Word on the Street

Pickup Judas (pik’-up joo’-duhs) noun. Refers to a teammate who inexplicably betrays you during a pickup game either by calling a violation against you or supporting the other team after they have called a violation against you.

Usage example:My buddy Greg called me for traveling on game point last night, and he’s was on MY team. What a Pickup Judas.”

Word history: I coined this term – which, obviously, is a reference to the Biblical Judas – a few years ago during a game in which one of my teammates kept calling bogus traveling violations against me. I was reminded of the term by Silent Assassin reader Yaroslav, who suggested a variation of it: “teamtrayal.” I like Pickup Judas better, but teamtrayal can work as a synonym. Yaroslav also provided the following spot-on example of a Pickup Judas scenario:

Opponent #1: “Travel!”

You: “No way man, count the steps.”

Pickup Judas: “Yeah man, you traveled.”

Opponent #2: “See, even he says so. Our ball.”

This illustrates why the behavior of a Pickup Judas can be so disastrous: It’s automatically assumed by almost everyone present that the call must be legitimate, because why else would your own teammate side against you? The assumption, therefore, is that the Pickup Judas’ actions are always altruistic. And sometimes they are. I mean, let’s face it, we all try to get away with what we can from time to time. But there are some instances when the Pickup Judas will stab you in the back for dark reasons known only to himself. Maybe he wants to get in good with the guys on the other team, maybe he wants your team to lose so he can shoot up onto a new team, or maybe he just doesn’t like you. Whatever the case, don’t bother to change your game to avoid his traveshamockery. He’ll keep doing it anyway.


Labels: Word on the Street


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