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The thing itself: Essential basketball

Updated: March 21, 2011, 2:08 PM ET
By Jeff MacGregor | ESPN.com

If Rucker Park is Mecca, West 4th Street is Medina.

Basketball this week, but sideways and stripped of spectacle. Not the big-T tournament, but a kind of spring madness all the same, street ball downtown, and the quick Sunday pilgrimage. A sketchbook.

No announcers, no experts, no analysis, no artifice.

Climb up from the F train, up and out of that teeming ground, into the light and rushing life and the blue of that sky, blinking, up and out of ...

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