I'd guess that almost everybody in this city has driven on Denny Way and passed by that outdoor basketball court on Ninth Avenue. And many of you have probably seen people playing basketball on that court. Well, let me assure you that what you've seen only resembles the sport called basketball.

I have sat in my car and witnessed both teams miss 33 shots in a row.

I have seen games where teams of eight play teams of seven, making me worry it's a white-boy version of that basketball-like Aztec game where the losing team is ritually slaughtered.

I have seen men play in boots. In sandals. In Crocs. In bare feet.

Once, I saw a real player steal the ball four times, drive down the court and dunk four times, after which he packed up his stuff and fled.

Any real hoopster would rather get his ass kicked by a better player than run with lesser gamers.

On Denny and Ninth, basketball is like fourth-grade soccer: It's fun, noncompetitive, and everybody gets a participation trophy. recommended