The West Fourth Street Courts, also known as "The Cage", in New York City's Greenwich Village, are a notable public athletic venue for amateur basketball. "The Cage" has become one of the most important tournament sites for the city-wide "Streetball" amateur basketball tournament, and is noted for its non-regulation size. Because it is so small, more emphasis is given to "banging inside," or tough physical play. Usually the sidelines are simply ignored during play. Due to the large number of players who come to play here competition for playing time is stiff, and losing players rarely get to play twice in a row.
Numerous national commercials have been shot at The Cage. Former NBA players Anthony Mason and Smush Parker and Paul Bode are some of the nationally recognized ballplayers to learn their tough style of play from The Cage.
The West 4th Street League, founded by a limousine driver named Kenny Graham, has carved its own place in asphalt history. Among the notables who have filled the Cage are Dr. J, Walter Berry, and Jayson Williams. Anthony Mason's Prime Time squad won five titles in the early 1990s. West 4th Street officials estimate that their league attracts more than 100,000 spectators each summer, numbers that Rucker Park rivaled only in its heyday during the late 1960s and early 1970s. West 4th's talent is big, but the court's too small to contain all the flying elbows. To some tourists, this may look like a steel-cage wrestling match. "If you don't like a physical brand of basketball," says A-Train, "stay away from West 4th."