Play Don’T Care Who Makes It

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Play Don’t Care Who Makes It: The Rise of Streetball Culture

In the world of basketball, there is a particular brand of play that is rough, raw, and unapologetic – streetball. The term refers to the style of basketball played on outdoor courts and playgrounds, where the competition is fierce, and the rules are loose.

Streetball culture is all about putting on a show, showing off your skills, and having fun while doing it. There are no coaches, no uniforms, no referees – just a group of ballers who share a passion for the game. This style of play has become so popular that it has spawned its own subculture within the world of basketball, with tournaments, leagues, and even documentaries dedicated to showcasing streetball’s unique flavor.

One phrase that has become synonymous with streetball culture is "Play Don’t Care Who Makes It." But what does this mean, exactly? And why has it become such a rallying cry for those who love the game?

The Origin of "Play Don’t Care Who Makes It"

The exact origins of "Play Don’t Care Who Makes It" are unclear, but many believe it to be a slogan coined by the legendary streetballer, Earl "The Goat" Manigault. Manigault was a fixture on the courts of Harlem in the 1960s and 70s, and his flashy style of play and larger-than-life personality earned him a cult following.

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The phrase itself is a nod to the fact that in streetball, there are no coaches or scouts watching from the sidelines, looking to recruit players to their teams. Instead, the focus is solely on the game itself – on playing for the love of the sport, rather than for any external validation or recognition.

This mentality has become a defining characteristic of streetball culture, and "Play Don’t Care Who Makes It" has become a mantra for players who want to embrace the freedom and creativity of the game.

The Art of Streetball

At its core, streetball is all about creativity and improvisation. Players are encouraged to showcase their individual skills and to take risks on the court. Dunks, crossovers, and flashy passes are all fair game, and players are expected to put on a show for the spectators who gather to watch.

This style of play can be both exhilarating and frustrating – for players and spectators alike. On the one hand, it allows for moments of pure brilliance and creativity, where players seem to defy the laws of physics with their moves. On the other hand, it can also lead to sloppy play and turnovers, as players prioritize style over substance.

Regardless of its flaws, though, streetball remains a beloved part of basketball culture, and its influence can be seen in the way that professional players approach the game today. Many of the top NBA stars grew up playing on the streets and playgrounds, and their flashy moves and creative play are a testament to the enduring legacy of streetball.

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The Rise of Streetball Tournaments and Leagues

As streetball culture has grown in popularity, so too have the number of tournaments and leagues dedicated to showcasing the sport. These events range from small, local competitions to massive, international events like the AND1 Mixtape Tour.

One of the most well-known streetball leagues is the Entertainers Basketball Classic (EBC) in New York City. Founded in 1982, the EBC has grown into a massive event that attracts some of the best streetball players from around the world. The league’s championship game is held at Rucker Park in Harlem, which has long been a mecca for streetball culture.

Other popular streetball tournaments include the Dyckman Tournament in New York City, the Million Dollar Basketball Tournament in Chicago, and the Quai 54 tournament in Paris.

Streetball Culture Goes Mainstream

Over the years, streetball culture has moved beyond the playgrounds and into the mainstream. In the early 2000s, the AND1 Mixtape Tour gained a massive following, thanks in part to the popular "Streetball" video game series. The tour featured some of the top streetball players in the world, who traveled the country putting on exhibitions and competing in games.

In recent years, streetball has continued to gain exposure through social media and online platforms. Videos of streetball highlights regularly go viral, and players like Grayson "The Professor" Boucher and Bone Collector have become household names.


Streetball culture is all about taking risks, showcasing individual skills, and playing for the love of the game. This style of play has become a beloved part of basketball culture, and its influence can be seen in the way that professional players approach the game today. From playgrounds and street corners to international tournaments and online platforms, streetball has come a long way – and it shows no signs of slowing down.

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1. Is streetball the same as playground basketball?
Streetball refers specifically to the style of basketball played on outdoor courts and playgrounds, whereas playground basketball can refer to any informal game played on a basketball court.

2. Can anyone play streetball?
Yes! Streetball is open to anyone who loves the game and is willing to embrace the unique style of play.

3. Is streetball a legitimate form of basketball?
While streetball may not adhere to the same rules and regulations as traditional basketball, it is still a legitimate form of the sport. Many professional players got their start playing on the streets and playgrounds.

4. Is streetball dangerous?
As with any sport, there is always a risk of injury when playing streetball. However, as long as proper safety precautions are taken and players use good judgment, the risk of serious injury is relatively low.

5. Why is streetball so popular?
Streetball’s popularity can be attributed to its emphasis on creativity, improvisation, and individual skill. It allows players to showcase their unique talents and to play for the love of the game, rather than for any external validation or recognition.

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