A timely and provocative look at racial attitudes and perceptions as chronicled by a critically acclaimed author and avid basketball fan during his season-long close observation of a single NBA team.A timely and provocative look at racial attitudes and perceptions as chronicled by a critically acclaimed author and avid basketball fan during his season-long close observation of a single NBA team.Read Less
New. This item is printed on demand. The National Basketball Association is a place where white fans and black players enact virtually every racial issue and tension in U.S. culture. Following the Seattle SuperSonics for an entire season, David Shields explor.
Publishers Weekly, 1999-10-25 "Race, the league's taboo topic, is the league's true subject," asserts Shields at the outset of this provocative look at the National Basketball Association and its significance in American society. Composed in diary form and told in an intimate, confessional style, the book chronicles the Seattle Supersonics' 1994-95 season. A novelist (Dead Languages, etc.) and professor of English on sabbatical to cover the Sonics for a local weekly, Shields spent the year attending games, listening to radio call-in shows, reading Internet chat discussions and deconstructing like crazy, "to the point of obsession," the relationship between white fans (like him) and the black athletes who make up the majority of players in the NBA. Filled with intelligent juxtapositions, bold observations and graceful writing, Shields's narrative is highly personal and studded with humor (which almost always comes at his own expense). He draws a connection between his fervor for the team and his latent desire to rebel in society generally, feeling that "I'm some sort of potentially subversive individual and the Supes are my surrogate subversives." More particularly, Shields is fixated on the Sonics' feisty point guard and leader, Gary Payton, reveling in Payton's zest for language even as he reflects on his own insecurities about a stuttering problem. In analyzing the ongoing community conversation, Shields often articulates his perception that the subtext of everything said in or about the NBA is about race, while in public the topic is never broached. Although Shields executes this obsessive dissection with aplomb, it's hard to match his zeal and a little exhausting, in the end, to read every daily interaction as code. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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