1. Barack Obama’s pickups at the White House
Say what you will of the man’s policies—he’s a dynamite basketball player.
At Obama’s weekly pickup games, professionals and casual players alike fight for the chance to play on the same court as the Commander-in-Chief. And if you’re lucky enough to get an invite, don’t even think about taking it easy on him just because he’s the President. As a former point guard for Florida State said, “If you take it easy on him, you’re not invited back.”
2. Jordan Crawford dunking on LeBron James
LeBron James runs a basketball academy that’s fittingly named, “LeBron James Skills Academy.” While he’s usually pretty removed from the day-to-day activities of the academy, back in July of 2009 he stopped by to play a couple games with his students. Little did he know that a young upstart at Xavier was about to take him to town on his own court.
3. Kanye West’s pickups during “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”
Whether it’s shirts or skins, when you’re under All of the Lights, you don’t want to play the Blame Game when it comes to screwing up in a pickup game with Kanye West. After all, he’s probably Stronger than you and doesn’t have much Mercy.
(Sorry. See You in My Nightmares.)
4. Dream Team’s 1992 pickup games
It took them a few years, but back in 1992, the US made the bold(ly obvious) decision to pick the very best basketball players and put ‘em all on the US Olympic team.
During training, they matched up against a variety of other professional ballers; but in one infamous match, the “Dream Team” (composed of players like Michael Jordan, mind you) was pitted against college players. They all took it as such a joke that they lost—leading to the coach benching them all for a day, to “think about what [they’d] done.” Well, they did. When the rematch happened, the Dream Team completely skunked the college team—they didn’t score a single point.
5. Pickup game on an aircraft carrier
In a pretty cool salute to veterans and service members, on Nov. 11, 2011, Michigan State and North Carolina universities played a basketball game on the “hoop deck” of the USS Carl Vinson. Not only would being one of the players be an honor, but just watching the spectacle would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
6. Any time against the Beastie Boys
The Beastie Boys were basketball FANATICS back in the day (RIP Adam Yauch), and they were adamant about not just their love for the game, but their skills, too. In 1995, they played pickup games with fans while on tour, and in the original release of NBA Jam, they’re hidden, unlockable players.
7. At the “Highest Court in the Land”
It may not look like much, but this is the Highest Court in the Land.
Ever wanted to do some layups with Ruth Ginsberg? Well, you can. On the fifth floor of the Supreme Court of the United States, you’ll find a basketball court—the “Highest Court in the Land.”
Just don’t wear one of those wigs. They don’t do that anymore. You’ll embarrass yourself.