“Getting Free” and “Playing the Right Way”
Over the past year, as I’ve been working on Ball Don’t Lie! Myth, Genealogy and Invention in the Cultures of Basketball, my book manuscript, I’ve also written a couple of essays that have been published in academic journals. Unfortunately, many of those I’d like to reach with my writing do not have access to the institutional portals that house these very expensive journals. So I’m making them available here for those who might interested. I hope readers find them stimulating, enjoyable and edifying, and, as always, I welcome feedback.
“Getting Free: The Arts and Politics of Basketball Modernity” is coming out in the Journal of Sport and Social Issues. In it, I try to sketch an image of a complex antagonism between, on the one hand, the creative prerogative exercised by basketball players, from the time of the sport’s invention, to continually make the game new, and, on the other hand, a state-like apparatus of basketball institutions seeking to corral, control and capitalize on that creativity. Near the end of the chapter, I offer a glimpse of what will be Chapter Two of Ball Don’t Lie! (“June 6, 1946: The Myth of Foundation”). You can click on the screen shot below to get to the article.
“What We Mean When We Say ‘Play the Right Way'” was published in the Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association. In this piece, I’m trying to show how the “right” in “play the right way” often winds up meaning not only “tactically preferable” but also “morally superior.” I also argue that this tactics-moral complex then sometimes subtly and sometimes not-so-subtly serves as both support and a screen for dichotomizing racial accounts of basketball style. Some of this material will go into Chapter 8 (“September 4, 2002: The Myth of Playing the Right Way”). Again, you can click on the screen shot below to get to the essay.