifth? That was a series of fakes, on offense from the top of the key. The guy was over-aggressive, guarding me too fucking close, so I raised the ball high over my head and faked a strong two-handed overhead pass, directly over his head, then quickly pulled it back and hid the ball behind my back with one hand.

The guy spun around, looking for the ball, snapping his head left and right like some kind of wind-up jack-in-box clown, then spun back around when he saw everybody, now laughing, looking at him. When he spun back around to me, I pointed a finger, like, ‘there it is’, and gave an eyeball fake like a shot was going up from the corner, my eyes following the imaginary arc of the ball.

He spun back around again, with his back to me, looking all around in the air for the shot, and that’s when I brought the shit from behind my back and went around him on the left, down the lane, and laid it in, saying, “Chump Change!”, as I took it up, everybody laughing too hard for help-out ‘D’. 1983, Thursday night student/faculty pick-up game, against Dr. Zee, chair of the Psychology department.

He shouldn’t have been guarding me. It was a mis-match from the beginning, but he thought he could shut me down, insisting on guarding me, despite the skepticism of his teammates, a decision he came to woefully regret, his ego greater than his skill.

Word of the game, and the move, of course, quickly circulated among the faculty, grad students in the department, and soon across the entire campus, and thereafter, behind his back of course, was no longer referred to as ‘Dr. Zee’, but, yes, you guessed it, as, ‘Chump Change.’


In the aircraft, a guy from deeper in the plane pushed past me in a hurry as I reached into the overhead compartment. He stopped about six rows ahead, jammed by everybody else in the aisle waiting to de-plane.

He was at baggage claim, waiting along with everyone else, and I thought about how ugly and foolish impatience is, and how sometimes I get that way.