Job Opportunity!

BASKETBALL PLAYER FOR LUNCH-TIME GAME

iStock_000059219506LargeDescription: Are you a person that can walk around? We have an exciting opportunity to join our industry-leading lunch-time basketball game in beautiful San Diego, CA. The Basketball Player will report to the Commissioner of Lunchsketball, and will be responsible for scoring baskets and deterring opponents from scoring baskets, as well as assisting teammates with both of these tasks. This great slow-paced environment offers ready access to the Hilltop Deli ($2 sloppy joes on Tuesdays), and our company can accommodate with old used shoes, shorts and shirts if needed. No experience required – Gary will train.

Requirements:

  • Job requires repeatedly being elbowed, shoved, slapped, hit, etc.
  • Must be able call own fouls, but not be too whiney.
  • Ability to dribble without traveling is helpful although not a requirement.
  • Must be able to work in an outdoors environment, with temperatures reaching up to 103 degrees.
  • At least somewhat dependable communication skills via text and email with Commissioner.
  • Ideal candidate will have a deep love of basketball.

Interested candidates should show up at the court around `12:00 – 1:00ish, and give Kerry or Gary their email address or telephone number.

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Bring In the New!

PickupDog-logoIn case you didn’t know, I, (aka “Jorge”, aka “Swamp Thing”), am stepping down from my role as Chief Editor of Lunchsketball. Although I will remain on staff with the title “Senior Fellow”, expect substantially fewer posts going forward.

I will be moving to the sleepy rural community of Poway and enjoying a slower pace of life. I’d like to continue to work on my writing, so “LuffleBoard” and “LunchsketBingo” are a couple of interesting ideas for where I could go, creatively. However, I’ve enjoyed writing about pickup basketball, and nobody else seems to be doing it, so I’m sticking with basketball, but aiming for a wider audience. You’ll find me at www.pickupbasketballtips.com. I am branding it as “Pickup Dog”, because a brand seems like a good idea, and I like dogs. Hopefully, at least one of the Lunchsketball readers, if not both of them, will follow me over there.

I will be happy to come back to make the occasional guest appearance on the El Cajon court, and I am looking forward to being in the warehouse for the jersey retirement ceremony, and returning once more for the statue dedication. I don’t want to interfere with the design of the monument, but I will suggest the integration of a fountain, to send water perpetually cascading over my likeness.

So there you go. Visit the new site, “like” the page on facebook, follow on Twitter, endorse on LinkedIn, cell-reference to it in Excel, wink on Match; it all helps. Lunchsketball has been fun to write, and so thanks to everybody for your participation and affirmations.

Lunchsketball Animals

EL CAJON, CA — There was only one game of Lunchsketball this week. Technically, there were three games, but they were all played on the same day. Jorge, Gary, Gary Jr., and Erik were victors against Phil, Darin, Kerry and Jimbo. Gary Jr. did nothing but win as he continued his ruthless march to the MVP title, completing the very rare, 3-game-in-1-lunch sweep. The first game ended 50-25, and was followed by consolation games to 11 and 7, both of which were won by the team with all the Garie on it.

Gary Sr. stood out in the game by relentlessly calling Darin a weasel. As if “Trip”,  aka “Darryl”, aka “Heavy-D” needed any more nicknames, Gary was really pushing for this one to catch on, yelling things like “He’s a weasel!” and “That’s what weasels do!” during every play that involved Darin. This led to a post-game debate about whether a weasel is a rodent (it is not), and the conclusion that weasels are actually formidable predators, akin to the wolverine or the honey badger. Weasels, as it turns out, literally eat rodents for lunch.

So this means that the old “what player is which animal” article requires an update. In case you don’t remember, this was the article in which George was compared to a velociraptor (because he runs around with small arms holding invisible handbags) and Gary was likened to a snail (a declaration subsequently amended via protest, to specify that Gary was a “mutant, nitro-burning, turbo snail”). Obviously, Darin is now on the list as a weasel. This is also a good opportunity to add one that was missed, which is that Erik is an octopus, because he uses his eight sticky arms to steal basketballs.

There’s been activity on the injury report this week. First of all, Nathan, (aka “Nathan the Tall”) has been cleared by organization trainers to return to action, having recovered from knee surgery. He missed his scheduled return start last week, only because one of his co-workers, at a pharmacy of all places, called off sick. In other tall-people-with-injuries news, Phil has not been in the best health of his career. In an off the court incident, he fell off of a bicycle, and while grateful to have escaped with scrapes and bruises, he does have quite a few of those scrapes and bruises. The guy really took it on the chin. So that’s why he has a big scrape on his chin.

Lunchsketball: 2nd Week of Lent Update

EL CAJON, CA — Wednesday marked the return of spring in San Diego, following a long, bone-chilling winter that arrived on Friday and seemed to stay forever. Cabin fever, if nothing else, drove the boys out onto the court, braving the brisk 70 degree air; downright toasty compared to the the punishing 59 degree temperatures endured over the weekend.

It was a classic, coworkers-only game of four-on-four, pitting Kerry, Jim, Phil, and Darin against the two Garies (plural of Gary), Erik and George. Coworker-only games such as this have become uncommon, as Lunchsketball relies more and more on outside recruitment efforts to supply players. It has gotten to the point where it is normal for Kerry to chauffeur players in. This is one of the first issues hoped to be addressed by the new company president. Things have really fallen into dis-repair in the Lunchsketball department. Recent recruits Trent, Nick, and Anh have proved to be disastrous flops for the basketball program.

Gary Jr., who has emerged as the leading MVP candidate so far in 2015, dominated. Post-game, Kerry estimated that Gary Jr. scored 30 of his team’s 51 points, with a number of steals and rebounds to go along with that. Erik, aka E-Harmony, added one of his finest performances, and the game ended up being just a little bit of a blowout.

Middle-Aged Mutant Dribbler Turtles

EL CAJON, CA — One of the most effective defensive strategies in Lunchsketball is the full-court press. When done properly, 10 point deficits can be erased and replaced by 10 point leads. A lot of the press success has to do with the apathy of teams with large leads. Up 20 points or so, Lunchsketball players tend to favor experiencing their lunch break as a leisurely stroll, from baseline to baseline. They are not interested in making aggressive cuts to get open for the ball. Point guards resultantly find themselves stranded, alone on the opponent’s end of the court, left to deal with ferocious, full-court defenders.

Turtle!

Turtle!

This does not work out well for point guards. It seems that in general, the typical lunch player is relatively more advanced as a one-on-one defender than as a dribbler or passer. The defender, more often than not, has a skill advantage. So the press is very effective, especially late in the game when the guys are winded. That is when a pressing team might send one of their quicker guys down court to take the ball away from an isolated AARP-eligible dribbler. When one player is left to face a defender on an open court, with no option to shoot the ball (because the basket is too far away), the player who is dribbling is a sitting duck.

Lately, those ducks have been transforming into turtles. A solution has emerged from the great tactical minds of the game; an innovative answer to the dreaded press. It is simple, and easy to remember: Turtle. In Lunchsketball, this simply means to stop dribbling, tuck one’s limbs around the basketball, press it to the bosoms and make a protective shell of the body. When a dribbling teammate is under assail, but you are too far away to help him, you yell “Turtle!” It is a simple command that pierces the clouds of panicked confusion. The dribbler then assumes Turtle position until help may arrive.

So that is your tip of the day. If you’re dribbling, and you’re alone, and you’re in trouble, remember the Turtle.

Dream Team Hasn’t Felt Great All Year

EL CAJON, CA — They just haven’t looked like themselves. The Dream Team has clearly been missing that magical edge of theirs that once propelled them to the status of demigod legends. This year, they are off to a disastrous start, piling up three losses by the time 2015 was barely a week old.

Kerry, George, and Darin finally opened up this week, admitting that they have not felt 100% since 2014.

“I haven’t felt great all year. I’ve had spurts where one or two games I felt good, and after that, I was just pushing through it, just being the competitive guy I am and wanting to be out there for my teammates,” said LeBron James, according to Bleacher Report’s Ethan Skolnick, and incidentally expressing the exact thoughts of Darin (aka, “Darrell”).

On Friday, George (aka Jorge, aka SwampThing, and, lately from Gary, aka “Whorge” for reasons unclear) opted to take the day off to rest.

“I just finally listened to my body, ultimately,” James said, articulating precisely what George would have liked to have said. “I was affecting my game. And once I see my game being affected by my stubbornness, I had to just look myself in the mirror and understand I had to do something that was best for me as well. It was one of the hardest, one of the smartest, decisions I’ve made.”

For the time being, the Dream Team will need to play carefully, and concentrate on getting back to full health.

“Until we get healthy, we won’t know what we’re capable of doing,” James said, basically reading Kerry’s mind. “I don’t think we will ever be fully healthy, as far as being 100 percent, it’s impossible. I can never get my motor back to 100. As close to 100 as possible for all of us.”