If you regularly play pickup basketball, then you can immediately recognize a certain kind of player. Go to any gym or playground across America, and you’ll probably notice most of these types of “ballers” [disclaimer: this term is used very loosely]. While you would want a few of these guys on your squad, most of them spend more time on the sidelines than the actual courts, as they’re typically on the losing squad and are quick to call next. Here are the 12 types of pickup basketball players.

1. Big Dude who Thinks He’s a Guard

You can recognize this baller immediately because he’s usually the tallest person on the court, yet he never bangs for rebounds and has an atrocious perimeter field goal percentage. He’ll lead a 3-on-1 fast break and pull up for a contested 17 footer. Despite repeated attempts to get him in the paint, he shrivels up like he’s taking a swim in the ocean. Next time you pick teams, be wary about choosing the biggest guy. NBA equivalent: Antoine Walker

2. Guy with the Endorsement Contract

He really doesn’t have a deal with a shoe company, yet he’s dipped from headband to toe in all the same gear, usually from Jordan Brand. He runs a little slower since he can’t crease his brand new kicks. Also his gear contains all the latest wicker proof technology, just in case he might break a sweat. He’s the person checking the other games not for people’s skill level, but more so to checkout what other people are rocking. NBA equivalent: Quentin Richardson

3. The Man

This cat hasn’t left the court in about 6 games since his team always wins, and still doesn’t get tired. He possesses a textbook jumpshot, finds the open man, and is efficient on defense as well as offense. And during these games, his actions look effortless. The best player on the opposing team tries to check him since he doesn’t possess the typical baller look, but he gets defeated along with the rest of his challengers. NBA equivalent: Steve Nash

4. The Fake Baller

This guy looks the part. Has a sinewy and strong body, has a basketball-themed tattoo, either rocks corn-rows or has a shaved head, wears a jersey from an old league he has participated in, and just appears to be a player. But in reality he sucks. He takes most of the shots on the offensive-end and slacks off on D. He possesses poor footwork and is a digital clock – aka no hands. NBA equivalent: Kwame Brown
The 12 Types of Pickup Basketball Players: What Type Are You?

5. The OG

You know this person because he is there everyday, as he’s a true gym rat. Those kicks he’s wearing aren’t the retro models, they’re just the original shoes. Just like older guys on the golf course always hit straight drives, the old cat is money from 20 feet in. Because he may have lost a step or 3 due to age, he’ll compromise this by playing a little dirtier, so watch them elbows, pulls and grabs. No one really calls off-the-ball fouls during pickup, so you might wish that someone else is guarding you rather than him. NBA equivalent: Robert Horry

6. The And-1 Guy

Probably the most despised in the group, this person watched one too many mixtapes. His basketball aspirations ended prematurely because he couldn’t make the simple pass or make an opposite hand layup, but he could do a 360 crossover between the legs at half-court. Besides either traveling or carrying during every other possession, he usually tries shots with a degree of difficulty of 15 on a 10 scale, and acts surprised when he misses it. In between his trash-talking, he yells “And one!” after every shot attempt. NBA equivalent: Smush Parker

7. The Player/Coach

This person plays with the mentality that every guy is his last. He wears knee braces on both knees and would wear a whistle around his neck if it didn’t get in the way. You might be cutting, yet he’ll yell “Cut!” He is also the first person to call out the screens for you, and remind you every possession if you fail do to so. He’s out calling plays, yet no one really listens to him. He’s scrappy on the defensive end and heady on the offensive side, and he looks for the pass more so than the shot. Yet despite his good intentions and knowledge of the game, he’s more of a liability on the court. NBA equivalent: Jacques Vaughn

8. The Football Player

This baller treats the hardwood as his personal gridiron. He probably just finished lifting weights, so he has even more adrenaline before the game even starts. He dives after every loose ball and fights for every rebound, so you want him on your team. He’s probably moving on all the screens he sets, just to feel that contact. He might even wear a mouthpiece for an added touch. NBA equivalent: Matt Harpring

9. The Perspirer

This guy looks like he just took laps around the pool with his clothes on. And worse yet, you’re guarding him with he’s playing on skins. He might have back hair or bacne or both, and naturally he always wants to play the post. You feel like you might catch some new disease from him after too much contact. He doesn’t use deodorant, as his body odor can enhance his interior game. NBA Equivalent: Andres Nocioni

10. The Hustler

He appears like he’s hustling because he’s huffing and puffing, not because of playing good defense but rather he’s out of shape. Since he is the 6th option on a 5-on-5, he doesn’t worry about getting offensive touches, and tries to contribute elsewhere on the court. If his physical attributes matched his passion for the game, then he would be formidable. He actually keeps his own stats easily because his line is filled with goose eggs. He is the Hustler because he’s hustling a more worthy player of playing time. NBA equivalent: Eric Snow

11. The Cherry-Picker

After a missed shot, usually by him, he casually tries to play D but ends up on the offensive end because the other squad already scored. He’s yelling for the ball since he has a breakaway and gets upset when he doesn’t receive the rock. He rarely ventures within 15 feet of the basket during a half-court set, is indifferent to D, and does not make an impact on the outcome of the game whatsoever. NBA Equivalent: JJ Redick [if he's still in the NBA].

12. The Chick

There’s bound to be at least one chick during a run. She probably played Varsity for her high school but still maintains that competitive spirit. She’s a little more fundamentally sound than her counterparts, so she’ll generally make the right basketball decision. And she’s kinda cute in a weird sort of way. For some reason if you end guarding her, you almost want her to post you up, just be careful not to pitch a tent. WNBA equivalent: Sue Bird

Which type of player are you?


46 Responses to “The 12 Types of Pickup Basketball Players: Which Type Are You?”

  1. Alano on July 17th, 2008 3:39 pm

    Love it. Especially the “pretender” ballers with all the glitz and glam. Its not a fashion show fellas…

  2. rols uno on July 17th, 2008 3:40 pm

    i think i maybe #1 and #3 but i do rebound and i will get in the paint here and there but also have a good enough handle to play point forward. My NBA comparison would be: DERRICK COLEMAN

  3. Graeme on July 17th, 2008 4:21 pm

    This is honestly one of the funniest things i have read. Amazing work.

  4. Chris Clarke on July 17th, 2008 8:05 pm

    This article seems to “borrow” a lot from previously-authored, hilarious, and far better lists of types of pickup basketball players. I’m not going to link to these pieces because this comment might get caught in the spam filter.

    Matt Mchale from Basketbawful wrote a great piece on pickup nicknames, from which you seem to “borrow”:
    #12 “The Chick”, which Basketbawful referred to as “The Girl”
    #10 “The Hustler”, which Basketbawful referred to as “Hustle Guy”
    #2 “Guy with the Endorsement Contract”, which Basketbawful referred to as “Michigan Guy”

    Patrick Hruby from ESPN wrote a piece discussing types of pickup players as well, from which you seem to have borrowed:

    #5 “The OG”, which Hruby referred to as “The Dirty Old Man”
    #9 “The Perspirer”, which Hruby referred to as “The Sweat Hog”
    #8 “The Football Player”, which Hruby referred to as “The Guy Who Doesn’t Know His Own Strength”

    Finally, a guy named Josh Sneed created a video depicting “The 11 Guys You Will Always Find at Pickup Basketball”, from which you seem to have borrowed:

    #7 “The Player/Coach”, which Sneed referred to as “Player/Coach”

    So, nicely done! Great list! Where’s the credit to those who already wrote the material for you, though? Hmmmm….p-l-a-g-i…oh nevermind.

  5. REEGSTA on July 17th, 2008 11:02 pm

    ^ this piece was birthed after a few guys were having dinner and started talking about different types of players at the gym. the only thing ‘borrowed’ was the experience of sharing the court with these guys. the overlapping of characters just attributes to how common these types of players are. if you ask any regular baller for specific types of players, i’m certain you’ll find redundancy among any piece you’ll read depicting them.

    for the record, i haven’t even read those articles that you referenced above, but i’m sure they also write about the same characters. writing about a similar subject matter doesn’t automatically equate plagiarism, so you shouldn’t be quick to throw that word around. you accuse me yet ESPN and Basketbawful are immune to it? i wrote this based on my experience, from my point of view and in my voice. just because the authors you referenced are on major sites does not make them the authority on pickup b-ball.

  6. kram on July 18th, 2008 12:58 am

    i think anthony mason breaks the mold of #1, that dude had mad handles for a big small forward!

    i think i’m a mix between 8 and 10.

    My NBA equivalent, sadly:

    Malik Rose.

  7. Chris Clarke on July 18th, 2008 6:12 am


    Yes, I accuse you of plagiarism, and both ESPN and Basketbawful are immune to it. Why? They wrote their pieces more than a year ago, and they were original then. What you’ve put together isn’t original at all – in fact, it’s so unoriginal that it raised red flags for me, forcing me to do my research and call you out.

    My skepticism remains, but I’ll concede that some of these characters are fairly common in pickup basketball. I’d recommend you read some of the articles, and do a bit of research before you make another list.

  8. Jake on July 18th, 2008 10:43 am

    You forgot to mention this about the “football player” – expect frequent drives to the basket with his head down and his shoulder planted firmly into your chest. Unfortunately for you, no one calls charging in pick-up games.

  9. Josh Sneed on July 18th, 2008 10:48 am


    I agree with Chris. We did this video a long time ago (almost a year) and it was featured on SI.com, YouTube, and has over 800,000 views on break.com. If anyone would like to see what we did on this topic, you can watch it here:


  10. CHEE on July 18th, 2008 11:00 am

    F*CK U!!!! why the hell u calling out andres nocioni, hes the hardest workin player in the NBA, he may perspire, but so does everyone else, shaq looks like hes drenched in sweat all the time. Andres always hustlin on the court, and hardest defender out there. GO BULLS

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  12. hoon on July 18th, 2008 11:17 am

    yall should meet up for a game of one on one and settle it on the court. haha.

  13. peaches on July 18th, 2008 11:20 am


    I found this article through digg and I rather enjoyed it. I get a kick of these guys trashing you because they have nothing better to do. Keep up the good work.

  14. FuzzLinks.com » The 12 Types of Pickup Basketball Players:Which Type Are You on July 18th, 2008 11:40 am

    [...] While you would want a few of these guys on your squad, most of them spend more time on the sidelines than the actual courts, as they’re typically on the losing squad and are quick to call next. Here are the 12 types of pickup basketball players.http://www.ploomy.com/2008/07/16/the-12-types-of-pickup-basketball-players-what-type-of-basketball-p… [...]

  15. Soren on July 18th, 2008 11:49 am

    Chris and Josh, quit drinking the “haterade.”

    You’re basically saying that anyone who writes about the same topic is a copy cat….gimme a break! I am sure there are similarities, but calling it out as “plagiarism” is just horsecrap.

  16. VK on July 18th, 2008 12:04 pm

    Steve nash = “efficient on defense”, nice one guys.

  17. Nick on July 18th, 2008 12:09 pm

    hey Chris Clarke, i once called someone a plagiarist on a website before (it was over a year ago – go do your research to find it!) – and u straight stole that from me in your comments here. you, sir, are one dirty ugly plagiarist yourself – that’s like the pot calling Manute Bol black.

  18. Mike D on July 18th, 2008 12:27 pm

    “big dude who Thinks He’s a Guard” is born out of necessity as he is usually accompanied by 4 other players who never look to pass down low.

  19. neil on July 18th, 2008 12:56 pm

    A big what’s the haps to Josh Sneed.

    Josh, you are the man!

  20. Chris Clarke on July 18th, 2008 1:27 pm

    @Nick shouldn’t be too hard, ever heard of Google?

    @Soren on broad topics, I totally agree. But making a list of the types of pickup ballers? That’s pretty specific.

  21. Alex McArthur on July 18th, 2008 1:55 pm

    I hate to admit it, but I’m half 9 and half 11…a pretty ugly combination.

  22. Nick on July 18th, 2008 2:20 pm

    wow, Chris Clarke – i’m sorry, but i think all that u heard from my previous comment was “swoosh,” as it apparently went flying over your head.
    my comment to you was (let me spell it out clearly this time), calling reegsta (the author of this article) a plagiarist was way out of line and unwarranted.
    and chris, it impresses me very much that u can come right out and accuse reegsta as a liar and plagiarist when by all accounts it appears that u don’t even know him except for this short article of his u read.
    and my fave comment of yours, “They wrote their pieces more than a year ago, and they were original then.” (in the voice of an old man reminiscing of the old days fondly) ‘ahhh yes, remember over a year ago when nobody had ever talked about pick up ballers before. that was back in the day when people must have first started playing pick up ball.’ (time to be clear as to avoid the “swoosh”) in what crazy world do u live in where someone is immune to plagiarism b/c they write something original when the topic has been written about for decades upon decades already?!?!
    honestly chris, to me, your comments here a complete joke. i don’t mean to be insulting, even though i’m coming across that way, but i feel i need to defend the author a bit here since i feel u’re way outta line.
    this is a fun subject, and very popular (gauging by the popularity of this article); so people will continually write and talk about this more and more over the years. and for all those future words to be written on this subject, by people expressing their common experiences, they all need not be banned in the name of plagiarism.

  23. Analyzing Digg: What the top 10 Diggers Digg. on July 18th, 2008 2:24 pm

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  24. Chris Clarke on July 18th, 2008 2:58 pm


    Calling Reegsta out resulted in the editor of this site emailing me, saying (and I hope Anthony doesn’t mind me putting this up):


    My name is Anthony and I am the editor. I did not pen the article, but I did like the comment. I’ll let the author respond if he wants to, but as the editor, thanks for keeping us honest without flaming us.

    Hope you enjoy the site.


    So Nick, the editor of the site, the person responsible for the content, thanked me for “keeping (them) honest”, and you (who are you again?) ask how dare I accuse reegsta of plagiarism? Excuse the all caps, but HIS EDITOR THINKS HE PLAGIARISED IT TOO!

    I wouldn’t normally waste my time on a troll, but how dare you come after me when the editor of this site appreciates the work I did. The author responded, and we had an exchange, and that was the end of it. Then you decide to take the cause after everything had been settled, as someone with absolutely no part in the matter.

    Let me put this out there for you to think about: if people are going to continue to write about this wonderfully-original subject for years to come, as you suggest, wouldn’t they be smart to actually look up these articles before writing something completely unoriginal and contributing another seemingly-plagiarized article to the discussion? Or do you think everyone should act as ignorant as reegsta and not take 10 seconds to Google some words to find out if a topic (like this one!) has been exhausted?

    I defy you to find an article about the types of pickup basketball players written any earlier than 2007. It shouldn’t be hard, right? I mean, you said it yourself, “the topic has been written about for decades upon decades already?!?!” Good luck!

    And beautiful use of onomatopia! SWOOSH! Just brilliant. Bravo.

    /feeding Nick the Troll

  25. Steve on July 18th, 2008 3:11 pm

    You are retarded.

    Where in the editor’s email to you did he say “YES! I AGREE! HE PLAGARIZED!”

    He merely stated he appreciated your comment, as any editor would appreciate both positive and negative feedback to better the site. How that meddled through your head as complete agreement shows me that you like to twist whatever comes your way into what you think it should be, not is.

    On an off note, I thoroughly enjoyed the article, being an avid pick up player. As a huge fan of ESPN, I have never SEEN this type of article before. And I am curious as to how you believed he plagarized from all 3 different sites. While you were at it, could you research for us, which publication first came out with the article, and then the varying degrees of similarities between those as well? Then write to each publication with your findings. Keep up the good work, idiot.

  26. Kelly on July 18th, 2008 4:01 pm

    great post

    ~ the chick

  27. Nick on July 18th, 2008 4:51 pm

    chris clarke – first off, let’s get the troll thing out of the way. how is it that i’m a troll? i’m just responding to your controversial comments (i say controversial b/c u’re calling the author a plagiarist when multiple other posters don’t see it that way), and since i’m simply responding to the topic at hand – i’m in no way a troll (especially when u started the controversy). i acknowledge my insulting comments – and they’re probably not necessary, but i don’t mean them in a mean spirited way, as i mentioned before, they’re just to reflect extreme feelings for wrongfully calling someone a plagiarist.
    next off, the “HIS EDITOR THINKS HE PLAGIARISED IT TOO!” i don’t know what crack u’ve been smoking (again apologies for the insult, don’t mean it to be mean spirited – just to get my point across), but i just don’t see in any way shape or form that anthony, the editor of this site, thinks this article was a work of plagiarism. his comments seem to say that he appreciates the critical analysis of his authors, ie; keeping them honest, and not just a bunch of phony “i love the article” comment crap. and i too appreciate your critical analysis, but calling reegsta a plagiarist just happens to be way wrong in my opinion. and i don’t see how my thoughts and opinions on this public site or unworthy of this supposed settled matter. the matter wasn’t settled w/me, and since u commented on this site, i felt i should respond – and yes, my thoughts and views are not immaterial.
    and to your comment, shouldn’t people look up these articles before writing something unoriginal. bluntly – NO. there’s no crime to being unoriginal, and this is in not a research paper. so let him write whatever he’s thinking, that’s not plagiarism. please learn what plagiarism is before u accuse someone of it.
    and next time, when u’re looking to add emphasis to something by capitalizing it, please be sure to spell it correctly (is it really necessary to draw attention to your stupidity: the word is plagiarize – it’s plagiarize; -ized, not –ised. (that was off topic, and trollish – maybe calling someone a troll is just self-fulfilling)). i just find it rather ironic and all that u get on somebody’s case for not taking the time to look something up when it’s unnecessary, yet u don’t even take the time to spell things properly when u’re emphasizing them. similar to u ending you post by trying to stick me w/a little jab, and yet w/that bit of emphasis u misspell again: it’s onomatopoeia, not onomatopia.
    to your point of you defying me to find anything older than 2007 describing these type of pick up ballers, are u really serious? do u think that people first began communicating in 2007? or maybe that people first started playing pick up ball in 2007? yet, with these two very old practices of communicating and playing pick up ball, do u really think that no one had discussed this topic before? just off the top of my head, w/o doing any research i recall from the movie “along came polly,” they blatantly portrayed “The Perspirer” or “The Sweat Hog.” it was a major part of their promos for the film. and if i recall properly, that movie was before 2007. but, serious, do u think that people haven’t discussed these stereotypes before 2007? and to use a research tool that can’t provide u with anything before 2007; maybe u need to look a little harder and/or better. but i’m not gonna bother to try and look, b/c the whole point of this is – that he doesn’t need to do thorough research to write what he thinks about a non-serious topic. if u have issues w/the originality of this article, then fine – just say “boo, next.” but seriously, u took a misstep by accusing reegsta of plagiarism.

  28. share-bare on July 18th, 2008 4:52 pm

    wow…there is most definitely a few biatches up in here. you people need a hug or something. as rodney king would say, “can’t we all get along?” [no plagiarism here since i reference mr. king] is that cool chris? sidenote – nice article reegsta. have a great weekend everyone!! =D

  29. Nick on July 18th, 2008 5:00 pm

    side note: i’m a regular reader of this site (i like to read the articles – not just look at the pics of the ploomy girls), and i haven’t really posted much. but i enjoyed the critical analysis from chris – i hope that my attacks don’t scare u off from this site, b/c this site could very much use a few critical posters. that’s just my opinion though.

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  32. joe on July 28th, 2008 2:31 pm

    What about the guy who never stays on his man. No matter how many times you tell him not to switch, and won’t even yell switch when he does it.

  33. moneysworthless on August 7th, 2008 5:08 pm

    good list :D

    definitely edging towards the football player…

  34. Pballin21son on February 13th, 2009 11:11 am

    I like this its amazing how accurate it is.

  35. UNCBALLER on April 20th, 2009 8:13 pm


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  39. Matt on August 9th, 2010 8:21 pm

    Awesome article – I know so many of those players…lol!

    Hey guys,

    I’ve create a site to locate pickup basketball games. Check it out if you need help finding games.




  40. Baller on August 19th, 2010 6:15 am

    I actually played high school football against Harpring.

  41. Pickup Games on February 10th, 2011 7:27 pm

    Another one you forgot, the gambler. one of the very annoying type of player

    The one that’s always trying to bet you money on that they’ll win the basketball game.

  42. McNasty on April 7th, 2011 6:18 am

    I live and play in rural Vermont. I’m usually the best player on the court, not saying much since it is VT, but I have to say this article has opened my eyes to the player/coach (which i HAVE to be) since i’m playing with a bunch of dimwits usually. but i’ll deff. tone it down on calling out screens and such. thanks!

  43. Patrick Culleton on May 14th, 2011 7:24 pm

    This is really funny. We invariably have some of these types playing at your local courts around the country. Don’t crush those child-like fantasies that they are playing during March Madness or the NBA Finals-they’ll have none of that!

    I am a classic #1 who doesn’t try to dribble, but the biggest waste of height!

  44. Jumpshooter on August 9th, 2011 8:10 am

    Hey that was an amusing, entertaining, and informative article you wrote REEGSTA.
    If I were to classify my own self—I’d give you the description that the other players give me when I take the court. Seeing that I am usually much older (my age = 50) than the other players–they call me “O.G”. Presumably meaning “original gangster I am 6ft 2in, wt 185 lbs..
    But my game is qualified because my skills are good and my fitness level is above average. So, I can usually be a significant factor on the court—making a key defensive play/steal or stop that causes a turnover, hitting key shot, getting a key offensive rebound.
    I like it when younger pjlayers see me, then try to size me up and think they can clown on me. I just put them to shame in front of they girlfriends or buddies by calling for the ball on the wing, then giving the signal to my team mates that i want to run an “iso” [isolation] set on this ‘fool’. Then I do a quick jab step and execute my patented behind the back dribble, spin move, and slap the back board when I take one last hard dribble, crouch down low, and accelerate in for a power layup move with my left hand. Then scream “ahhgghhh” like a Japanese shogun wielding a sword as I finish the move strong in the paint. Then all the players say “dyam, OG got game” or “dyam boy, OG done lynched you with a coat hanga”.

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