1. Rucker Park, New York City
Rucker Park is arguably the most famous streetball venue in the world. Pickup basketball games were started there in 1946 by teacher and coach Holcombe Rucker. Today the park holds an annual tournament that brings in the best players from all over the world.
A Who’s Who of NBA superstardom has played at Rucker Park, including past legends like Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julius Erving, and current stars like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant.
2. Venice Beach, California
The pickup games at Venice Beach were the setting for the ’90s movie White Men Can’t Jump. Unlike many of the cramped and fenced-in venues of New York and Chicago, these palm tree-lined courts are located right on the ocean.
As you’d expect in LA, this court has seen a mix of stars from the NBA and Hollywood. In recent years the court has hosted Kevin Love, John Wall, and Kevin Durant.
3. “The Moss,” Mosswood Park, Oakland
The Bay Area has given birth to some of the game’s best players and many of them took their skills through these courts in downtown Oakland.
Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, and Damian Lillard.
See the full video here.
4. Clark Park, Philadelphia
This recently renovated court on a tree-lined section of West Philly has a long history of heated games.
Joe “Jellybean” Bryant (Kobe’s dad).
5. “The Cage,” West 4th Street, New York
Located right off the sidewalk in Greenwich Village, “The Cage” has long been a popular spot for New York tourists and basketball fans to stop and catch a bit of a game when passing by. The half-sized court makes for extremely fast-paced action.
Julius Erving, Walter Berry, Jayson Williams and Anthony Mason.
6. “The Cages,” Jackson Park, Chicago
Chicago has its own courts called the “The Cages,” located off South Lake Shore Drive in the former site of the 1893 World’s Fair. The court draws the best streetball players from all over Chicago and was one of the settings of the 2002 video game Street Hoops.
President Obama is rumored to have played pickup games in the park when he lived in nearby Hyde Park.
7. Baisley Park, Queens, New York
These courts in South Jamaica, Queens, have for years been the basketball proving grounds for streetballers representing Queens.
Rafer Alston (known as one of the greatest streetballers of all time) and Lamar Odom.
8. Green Lake Park, Seattle
The Northwest doesn’t have the same basketball pedigree as New York, but you wouldn’t know it by the level of intensity and skill on display at Green Lake Park. The court is home to Battle at the Lake, an annual five-on-five tournament, that draws a number of Seattle-born NBA players.
Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Brandon Roy, Jamal Crawford, and Nate Robinson.
See the full video here.