Streetball pushes you to challenge your limits to define who you are. It seeks out the strong and crushes the weak-minded. It’s not about the size of your wallet. Or the look of your ride. It’s not about where you live or what you do. When your soles hit the court, it’s about what you’ve got inside. Only the strong prevail.
If you do a quick search on the Internet you’ll find hundreds of sites dedicated to the game. It’s a world within a world where everyone has a nickname (like Hot Sauce, 50, Black Widow, or Bone Collector), listens to the right music, and knows how to trash talk. In fact, one online post says that without the ability to trash talk, you are lost: “Your posture will collapse, your self-esteem will diminish, your game will suffer.” However, the post goes on to recommend you only engage in trash talk after you’ve mastered 1) looking good and 2) showing up your opponent.
And once you’ve perfected these basics you strive to be King. You live for one-on-one matches where you can show what you’re made of. Just you and your opponent. Both ready to drive, jump, shoot and dunk your way to supremacy. Known for their pursuit of excellence, this summer Nike set out to find the ultimate asphalt warrior who could truly reign over the concrete courts.
For their only stop-over in Canada they headed straight to Toronto, one of the country’s fiercest battlegrounds, and narrowed the field to an elite eight. The city’s best amassed to compete for the chance to be crowned King. But true to the sport it’s not about money or fame. It’s about being the best. Being the toughest. It’s about respect. Shawn “Biggs” Green, 6’5”, and one of Nike’s finalists says, “If you’re not tough you can’t last on the street court. The street game will break you down.”
Every sport has its legendary battleground. Streetball’s is Rucker Park. Located at 155th Street and 8th Avenue in Harlem, New York, it has become the patch of asphalt where Gods are created. The park has been the launching pad of some of the greatest players of all time including Wilt Chamberlain, Julius “Dr.J” Irving and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. In an interview with InsideHoops.com, Vince Carter, who had a chance to throw down one of the sickest dunks ever there says, “When I play in different all-star games and camps, everybody talks about it.”