The Knicks are barely past decent and the Nets are a walking hardship. Both teams have been existing in mediocrity for a while. And yet, New York is still eternally relevant when it comes to basketball. It’s not just because Michael Jordan left the womb in Brooklyn before he became great, or how Julius Erving cut his teeth in the city. Basketball lives in New York City because of its streetball courts.

These courts are some of the most historically significant in the country, as well as some of the most difficult to play in. There’s a reason NBA stars like Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant swing through—the talent here is worthy. But don’t worry—there are some grade A-level basketball courts to play at if basketball isn’t life for you. Check out the mix in The Best Outdoor Courts for Playing Pick-Up Basketball in New York.

Photography by Brian Josephs