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Old 07-23-2013, 10:42 PM   #11
Rake2204
7-time NBA All-Star
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,266
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Default Re: Have you guys ever played with such a good basketball player in your team that...

I played on a rec. league team back in '08-ish with a guy I'd known for years. Prior to joining up, I used to run into him at the gym during high school games or practices and I'd ask him how his league was going. He'd then say something nonchalant like, "Aw you know, I hit 'em up for 54 two weeks ago." He's one of the best players I've known in my life and he was usually trustworthy, but the stories of his big nights seemed to be a little much.

Anyway, I joined his team one year and prior to our first matchup, a college-aged dude with frosted tips from the other team stepped up to my boy, insinuating he was going to guard him. He then inexplicably said, "Defense is my specialty." My dude dropped a steady 49. It was obvious he wasn't making anything up after all. He played most of that game like an effective Wizards Jordan. Simple maneuvers mastered, excellent use of the pump fake, outstanding mid-range. He had his defender jumping and over-committing all over the place.

That said, he was a great player and our best option every time down the floor, but I admit he was tough to play for in that league. Not to put down Kobe Bryant, but throughout the league I remember thinking, "So this is probably what Kobe's teammates go through." On one hand, Kobe was always his team's best option in the mid 2000's (post-Shaq) just like the dude on my team was no doubt the best option. However, my teammate's domination of the ball made me really complacent offensively, with no semblance of a groove to be found (one touch every five minutes wasn't cutting it).

I actually ended up doubting myself a bit during that span. I'd put up some good numbers in my previous league, but it wasn't a top-of-the-line league like this one. While playing with that guy, I got to thinking, "Maybe I just suck against real competition". I was scoring 8 or so points a game. The moment that dude went down with a shoulder injury though, my numbers spiked right back up to normal. I love him, but the way he played in league games, even if personally effective, did not do wonders for his teammates.
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