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A power forward I ain’t. Truthfully, not even a point guard. I am a youthful 5’7 (ish) two guard with a decent jumpshot, sometimes. I found this sweet little basketball court in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and started playing again, shaking off the rust and trying to get my groove back. The court is like 100 yards from the beach so I usually go for a swim after. I seriously miscalculated where my skill set is in the process of getting my game back, ball don’t lie ya heard? The problem was, I was rulin’ my court, rainin’ jumpers, teardops in the paint, Kevin Durant ya heard? Granted, my competition was old white men and middle (or elementary?) school kids, but still, my confidance was up. I thought I was way more better than I was.

With my talent shining through and on display, it was time to step it up. Saturday I went to the courts at English Park on Sunrise, across from the Galleria, to run some game. Mistake. Big mistake. Huge. First off, the games run full court, which is difficult, especially if you are a middle-aged man who eats ice cream every night. Add the chain nets and the merciless south Florida sun beating down on me, and I’m in trouble. Oh I failed to mention, there’s some real talent on the court today. I got next with four other dudes. I pick up this light-skinned dread-locked brother, Patrick, who is wearing a Hurricanes t-shirt. He immediately drops a three right over me. My team travels up and down the court about three times, the ball doesn’t remotely swing my way. Patrick decides to post up and clears everyone out so that he can bully me down low. I make effort, a small elbow in his back, hand up and jump when he shoots and scores. Next trip down he spins on me and scores again. The brother on my team who has so far run down the court and shot the ball each and every possession yells “D up motherfucker.”

I know what I have to do and my pride forces me to call for the ball next trip down. Greedy reluctantly passes me the ball and I’m up, they clear out the right side of the court and Greedy is yelling Professor! Professor! as I make my move. Well, try to make my move. I’m dribbling left-handed and try to go between my legs and around Patrick. Patrick swings his left arm hard, knocking the ball out of my hands and also hitting my forearm, hard, fuck, ouch, hard. His fist was closed, it was literally a punch. He dribbles down the court and tries to dunk, missing, so good for that. Greedy shoots again, then in the paint on D I catch an elbow from Patrick. It feels like he broke my nose. As I stagger to the side I am thinking oh shit, my insurance doesn’t kick in for another month. Patrick is unapologetic, he lays the ball up, looks at me and yells “Liberty City motherfuckers.” It’s time to go, as Liberty City is perhaps the roughest and most dangerous hood in Miami or Florida or North America. I try to tell Greedy i’m out but his ignorant ass is already launching a three at the other end. I am proud to say I don’t take off running for my car, I don’t cry and try to look as chill as can be, but as I pull out and look back I am pretty sure I will never, ever return to this specific basketball hotspot. Half of my arm is bruising up. Tomorrow I am going to elbow some 5th-graders and talk shit to some senior citizens at MY basketball court, they better watch out.

Patrick really hurt my feelings

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