Have you ever been watching a basketball game and heard someone yell out, “Cherry picker!”? Chances are, you’ve heard the term before and have been wondering what it means. Well, wonder no more—this article is here to provide a brief overview of what cherry-picking is in basketball.

What Is Cherry Picking?

Put simply, cherry-picking is when a player stands at the opposite end of the court from their teammates, waiting for long passes that result in easy baskets. It’s an offensive strategy where a player moves away from the rest of their team and hangs back near the opponent's basket. This way, they can take advantage of any errant passes made by the other team or any defensive lapses.

Once they receive the ball, they can make an uncontested layup or jump shot with little to no interference from opposing players because everyone else is focused on defending against their teammates rather than them. This strategy works best if there’s only one player playing offense while everyone else focuses on defense; however, it can still be effective even with multiple offensive players. For example, if two offensive players move away from their teammates and wait for long passes, this creates a two-on-one situation that can quickly lead to easy baskets.

The short answer is yes—cherry-picking is legal in basketball as long as it’s done within reason. While some may view it as unsportsmanlike behavior or simply bad strategy (since it doesn’t involve much effort), there are no specific rules against it in the official NBA rule book. That being said, some leagues may have additional rules prohibiting cherry picking; so be sure to check your league rules before implementing this strategy during your next game!

What Is Cherry Picking In Basketball?
Photo by Steven Wei / Unsplash


So if you hear someone yelling about cherry-picking during your next basketball game, now you know exactly what they mean! Cherry picking isn’t illegal per se but should be used sparingly since it involves little effort on the part of its participants and could potentially disrupt team dynamics. If used strategically though – such as when facing off against a weaker opponent – then cherry-picking can be a great way to get easy baskets for your team! So go forth and cherry-pick responsibly!

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