If this city’s ridiculously rich basketball history has a home, it’s the single court across from the Polo Grounds Towers, underneath the Harlem River Drive in hallowed Rucker Park. Just about everyone you’ve ever heard of has taken part in the Entertainers Basketball Classic: Kareem, Tiny, Dr. J, Kobe—they’ve all made appearances, as have the streetball legends The Goat, Pee Wee, Helicopter, Escalade, Skip 2 My Lou, Manimal, and on and on. For highlights of a more recent vintage, Let Us Google That YouTube Video of Kevin Durant Draining Ridiculous Threes Two Summers Ago for You: bit.ly/14H1aUe. But all things being equal, why Rucker over the Nike Pro City Summer League, Hoops in the Sun, or the West Fourth Street League, all of which can boast a historic roster of great ballers? Well, look at what’s underfoot. This year, the EBC became the nation’s only outdoor tournament played on a hardwood floor (complete with graffiti logos at each end).
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 16, 2013