Would You Want Andrew Yang on Your Pickup Basketball Team?

Alex Shultz

Andrew Yang is a Democratic candidate for President of the United States, and as such, he's been traveling around the country to discuss his platform with potential voters. Yang also loves basketball—he says it's his stress reliever—and hasn't been shy about releasing footage of shootarounds and pickup games wherever he goes. The race's foremost universal basic income enthusiast recently challenged Donald Trump to a game of one-on-one, which is the least impressive challenge you could issue to anyone about anything, and has flirted with the idea of a pickup game against Texas senator Ted Cruz, who once played one-on-one against Jimmy Kimmel for two hours.

This morning, I came across a Deadspin post featuring more extensive and perhaps less selectively-edited footage of Yang hooping, which at last provides the opportunity to answer the only basketball-related question that matters: Would you want Andrew Yang on your pickup team?

Strengths

Not terrible at dribbling

In the following clip, Yang is going up against a Georgetown college student wearing perhaps the most Georgetown college student outfit imaginable. The college student doesn't appear to be trying very hard, which is fair, but Yang, 44, successfully completes two between-the-legs dribbles before pulling off a genuinely decent hesitation move en route to the bucket.

Can make a layup

Yang is capable of driving to the hoop in one fluid motion. That in itself demonstrates more skill than many, many other pickup players.

Willing to post up smaller defenders

In Yang's two-on-two game, he routinely backs down a shorter opponent, sticks his ass into him, and does what he has to do. He sometimes turns the wrong way, but it works. You can't just revert to hesi moves all the time—it's to Yang's credit that he recognizes this and is willing to diversify his offensive arsenal. A complete player is always adding to his toolbox.

Nice-looking jumper

Yang also tweeted a video (see the second clip below) in which he drains a mid-range shot—a frankly hypocritical move for a self-described "forward"-thinking politician—but the jumper is smooth. Would be interesting to see if that range expands to the three-point line.

Weaknesses

He cannot jump, at all

In the previously mentioned layup clip, you'll notice Yang doesn't really leave the ground. In this next clip, you'll see Yang attempt to show off by dunking on a hoop that appears to be between seven and eight feet high.

Look, again, the man is 44—I'm not expecting him to break out a tomahawk jam—but a six-inch vertical combined with a freewheeling post game is going to get his shit swatted against a taller help defender. (I could not find an exact height for Yang; a Pete Buttigeig-dedicated subreddit lists Buttigeig as 5'8" or 5'9," and Yang looks to be an inch or so taller than that.)

He's an over-dribbler

"Basketball is very much a team sport," Yang told ABC News. "When I play basketball, the thing I enjoy most is trying to get your team working and set people up." Given that Yang finds himself in post-up position only after a ton of excessive dribbling, I assign this claim Four Pinocchios. You're not going to endear yourself to your teammates by dribbling too much and not passing enough, even if you're extremely rich.

He keeps trying some sort of weird misdirection move that will never, ever work

What is the goofy Pete Maravich-wannabe hand gesture in the second tweet of this thread?

If you think I'm being too harsh about a potential one-off, let's rewind the tape to one of Yang's post-up attempts. Pay close attention to the five-second mark in the second tweet of this thread:

It's the same thing! Someone on his campaign team needs to talk to him about that.

Verdict

I am not especially eager to play pickup basketball with Yang. He's an earthbound defensive liability, and I worry he'll be a ballhog. But with the right defensive matchup, his strong fundamentals and slightly chaotic energy make it clear he could get a bucket or two.

Originally Appeared on GQ