The bar was set in Boston two weekends ago on the first stop on the Red Bull 2on2 Revolution Tour. Then NYC’s turn came along on Saturday and took the level of competition to a whole new level.
Check out the great video of the game action below and then read the full tourney recap after the jump.
Well respected for its streetball culture and proud basketball history, New York City did not disappoint. Over 1,000 fans braved the heat for a day of celebrity appearances and performances from some of the best playground ballers NYC has to offer. With world-renowned DJ Clue on the 1’s and 2’s and the legendary MC Boobie Smooth on the mic, teams viciously competed for the chance to be crowned champions. By day’s end, NBA experience trumped all, as Kenny “Serious Satellite” Satterfield and Nakiea “Fabolous” Miller took down all challengers en route to the Revolution Tour title and a $2,000 reward.
“We just kept it simple out there,” Satterfield said of his team, AK311. “You gotta keep going with what works, so that’s what we did.”
Its not often a player of Satterfield’s talent is willing to center the game plan around a teammate. In fact, Satterfield had switched partners multiple times before even deciding to play with Miller. But on a hot and humid Saturday at Lincoln Playground, it was the 6-10 big man and former Sacramento King who deserved an MVP award after dominating in the paint. And though Satterfield put the final nail in the coffin with a game-winning jumper, Miller finished countless tough baskets down low in the final 21-15 victory against Team Underdogs.
“I’m sure everybody out here wished they had him as an option,” Satterfield said of Miller. “He knows how to play, how to position his body, so he makes the game easier for me from up top.”
Only at a tournament in New York City can a team comprised of two former NBA players not end up as the main storyline. When legendary streetballer Bobbito Garcia stepped onto the pavement at Lincoln Playground, all eyes focused on him. Teaming up with Bounce Magazine photographer Kevin Couliau, with whom he’s working on a documentary about pick-up basketball in NYC, Garcia used the opportunity to name his team after the title of the upcoming film: Doin’ it In The Park.
“I’m not confident we’re going to win any games,” Garcia said with a laugh. “We just came to have some fun, show some love to Red Bull and show some love to the ballplayers in Harlem.”
An early second-round match-up for Doin’ It in the Park against Japanese duo Spaceballers had an intriguing storyline of its own. Bang Takenouchi, who decided on the label Spaceballers after the name of his start-up basketball magazine, became an understudy of Garcia’s after moving to NYC from Japan five years ago. With Garcia’s help, the up-and-comer has carved a name for himself in the city’s basketball scene.
“He’s a great kid, loves basketball, to the extent where he left his homeland just to be in New York,” Garcia says of Bang. “If that’s not a testament to how much passion he has for this game, I can’t really say. I’m looking forward to playing against him.”
Though Bang and teammate Takayuki Matsumura fought valiantly, the master won bragging rights in a 21-12 victory. Doin’ It In The Park’s joy ride would be short-lived, however, as they fell in the next round to Underdogs, who eventually would advance to the tournament final.
On the opposite side of the bracket, a quarterfinal match-up between Team Stacks and Heart of the Bronx, with the winner facing vaunted AK-311 in the semifinals, had fans on the edge of their seats. Streetball icon and Heart of the Bronx forward Jermaine “The Maniac” Wright kept the crowd entertained with trash-talking and talent to back it up. Unfortunately for Wright, Team Stacks would end the Bronx boys’ run to the title with a 22-14 win.
“I’m 37 years old now, so anytime I get to compete and have a little fun and still play with the young boys it’s a great thing,” Wright said. “It was a fun time.”
As Team Stacks marched onto the semifinals, Levi Levine was playing for pride. Having lived in the building adjacent to the court for the majority of his life, the former University of Albany star came ready to play. Facing AK-311 in the semifinals would provide a challenge he was more than willing to undertake.
“Transitioning from team ball to streetball, it’s a lot more one-on-one, and it’s not defensive-minded,” Levine said. “We been working out in this park all summer, and we’re ready.”
After a valiant run by Team Stacks, the duo of Satterfield and Miller would prove too much to handle for the local Harlem boys. With Satterfield on fire from the top of the key and Miller providing a physical presence down low, AK311 cruised past Team Stacks 21-15, setting themselves up for a final showdown with Team Underdogs.
Matching up against two former NBA players didn’t seem to faze either Deemo or Nigel Roach, partners for Team Underdogs.
“We gotta be more efficient. We have to play smarter together, keep turnovers down, and we should be good,” Deemo said. “We gotta be sharp.”
With Deemo and Satterfield trading jumpers from the perimeter, the presence of Miller yet again proved the difference-maker. And though Satterfield hit the final bucket, making it three straight contests where he ended the game on a jumper, it was the deadly combination of versatility that earned AK311 the title of champions.
“I knew if we kept it simple, we’d be fine,” Satterfield said. “I was just drinking a couple of Red Bulls, having some fun. I didn’t wanna jinx it, so I took it one game at a time, and it ended up working out.”
You can still enter the Philly, Baltimore and D.C. brackets! Enter a team to play for $2,000 and other prizes from Power Balance, Skullcandy and Kicker! Email us at REVOLUTION@DIMEMAG.COM, fax us at 212.564.9219, or call us at 347.316.1924.
You can also download registration forms here: