Friday, January 21, 2011

The Other Side Of Me

If you were to ask my friends who I play basketball with the following question, you would likely get some varied responses:

"How is coach41 on the court?"

  1. Focused
  2. Good mid-range shooter
  3. Doesn't play defense (a bit of an exaggeration!)  
  4. Plays with good fundamentals
  5. Pretty good team player
  6. Occasional ball hog!   Yes, when I get frustrated, I sometimes put up a few shots without passing.
All of this is true.  When I play with people I know, I go out there, play the game and enjoy myself.  I know how most of my friends play and I just adapt myself to how the flow of the game is going.   The negatives associated with me is usually with how I play the game than how I act on the court.  

However, I've noticed an interesting aspect of my personality surface in the past 3 months.  It started when I joined up with some guys I know to play in Sunday Open (non-Asian) basketball league last year and has continued on to a Thursday Intermediate Open (again, non-Asian) basketball league that is finishing up in a couple of weeks. 

In these couple of leagues, there was a lot of trash talking, players on the other team playing dirty and other people just acting like jerks.   Not to say the usual leagues I play in doesn't have that.  However, there is a level of respect among the players and I typically remain above the fray if things if anything is directed to me in my regular leagues.  

However, in the two non-Asian leagues I've been playing in, I have switched gears.  I sense a lack of respect from some teams (my team hasn't won a game in the two seasons we have played).  Some of the players on the other teams also take things much too seriously to things I have done.   

What have I done?  I box out.  I get in people's faces on defense.  I'll even occasionally dish out a hard foul.  I'm also very vocal with my team.  As the oldest and probably most experience guy I my team, I am constantly talking to my guys on what to do.  

Some things that have happened:

  1. Toward the end of one game we were losing, I fouled a guy to make him shoot free throws.  I hung on to him to make sure he didn't fall.  The guy basically said:  "F***ing let me go".  I told the dude he should calm down.   I also said I wasn't gay and trying to cop a free feel on him or something.    
  2. In a more recent game, there was this guy who was just killing us on the perimeter.   My teammate wasn't doing a great job guarding him so I switched up on him.   I didn't let him out of my sight and I denied him the ball.  The guy did beat me back door on one play.  I tried to block the shot but the guy was like 3 inches taller than me so I think hit him in the head.  The guy cried to the referee that I punched him and swore at me.  Usually, I make sure players are ok after a hard foul.  In this case since the guy was classless, I ignored him and didn't say a word.  I noticed he didn't go to the basket anymore though.  He was probably afraid I would hit him again. 
  3. In a game last year, one guy commented to me that I couldn't play defense or box out by fronting him.  I told him that I could.  He said he was a referee.  I told him I was too.  We went back and forth for a while and I kept constantly talking to him before the other guy had to tell me to SHUT UP.  
  4. Tonight, there was a dude he did some crap to my teammate and swinging elbows when I tried to defend him on the post (he's 6'4" or something).   If he was going to freely swing, then so did I.  He bumped me so I bumped him back.  The guy was 100% jerk that didn't belong on the court.  
Interesting huh?   Is this the same coach41 my friends know?  I'm still the same guy but in a different arena.  When I'm with my friends, we all respect each other.   However, in these other leagues, guys don't know each other and want to earn respect and they'll do anything to get it.   It's perfectly fine if we play a clean game of basketball.  Alas, there are some hyper competitive people or people who just don't understand class and respect on the basketball court.  I have absolutely no respect for those people and will not hesitate to let them know.   A part of this may come from me officiating adult leagues.  As an official, I sometimes chirp back to players who complain about my calls.  

On a side note, my friends know I talk a lot.  Guess what?  Some teams/opponents now know that too when I engage them in an extended dialog.  I have a feeling some of them don't really like it.   Oh well.  I may seem to be your normal quiet Asian guy.  They learn that isn't the case quite quickly.  

No comments: