Issue 110: Basketball Moves to Use in Everyday Life

As much as I’d love basketball on TV 24/7, the simple fact is we don’t get that luxury. The WNBA is currently giving us solid games at night, sure, but the dog days of summer are dogged for a reason. They’re slow and devoid of hoops.

That means we need to create our own basketball action in our daily lives. Here are some of the best ways to do it, plus a primer on what they are in case you need to brush up on your ballin’ terminology.

Box Out: The best results of boxing out come from having a booty, or at least sturdy hips. When a shot is in the air, one player (usually the one on defense) will find a player on the other team and drive their backside into them. This is done to prevent the other player from being able to get the rebound, since jumping over another player’s back typically results in a foul.

How to use it in real life: Whenever something hits the floor and you’re nearby someone else, do not let them get that thing on the floor. You can extend an arm out as well to initially find them, then drive them all the way backwards. Bonus points if you really commit to the bit and go through a window and into traffic.

Tip In: As the name suggests, this is when a player taps a missed shot back into the basket. Even though they never technically grabbed the ball, it still counts as a rebound, as well as a shot attempt and made field goal.

How to use it in real life: How often have you seen someone try to drop something in the trash only to miss? Don’t let that anguish hit them. Instead, offer up an assist by diving across the room and smacking that object — let’s say a rolled-up paper towel — into the garbage can before it touches the floor.

Drop a Dime: Sometimes you make a pass that’s SO good-looking, someone will exclaim in surprise and/or delight. This is called dropping a dime. It almost exclusively results in you getting an assist, and usually a high-five or two.

How to use it in real life: Chances are at some point soon you’ll have to hand an item to someone else. Why not add a little flair to it. Bounce it off the ground; throw it behind your back; do a no-look pass. Your options truly are endless.

Thread the Needle: When you make a beautiful pass that goes in between two people on its way to your teammate. Also, an effective sewing technique.

How to use it in real life: Similar to the above, only you’ll have other bystanders to work around. You can also use it while knitting a sweater. I’ll take an XL, please.

Swat Your Shot: There are a couple of variations of this (swat that sh*t, for example), but they all mean to block a shot.

How to use it in real life: Pretty easy, actually. I don’t typically like supporting GEICO commercials, but Dikembe Mutombo is the gold standard to draw inspiration from.

Take a Charge: One way to draw a foul is to stand still and let another player run into you. That’s called a charge, or an offensive foul. If this sounds painful, that’s because it usually is. Sometimes the offensive player will try to go around you, and maybe they’ll try to go over you. Just close your eyes and let them hit you and all will be okay. In a cruel twist of fate, if a player commits an offensive foul, the other player does not get any free throws; their team just gets the ball. You could theoretically have the velocity of a train hit you like a bag of moldy tangerines, and your only rewards are the ball and probably some throbbing in your tailbone and/or stomach and/or groin. Rough.

How to use it in real life: When someone’s walking along the street, slide in front of them and wait for the contact. Feel free to throw in an exaggerated yell and send your limbs flying backwards as you fall to the turf. If you’ve got a friend, they can serve as the official and call it as a charge (or a blocking foul, if your feet weren’t set).

And One: I’ve covered this before, but this is far and away the most fun move to pull off. An and one is simply the act of making a shot while getting fouled. The basket counts, plus you get a free throw — “and one” refers to the free throw.

How to use it in real life: If there’s any contact between you and someone else, yell out “and oneeeee!” while throwing whatever’s in your hands towards the closest basket-shaped object. Sure, you may ruin a phone or two, but it’s totally worth it when you sink that jumper.

Other Reads and Watches

Marc Stein on P.J. Tucker’s professional basketball career, including his stints overseas

Percy Allen on the Seattle Storm’s upcoming party with Joe Biden

Carmelo Anthony still thinks about the Detroit Pistons’ promise to draft him in 2003

The NBA released its Opening Day and Christmas schedules — the full schedule comes later today

That’s all ’til next time. Thanks for reading!


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