Two dummies squaring off over “who’s got next” at Panhattan rec-center. Photo by D.M. Notsquiat
A record-high 69 people were murdered in the U.S. last year over next in pick-up basketball.
Anyone who plays pick-up basketball knows that guys get overly gangster when it comes to arguing over who’s got next. They often become irrationally enraged. That irrational rage is now escalating into cold-blooded murder at an alarmingly high rate.
Players Against Rec-League Non-sense, a nonprofit organization dedicated to cleaning up the world of low-stakes basketball, estimates that roughly 115 people were murdered last year during pick-up basketball disputes — 69 of those murders were directly related to arguments over who’s got next.
Macrapolis leads the nation in who’s got next killings. And, City Council is pushing for legislation that would require pick-up basketball locations to post sign-in sheets for those seeking to declare next.
“It’s evident that adult men can’t handle the responsibility of deciding who’s got next,” City Councilman Kwame Johnson tells The Bluffington Roach. “We are confident that the list requirement will save lives.”
Many disputes over next can be attributed to shitty communication.
One guy will walk up to the side of the court and yell I got next without confirming whether or not he’s actually been heard. Later on, another guy will walk up to a random person on the sideline and tell him, and him alone, that he’s “got next.”
The men will profile on the sideline until it’s their turn to play instead of making it clear who has next. When the inevitable clash between the two comes to a head, the two men will square up with one another like every ounce of their manhood is at stake.
The exchange will go something like this:
Dickhead #1: Nah, my nigga I’ve been waiting her for like 46 ½ minutes. I’m on.
Dickhead #2: What the fuck are you talking about? As soon as I came in here I told him I had next, (as he points to the random guy he declared next to).
Random Guy: (He never wanted to be involved in the argument but reluctantly nods his head in agreement). He did.
Dickhead #1: Nah fuck that, I’ve been here since breakfast my nigga. I’m not getting off. (He nonchalantly shoots the ball from half-court to let niggas know he doesn’t give a fuck and that he’s there to stay).
Dickhead #2: Nigga I ain’t getting off. So, I guess niggas not playing then.
Dickhead #1: Get the fuck outta here son. Stop frontin’ for the cameras my G.
This exchange will go on for a long-time because whoever backs down first will feel like a bitch for the next three days. The dynamics between the two men will vary from situation to situation.
One might clearly appear bigger and tougher than the other. And, the rest of the gym knows who would win a fight if something actually popped off. But, the clearly weaker man will display quite defiance, so he can feel like he still has some testosterone left in his nuts.
Alternatively one of the guys might be a gym regular who feels like he has the protection of other gym regulars behind him if he ever had to actually act on his tough talk.
There could be another scenario where one guy is really shitty at basketball but lifts mad weights. He’ll probably have strong-ass deltoids with the game of a diabetic fashion designer. Thus, he’ll seek to assert his manliness any chance he can outside the context of actual basketball — which he is gay at.
Proving ones manhood during recreational pick-up basketball means everything. So, naturally it would make sense to kill the guy who’s arguing with you over next rather than be the bigger person and put your ego to the side.
PARLN supports the legislation, but understands that even the most logical tracking system may not be enough.
The organization warns that there will always be dickheads, with the right blend of insecurity and arrogance, who will escalate situations to unnecessarily dangerous levels.
“One would think that a list that clearly establishes the order of who gets to play would be full-proof,” Eric Welsing, executive director of PARLN, tells BluffRo. “But, we must realize that even the strongest legislation won’t stop a dickhead from being an asshole.”
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