We're talking about pick-up.
Not a game. Not a game. Not a game. We're talking about pick-up.
Ah, yes, the doldrums of the NBA offseason. We have officially arrived. You can tell because the NBA world's focus has drifted to a rather ridiculous topic over the last 24 hours.
It all started when video surfaced of Suns guard Devin Booker getting visibly frustrated as a result of being double-teamed in a pick-up game featuring several other NBA players, including Ben Simmons, Joakim Noah and Trey Lyles.
"Hey bro, we're not doubling in open gym," Booker can be heard saying. "I see that s--t all season. Come on, man. Let's work on our games."
"Yeah, we are," Noah retorted. "It's part of the game."
On Wednesday morning, Hawks guard Trae Young voiced his thoughts on the subject, aligning himself with his pal Booker.
DBook speaking facts... There should be NO Double Teaming in pick up💯 When you trying to work on your game, and work on the moves and things you do individually in pick up... it’s annoying getting double teamed in that type of setting🤦🏽♂️ Just Sayin.. #OnlyAFewUnderstand 🤣🤣— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) August 21, 2019
Young's thoughts have since made the rounds, with numerous former and current NBA scouts and players chiming in. Ex-Warriors star Kevin Durant couldn't resist.
GUARD UP! It’s pickup, if u weak defensively then work on it in the summer cuz if u need a double during the season then coach sittin u on the yine— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) August 21, 2019
Apparently, this isn't the first time Durant has expressed such feelings. Two of his now-former teammates got under his skin doubling him in a practice (warning: NSFW language).
If we would’ve did that shit at Rico Hines run I would’ve went back to Malibu.— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) August 21, 2019
It's a bit ironic that Iguodala mentioned it being right after the All-Star break, as Twitter detectives have tracked down visual evidence of Durant himself participating in a double-team against Steph Curry in what technically was an exhibition -- the NBA All-Star game.
Durant responded to that tweet, pointing out how that double-team was drawn up by coaches, whereas there aren't typically any in your average pick-up game. That's a fair point, but here's the problem with his reasoning: Bonafide NBA players like Simmons, Noah and Lyles don't need a coach to tell them when, who or how to double-team.
If Booker wants to work on his offensive game in open gym, others should be allowed to work on their defensive game, too, right? And, frankly, wouldn't Booker benefit more in the long run from working on his game against the same kind of defense he actually faces?
If you want to work on your NBA game, then don't be surprised when you encounter NBA defense. Anything else is simply batting practice.