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Basketball in America: From the Playgrounds to Jordan's Game and Beyond

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Overview

Examine the social and cultural impact of basketball on America at the amateur and professional levels!

Basketball in America: From the Playgrounds to Jordan’s Game and Beyond is a pioneering analysis of the history of basketball and its effect on popular culture from the 1970s to today. The popularity of basketball is undeniable, and the subject allows for such a broad range of interpretations in popular culture. It cuts across economic, racial, and social boundaries, and its major stars cross over into other forms of popular entertainment more than any other professional sport. This book examines the entire scope of modern basketball history, from the playgrounds, where people first learn the fundamentals, to the college and professional levels.

Basketball in America is a collection of essays that explores the intersection of basketball and popular culture in America. The contributors are an eclectic mix of writers, scholars, journalists, former players, coaches, and sports enthusiasts who all share an undying love for the game of basketball. The authors analyze the sport from a cross-cultural and historical perspective—digging deep into the profound popular cultural influences of basketball and exploring the scope and depth of its influence. This is the first book that examines the social and cultural impact of basketball on American society to reveal how tightly it is woven into America’s cultural fabric. Also included are photographs and tables to enhance your understanding of the material.

Topics covered in Basketball in America include:

  • Elgin Baylor—the first "modern" basketball player
  • Chocolate Thunder and Short Shorts: The NBA in the 1970s
  • Dr. J, Bird, Magic, Jordan, and the Bad Boys: The NBA in the 1980s
  • The Jordan Era: The NBA in the 1990s
  • LeBron James and the future of the NBA
  • the Nike brand and popular culture
  • lessons learned from legendary UNC coach Dean Smith
  • professional women’s basketball
  • and much more!
Basketball in America is a comprehensive analysis that will appeal to anyone interested in understanding how the sport has become an integral part of our national culture. It is an insightful read for sports fans as well as for sports historians. In addition, this book can be used as a textbook in sports history or sociology of sports classes. It will entertain and inform those who treasure basketball and the role it plays in the American consciousness. Make it part of your collection today!
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What People Are Saying

Robert Bradley
This book not only contains fine writing by some of America's best basketball writers and historians, but it also takes A POIGNANT LOOK AT BASKETBALL'S EFFECT ON AMERICA'S YOUTH. The first chapter takes a fascinating look at Michael Jordan's domination of American society -from Nike to McDonald's to Hanes underwear, Jordan's marketability is explored, as are the pitfalls of his popularity. Other chapters examine racial overtones in the sport, basketball in film, the playground game, the influx of foreign talent, and the recent hyping of teenager Lebron James.
President, Association for Professional Basketball Research; Author of The Compendium of Professional Basketball; Contributor to Total Basketball: The Ultimate Basketball Encyclopedia
David K. Wiggins
FASCINATING. . . . 'MUST READING' for anyone interested in the interconnection between basketball and popular culture. The book includes 15 beautifully written chapters that cogently analyze everything from Michael Jordan as icon and playground basketball to the portrayal of basketball in movies and the evolution of the WNBA. Perhaps the most intriguing section of the book is part one, which deals with basketball in American culture. Each of the section's four authors provides important insights into how basketball has impacted other aspects of American life. With great passion and solid interpretations, each describes how basketball has been woven into American society and establishes a connection with hip-hop, black style, and celebrity culture.
PhD, Professor and Director, School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (RHT), George Mason University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789016126
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/28/2005
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

  • About the Editor
  • Contributors
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Introduction: Basketball in America (Bob Batchelor)
  • Part I: BASKETBALL IN AMERICAN CULTURE
  • Chapter 2. Michael Jordan: Icon (Bob Batchelor)
  • Chapter 3. Marvin, Marvin (David Davis)
  • Chapter 4. Nike and Popular Culture (Kelly McMasters)
  • Chapter 5. Hoosiers to Hoop Dreams: Basketball on the Big Screen (Kevin Grace)
  • Part II: THE PLAYGROUNDS AND BEYOND
  • Chapter 6. The Schoolyard Game: Blacktop Legends and Broken Dreams (Bijan C. Bayne)
  • Chapter 7. Fundamentals: Coaching Today’s High School Player (Chris Burtch)
  • Chapter 8. Seventeen Things I Learned from Dean Smith (Peter Cashwell)
  • Chapter 9. Socks, Jocks, and Two Championship Rings (Michael Buchert)
  • Chapter 10. Foreign Players and the Globalization of Basketball (Renada Rutmanis)
  • Part III: THE PROFESSIONAL GAME
  • Chapter 11. Elgin Baylor: The First Modern Professional Basketball Player (James Fisher)
  • Chapter 12. Chocolate Thunder and Short Shorts: The NBA in the 1970s (David Friedman)
  • Chapter 13. Crashing the Boards: The WNBA and the Evolution of an Image (Lisa A. Ennis)
  • Chapter 14. Dr. J., Bird, Magic, Jordan, and the Detroit Bad Boys: The NBA in the 1980s (Lawrence Ziewacz)
  • Chapter 15. The Jordan Era: The NBA in the 1990s (Doug Fox)
  • Chapter 16. King James: LeBron James, Hype, Hope, and the Future of the NBA (Bob Batchelor)
  • Chapter 17. Conclusions: Basketball Is America (Bob Batchelor)
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included
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