There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
With even Koncak retros on back order, the logical next step for the fashion-conscious baller is retro equipment. What better way to give props to the game of basketball than by hoopin’, Dr. James Naismith-style, with genuine 19th-century peach baskets? There is one thing, though, that might stymie practitioners of a more produce-based version of the sport: Old Man Naismith had no handles. Though there may not have been provisions for dribbling in Naismith’s original rules of basketball, in the 112 years hence, the dribble has been lifted from afterthought status to its exalted spot in the triple-threat position. In the macho streetball world of the And 1 Mixtape Tour, there are even more threats to guard against: ankle-breaking stutter steps, shoe-leaving stepbacks, the killer crossover. The And 1 all-stars break basketball down to its fundamental componentsball handling and dunkingand repackage them, hypertrophied, along with a healthy dose of Mountain Dew Code Red. The resultant brand of ball flows more like a skateboarding or breakdancing contest than a traditional basketball game, with each jaunt up the court a chance for some eye-popping freestyling. Unlike their forebears in basketball itinerancy, the Harlem Globetrotters, the And 1 ballers don’t travel with a pre-fab team o’ foils. Hot Sauce (pictured), Main Event, Skip to My Lou (aka former Milwaukee Buck and New York playground legend Rafer Alston), and the rest dish out their hoop-style wet willies democratically: as part of the streetball carnival’s open run (which begins Friday at 4:30 p.m.), in which any D.C. baller has a shot at immortality. And it’s OK to gang up: Naismith might have stayed mum on dribbling, but he did say that a basketball court could hold a good 40 people at a time. The And 1 Mixtape Tour is on at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, at the MCI Center, 601 F St. NW. $18.50-$25. (202) 432-7328. (Josh Levin)