Edited by Bob Batchelor
The following review was contributed by: Jim Curtiss: To read more of Jim’s reviews CLICK HERE
"Basketball has been ignored for too long," claims Bob Batchelor, editor
of Basketball in America: from the playgrounds to Jordan's game and
beyond. The casual observer may find that claim to be somewhat of an
exaggeration, given the millions of dollars that grease the NBA and NCAA
basketball machines, the millions of dollars that merchandisers rake in,
or the millions that shoe companies wade through.
But the point Batchelor makes is actually a valid one, for he is talking
about the lack of thoughtful, even analytical writing available on
basketball (one can open to any page of Dennis Rodman's book, Bad As I
Wanna Be, to have this point aptly illustrated). This void, however, no
longer exists, because Basketball in America is a well-researched,
well-written, and most of all, well-conceived book on the subject. And
though the NBA receives most of the book's minutes, the college, street
and even high school games receive PT (playing time) as well.
I use roundball lingo to make a point - if you're not a basketball fan,
this book may not be for you, as the reader will not only learn about
hoops' impact on American (and thus, global) pop culture, but also about
who scored the most points in the 1970s, who reigned before Heir Jordan,
and hundreds of other details the non-fan might find a bit overwhelming.
For students of the game, however, this authoritative compendium will be
a happy discovery, as it presents writings one would be hard-pressed to
find anywhere else, including an insider's point of view of an NCAA
championship run, a history of the stars and legends of the street game,
the ubiquitous Michael Jordan and LeBron James, the WNBA, and even a
moving narrative on the Slippery Rock, PA, high school boys' team.
Basketball in America is an enjoyable book that presents die-hard fans
with an alternative to Slam magazine or Insidehoops.com, and might also,
with its more thoughtful approach, give would-be fans a firm footing in
what is obviously a growing and global cultural phenomenon.