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The Moral Weight of Worldbuilding

Hey, it's time for another of my long-winded rambles on worldbuilding! Fair warning, giant wall of text ahead.

The process of worldbuilding isn't simply making up a brand new world. In a very real sense, it's an act of describing our world through the process of changing it. Each difference between the constructed world and our world is, in essence, a new girder in a framework describing things that you believe ARE part of our world. Those things that you haven't changed from our own world? Those reveal some of your deepest, most fundamental truths about what you think the world is. In the same way that science fiction about the future is usually more about the present, fantasy worldbuilding is often more about our own world than a new one.
It's exploration via contrast, and the choices you make during that exploration can have deep moral significance.
I want to be clear that I'm not writing this because I see a lot of people going around actively claiming that the worldbuilding of their favorite author is morally neutral. More, it's that I don't see people actively talking about the claims about the real world made by the invented one as often as I would like, and even implicitly treating worldbuilding as though it were just a fun piece of window-dressing in an SF/F novel.
Objectivity:
There's no such thing as true objectivity. Any claim about the world that the speaker claims in turn is "objectively" true should be viewed with deep suspicion. This isn't just a post-modernist affectation, though you'll often find post-modernists saying something similar. (I share post-modernists' deep distrust of grand theories, but I don't think I really fit in their club well otherwise. Though there are a few people who claim that distrust of grand theories is the only thing unifying post modernists, so...) Rather, this rejection of objectivity comes from science, because a lot of scientists these days really, really don't tend to like the idea objectivity very much.
When I got my first field training in geology, the first thing we learned was how to fill out our notebooks. Along with obvious stuff like date, location, and time, there were less obvious things like weather and your mood. That last was one thing my instructors repeatedly mentioned as important: A geologist's interpretation of a rock outcrop tends to vary DRASTICALLY depending on their emotional state. Does the outcrop potentially have evidence that lends credence to a rival's hypothesis? If you're in a bad mood, you're unlikely to be open to that evidence, and unless you note down that you're in a bad mood, you're unlikely to admit you were later on. (Seriously, there are all sorts of famous stories about this from the history of geology.) So on a pragmatic level, owning our personal un-objectivity is simple good practice.
And I can definitely assure you that my training there is hardly unusual. (Also, obligatory complaint about measuring strike-and-dips.)
Owning your biases and compensating for them are much, much more useful in science than denying them and pretending to objectivity.
There are also important historical reasons why so many scientists today avoid claims of objectivity. "Objective" science led to some of the most extreme abuses of science- both moral abuses and abuses of the scientific method. Science in Victorian England was especially rife with these mistakes- see, for instance, the skull-botherers (they preferred to be called craniologists, but screw 'em), pseudoscientists who were convinced they could make systematic judgements about human intelligence via measurements of human skull sizes. Today, we know that brain size has remarkably little to do with intelligence- instead, it's determined more heavily by factors like the number and course of neural connections in your brain. At the time, however, skull-botherers systematically massaged data or changed experimental goal posts, time and time again, to prove that groups lower on the social totem pole at the time (women, non-white people) had inferior intelligence. And they did it, more often than not, under the banner of objectivity. They were finding ways, again and again, to prove their preconceptions and biases, because they refused to acknowledge them. It seems quite likely that many of them were incapable of even recognizing the ways in which they were doing bad science. (For more on the topic, I recommend Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man.)
There are countless other historical examples, but I hope this gets the point across: If you think you're objective, you're fooling yourself. When you worldbuild, you are never doing so objectively. You're coming in with a biased view of our own reality. That's not inherently good or bad, but it is something you need to be aware of.
One great example of this in practice is in fictional depictions of human nature. There aren't many things that will make me drop a book on the spot, but one of them is the "gods and clods" approach to human nature, where an author treats the public as an easily-led mass of sheep, who envy and resent their social betters, who in turn are their social betters entirely because they've earned it, and are inherently superior to the masses. There's also a common idea that runs alongside it that the masses need to be taken in hand and led by those worthier of them. It's weirdly common in Randian Liberterian fiction (Terry Badmean, etc). Or perhaps not so weirdly, but... I don't personally have the rosiest view of human nature, but the "gods and clods" idea rubs me the wrong way on a deep level. I certainly think my more nuanced view of human nature (that, among other things, recognizes stuff like privilege and inherited wealth) is better than the "gods and clods" one, on the grounds of being far more informed by history, but I'm under no impression that I'm more objective. (Though I am less likely to drive a BMW with a John Galt bumper sticker that gets double-parked in front of the cigar shop. I wish that was an ironic exaggeration and not something I've encountered before.)
I have definitely seen authors and readers justify their ideas on human nature as simply "objective" in the past.
Historical Realism:
"This is historically unrealistic" is the battlecry igniting millions of internet fights, and it's frankly exhausting. Unreality is fantasy's stock in trade, after all. Nonetheless, I can't really skip mentioning this one.
The important thing to note is that an overwhelming majority of the time, the "historical realism" being yelled about is itself a fantasy, an image of our past presented to us by Hollywood and past fantasy authors, where the Roman Empire was a white-marble bastion of stability and learning instead of the unstable technicolor shitshow it actually was, where knights were noble heroes instead of belligerent armored drunken frat boys, where everyone in Europe was white, and where Europe was more than the ancient world's equivalent of rural Alabama. And, more often than not, the fact that there are dragons and magic in a fantasy work gets ignored, and the "historical realism" battle cry will be about women, people of color, or LGBTQ+ people.
The recent temper tantrums a lot of people threw recently on Twitter about the creation of rules for magic-propelled wheelchairs for D&D is a great example of the absurdity of the "historical realism" claim, since wheelchairs were absolutely a thing in medieval times, while rapiers and studded leather armor really weren't. You never see huge tantrums about the inclusion of rapiers or studded leather armor in a supposedly medieval setting. (Or, you know, about the inclusion of dragons and wizards.) If a civilization can construct an Apparatus of Kwalish, they can make a magic wheelchair.)
The overwhelming majority of the time, claims of historical realism are directed at fictional characters violating the perceived social hierarchy- the exact same social hierarchy, in fact, that the skull-botherers fudged their data to fit people into. It's not a coincidence.
I'm sure someone will get irritated about this section and "well actually" me on something. (Probably via DM for at least one of them. Don't do that, it's weird. I love a decent argument, but keep it in the proper arena.) Though if you want to "well actually" me over calling the Roman Empire technicolor, and drop some arguments about the aesthetics of their color schemes, that's totally cool. Same with whatever specific historical details you want.
I think the applications of this debate to worldbuilding are fairly obvious.
Historical Invisibility:
There are huge chunks of human history that are missing, simply due to the fact that nobody wrote them down. Or, in the case of much of India's history, wrote them on palm-leaf pages that haven't stood the test of time as well as writing materials in less humid climes. Ancient Mesopotamia is so well-known because their clay tablets are magnificently suited for surviving millennia in the Middle East. All of these missing pieces, however, still altered history. Even though we don't know exactly what went on in those empty periods, it still helped shape our course of history, and if time-travelers were to meddle in these historical blanks, I would guarantee it would still alter our present in alarming and huge ways.
There's also such a thing as geological invisibility. We don't, for instance, know hardly anything about highland dinosaurs, because high altitude regions are usually ones undergoing erosion, making them exceptionally poor locales for fossilization to occur. That means the overwhelming majority of dinosaurs we know about were lowland dinosaurs who lived in regions where fossilization was more likely. Just as with historical invisibility, these missing parts of the world's past have had an effect on the shape of the world today. The species in these missing regions, as well as the missing geological processes themselves, played a vital role in shaping the biospheres of our past, just as our upland species affect the world's biosphere today. If a time-traveler sneezed on a highland dinosaur, giving it a fatal disease, the fact that it would be unlikely to produce fossils wouldn't make the event significantly less impactful on evolutionary history. (Fossilized creatures, almost by definition, have significantly less impact on evolutionary history than unfossilized ones, since they were kinda withdrawn from the biosphere by the fossilization process.)
The choice of what is unknown or lost in worldbuilding is just as important as what is known, if in a more subtle way.
Lenses:
No one can tell all of history, or even know all of it. There's simply too much. Instead, we have to pick specific lenses to see and relate history through. There is no one lens that works for everything- you need to cultivate a wide selection of lenses to understand history through.
Some of my most heavily used lenses include the history of science/technology, economic history, environmental history, and the history of the Indian Ocean Spice Trade (the greatest movement of human wealth on the planet, lasting from the times of Ancient Mesopotamia through the Age of Sail). For all that I consider the latter two grossly under-used historical lenses (environmental history didn't (and couldn't) become a discipline of its own until the end of the Cold War), and for all I love trying to apply them to everything, they don't work for everything. For all I find the military history lens a bit boring ("Let's figure out the standard deviation in weight of coat buttons in Napoleonic Era buttons and figure out how that contributed to army calorie consumption, kids!"), I begrudgingly have to admit that sometimes it is necessary to apply it while studying history.
Begrudgingly.
There's nothing dishonest about having to use lenses. It's necessary. It's also, however, a value judgement, and it's seldom possible to easily select a specific lens or set of lenses as the correct one for any given situation.
The choice of what lenses an author selects during their worldbuilding process is absolutely a reflection on their values. People used to give me crap for constantly harping on about the impacts of plagues and epidemics on history, even to the degree of me claiming they were generally more important than wars in the pre-modern world. Just out of orneriness, I started referring to the "Disease Theory of History." (I kinda wish I, uh, hadn't gotten so much supporting evidence recently, though. It's an argument that, in retrospect, I would probably have been happier not winning.) My emphasis on the role of disease in history was a value judgement, and one disputed by quite a few other people.
When we're choosing our worldbuilding lenses, we're making an explicit value judgement about what we think matters about our history, and is worth projecting or changing in our new worlds. This is true on every level, and if you look close, you can probably spot a lot of your favorite authors' lenses. And they're not all historical lenses, either- there are also scientific lenses (geology for me!), philosophical lenses, cultural lenses, and more.
Heck, lenses can get super specific, too- figuring how a city gets its drinking water is one of the core parts of my worldbuilding process. If I can't make it sensibly work, I discard the city entirely. (In my most recent book, I designed a desert port city that was basically just an immense version of the Giant's Causeway with a city carved into it. I almost discarded it due to the drinking-water problem, until I realized that I had a second problem- the basalt would absorb a ridiculous amount of heat from the sun, making the city unbearably hot. The two problems combined actually solved each other- I gave the city enchantments that drained the excess heat from the columnar basalt, then used that heat to desalinate seawater.) Alternatively, textiles would be a great lens to examine worldbuilding from- they're important to literally every civilization ever, and an author can do fascinating things with their worldbuilding using textiles. It's not a lens I often use, but it's one I find fascinating, and love seeing other authors explore. (And you'd be absolutely shocked at the cultural, economic, and moral impacts of textiles on civilization, if you haven't studied them seriously before.)
And, of course, the different lenses you use will affect one another in fascinating, overlapping ways. Using both an epidemiological lens and a military history lens will offer you fascinating insights in the role of war in spreading disease, and into how disease has affected war throughout history (typhus did far more damage to Napoleon's Russian invasion than winter or Russian forces did), all of which you can use to shape your own worldbuilding.
Nature's Revenge:
We are not the masters of our own destiny we once thought we were. Before 2020, I think, this would have been a more controversial statement, but there is a growing realization that nature will still have her due, one way or another, and it's seldom a cheap tithe. When worldbuilding, or considering an author's worldbuilding, pay close to the relationship between civilization and nature in it. One of the most fascinating ways to comment on our own world and provoke thought about our relationship with it is by changing the relationship between man and nature in a fictional world.
Back Down to Earth
An author's worldbuilding choices matter on countless levels. As much as I love Shakespeare, the world is not simply a stage, but an actor in and of itself throughout our history. Us writers absolutely have a duty to be thoughtful about our worldbuilding as commentary on our world, while readers...
Well, I won't make any demands on what readers do or do not consider while reading. It's absolutely not my place to do so as an author. I'll encourage you to carefully consider what an author's worldbuilding has to say about our own world, however. (Also, you know, choosing to read- and choosing what to read- is absolutely a more private, personal decision than writing for the public is. If you're just reading to relax and are too frazzled to think, definitely no worries- we all need to do that every now and then! I definitely don't always practice the thoughtfulness I'm preaching.)
One of the most beloved aspects of science fiction and fantasy to me is that by making up stories about wizards and robots, dragons and spaceships, we can say things about our current world that we might not be able to say thoughtfully. Worldbuilding will never be as important to a novel as characters, prose, or plot, but we absolutely can't afford to take it for granted, either- it's still essential.
submitted by JohnBierce to Fantasy

[OC]So You Want To Read About Basketball, Eh? Here is one R/NBA user’s recommendation as to the best basketball books you can find.

I’ve been watching and loving basketball for a long time. My first word was ball, and my parents have a picture of me making my first basket on a little tykes hoop around age two. Until I was in 7th grade, I truly figured I would make the NBA because I was better at basketball than my friends. I told everyone I'd be like a 9th man kind of guy. Matt Bonner perhaps. Middle School crushed that dream. I’m not so old, but it’s been about 20 years of obsessive NBA fandom. From an early love of the 2000 New York Knicks, to an obsession with Gilbert Arenas, and nerding out over everything from Marc Gasol pick and roll defense to LeBron James handshakes, this has been my life.
I’m also a big reader. I’ve loved reading since I was a kid as it was one of my parents big priorities (my mother briefly worked for a bookstore). I love Non-Fiction, and am a major proponent of novels (fiction is generally not nearly emphasized properly around the world these days. Bring Back Fiction). When I was younger I wrote the first two pages of a novel about Latrell Sprewell saving the world by choking out a bad guy. In my book, he was losing air or something. It was an objectively dumb idea. I got bored of writing it after like 2 pages. Turns out I hate writing. Though I still have an idea for an anthropomorphized Toaster that toasts people alive and yells hibachi. If anyone wants to run with that, feel free.
As you can imagine, I’ve read quite a few books about basketball in my day. Novels, Biographies, Topic specific pieces, exposes. Even a random Jordan hit piece or two. I wanted to share my love for basketball books combined with my obsession with ranking shit, so I am making this post to give a quick ranking of my favorite basketball books in 3 separate categories that I find particularly compelling. If you are of any age and want to read some great books, you can use this as a good place to start.
I’m going to make 3 short lists.
*Topic Specific Books*. The books will pick a subject and delve into it. Think The Dream Team. These will be judged on topic, writing, story, interesting info, and the level of new information we got in the book.
*Young Adult Novels* I adore young adult novels AND I’ve re read most of them since my initial reading. So for all the 10-14 year olds on here, these books are amazing and can help you get into reading if that’s something you’re struggling with. And if the book is on this list, it means I think it holds up and adults/pseudo-adults/folks masquerading as adults will enjoy reading it as well.
*More General Basketball Books* Think The Book of Basketball. This category will be about more foundational books that don’t cover any singular topic.
One category I did not include here that is really prevalent in the basketball book world: Books about coaching, both technical and abstract. There’s tons of good ones, but it’s just not my forte so I’m passing on it. I've done a bit of (INSANELY LOW LEVEL) coaching and a couple of these were fascinating for that, but a bit less generally interesting.
Reminder: I’ve read a bunch of books, but also I haven’t read a bunch of books, and am excited for folks to comment on this with disagreements and favorites that I haven’t read! You’ll never read them all.
**Last disclaimer: I’m a person. I have bias. There are authors I gravitate to because I love their style who are disproportionately represented here. Just wanted to name it. Looking at you Jack McCallum and John Feinstein.**
**THE FIVE BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVELS ABOUT BASKETBALL:**
Honorable Mentions: Summer Ball- Mike Lupica, On the Devil's Court - Carl Deuker
  1. Hoop City - Scott Blumenthal
This novel is the one with the youngest targeted audience on this list. It follows Tony and Mike Hope, two brothers from Harlem, who play point guard and shooting guard and have plans to go to college, and make the NBA. Everything changes when a shooting at a party paralyzes Mike from the waist down. The story follows Tony’s journey as he tries to make the NBA and his struggle with his brother’s tragedy and making his mother proud. Absolutely excellent spotlight on street ball and the many parks in NYC that are hotbeds of the game. The author is excellent at touching on some really serious emotions of imposter syndrome, disability, and adversity. Not to mention violence.
  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian - Sherman Alexie
This is the only one of this list that isn’t strictly a basketball book, but wow it’s really damn good. It’s by Indigenous American author Sherman Alexie about a high schooler who lives on a reservation, and instead of going to the local high school, he attends the off-reservation rival public school. He ends up making the varsity basketball team. It’s an excellent spotlight on Indigenous reservations, modern Native American life and its intersection with basketball. This is a beautiful display of representation and a strong story. I’d recommend it for your high school students/middle schoolers as the beginning age boundary.
  1. Slam - Walter Dean Myers
Walter Dean Myers could’ve had like 5 books on this list but this is, in my opinion, his best. It follows a high school player named Greg "Slam" Harris, and his best friend Ice, and explores basketball, blackness, race and systemic racism, New York city diversity programs packaged in an excellent high school story that questioned our conceptions of talent and the racially charged nature of the criticism’s around showboating. It also does a phenomenal job of asking where friendships need to draw a line, drugs, personal life and personal expression. Also this book celebrates dunking for a bunch of it, which is always a plus in my book (pun unintended but welcomed).
  1. The Last Shot - John Feinstein
Feinstein’s first young adult novel was a hit. It follows two young teen aspiring basketball journalists who win a trip to the Final Four, and stumble upon the story of a century. The characters are incredibly endearing, if a bit cheesy, and Feinstein gets the ok from a myriad of real figures, from the “hated” Coach K, to Tony Kornheiser, to a myriad of others to be featured as characters in the book. He pokes fun at all of them. Seriously, there's like, a whole scene where Tony Kornheiser is demanding a hotel suite and asking the bellhop “Do you know who I am??” This book secretly teaches the reader a hell of a lot of college basketball history, packaged in a terrific young adult thriller, and engages with gambling and extortion. It helps ask the question, what part of this is actually amateur?
  1. Travel Team- Mike Lupica
The Gold Standard. One of Lupica’s two best young adult sports books (Heat I can’t recommend enough), Travel Team follows young, undersized point guard Danny Walker, son of an alcoholic ex-NBA father, and an awesome single mother, and his friends and bully’s. The characters are middle schoolers, and are the overwhelming strength of this book that is great for 5th graders and up, but honestly is excellent at all ages. I read it all in a day this past weekend. The characters, both protagonists and antagonists are beautifully written, and the story is heart warming while having real mistakes and high stakes. If you’ve ever rooted for the lovable underdog, this is for you.
**THE 7 BEST TOPIC SPECIFIC BOOKS ABOUT BASKETBALL - Non Fiction**
Honorable Mentions: 7 Seconds or Less - Jack McCallum. (A year with the 05/06 Suns.) The Legends Club - John Feinstein (A Look at the Rivalry between Dean Smith, Jimmy V, and Coach K and the Three North Carolina Powerhouses) A Season on the Brink- John Feinstein (Following Bob Knight and the 85/86 Hoosiers) Tuff Juice: My Journey from the Streets to the NBA -Caron Butler and Steve Springer (Caron’s autobiography. If you don’t know his story, it’s... wild.)
  1. Shooting Stars - Buzz Bissinger and LeBron James
This book isn’t quite as good as the others, but holy hell is it fascinating in content. The book, which functions as a LeBron Biography follows him from birth until he arrived in the NBA. LeBron, who's entire life and career is pretty much Oscar bait, gives insight after insight. The book focused in particular on his high school years (The movie, More than a Game was based on this. And, unrelated, The Drake song Forever’s music video which was for this movie was based on that book as well. Also, go watch the music video for Forever, because 1. It’s an amazing song where 4 elite rappers absolutely snap, particularly Eminem who had been criticized for not going on posse tracks with other elite rappers, and came back from the dead to steal the show, and 2. LeBron is playing online poker at the beginning of the video. I’m still not sure why and it makes me laugh every time. Is the implication that he has enough money to play online poker? Is that an effective flex? What's happening here??) and his Saint Vincent Saint Mary squad. Everyone should read the chapter on LeBron’s decision to spurn the typical high school choice and go with his childhood friends to the nearby private school. It’s absolutely fascinating as it foreshadows his move to the Heat which happened a year after this book's release. The thought process can be clearly traced to this moment. Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights, does a fantastic job.
  1. Last Dance: Behind the Scenes at the Final Four - Feinstein
An absolutely wonderful deep dive into the Final Four and March Madness, it’s history, it’s present, endless stories and anecdotes you haven’t heard, excellent access, and a phenomenal scatterbrained style typical of Feinstein. You want to learn about the NCAA Tournament? This is the book for you. This book was released in 2005, when Marvin Williams put back such a sick dunk that the PG needy Hawks were like, "Nah who needs Deron Williams or Chris Paul, this dude's a monster". But more notably, the next years tournament is the George Mason year, and the "Afterward" of the book is a lovely short spotlight on Mason's run which is still so damn magical.
  1. Hoop Dreams - Ben Javorsky
The book version of the famous documentary, it follows two high end Chicago Area high school prospects in Will Gates and Arthur Agee as they navigate going to a school outside the inner city where they grow up, and the challenges and toxicity facing high end high school basketball recruits. There’s also one insanely fascinating passage about teen pregnancy, which is so damn interesting that I won't spoil for you. This story is crazy famous and worthwhile reading for anyone with interest in high school basketball.
  1. The Jordan Rules - Sam Smith
If you watched The Last Dance, which I hope you did, you know about this expose/hit piece that rocked the basketball world, and many say pushed Jordan away from the media for good in terms of a lack of trust. I’ll leave it at that since this one is famous as well, and is on this list as much for importance as it is for quality. But that 90-91 Bulls season is a damn whirlwind.
  1. When the Game was Ours - Jackie MacMullan
Get to know Larry Bird and Magic Johnson and their rivalry like you never have before. Their battles, friendship, stories and anecdotes are beautiful and written in such an absolutely engrossing manner. It’s impossible to put it down and makes you fall in love with the two of them all over again. Plus, if you don’t already know, Larry Bird is the number one player of all time in the category of “How cool are the stories opponents and teammates tell about him, because Christ, that dude is so damn good and talks so much shit.”
  1. Let Me Tell You a Story - Feinstein
John Feinstein gets invited to weekly lunches with Red Auerbach and the man tells stories about Auerbach and the Boston Celtics that are like nothing you’ve ever heard before. When you read it, you feel like you’re sitting in the room with Red and you never want to leave. It’s like if you were sitting with your grandfather and just let him go off on every topic imaginable, except your grandfather was the foundational coach at the NBA. A highlight is his telling of the Bill Russell trade.
  1. The Dream Team- Jack McCallum
What else? Endless anecdotes, endless drama, endless characters. Jack gets Jordan, Charles, and the rest of them absolutely perfectly. The Dream Team was larger than life, and Jack waited to write this book until he was able to secure interviews from everyone needed, including Bird who rarely gives interviews like these. An extraordinary collection of stories and some of the best writing about the famous greatest game ever played, the scrimmage in the days before the Olympics began. Also, Charles Barkley’s chapter is incredible, both stories wise, as well as the reverence the other players had for prime chuck.
**THE THREE BEST BASKETBALL BIG PICTURE BOOKS**
Honorable Mention: Basketball (and Other Things)- Shea Serrano. He’s the most entertaining writer in the business, the illustration by Arturro Torres is exceptional and the book is absolute nonsense.
  1. Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior - by Hugh Delehanty and Phil Jackson
I like to say it’s barely a basketball book in any way. It’s Phil Jackson, intentionality and a way of life. Phil waxes on mindfulness and meaning, while drawing on his experience as maybe the most successful basketball coach in the history of the game. He also manages to only seem like, kind of pretentious which is a huge win for Phil. Some really incredible insight on life from Phil. It’s about basketball and about coaching, but it’s really about life.
  1. The Book of Basketball - Bill Simmons
Maybe a controversial pick, but once upon a time, Bill Simmons really did follow basketball. Sure he’s an annoying homer, but he’s a damn good writer, an entertaining personality, and this book boils down to every discussion you’ve ever had with your friends about basketball given the attention they deserve. It’s extremely influential (even if some of it hasn’t aged so well) and absolutely a fantastic read. The Hall of Fame pyramid concept has stood the test of time. And if you can get over the fact that he hates Wilt Chamberlain, this book can be an extraordinary transition for casual fans who want to take it to the next level, or nerds wanting to learn more.
  1. FreeDarko Presents: The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac: Styles, Stats, and Stars in Today's Game
This book is the foundation of what I believe about basketball. Written in 2008, and derived from the Basketball internet nerd Famous FreeDarko blog, it celebrated players uniqueness, argued that winning isn’t the only thing that matter, treasured style, and blended pop culture and informal writing into basketball paving the way for the Zach Lowe’s and Shea Serrano’s that have come since.
I can’t say enough about this book. If you believe that the NBA is more than stats, players, winning, but is instead all of those things combined with humanity, style, beauty, drama, hilarity, and a cast of characters that rivals any other institution on earth, this book should be required reading.
Alright,
That’s all I got. I wish I could’ve written about 30 more books that I had to leave out. I’m sorry for forcing John Feinstein and Jack McCallum on you. Hopefully you’ve found at least one book that you are going to check out from your local library (SUPPORT LIBRARIES!).
And would love to hear everyone else’s favorites as well!
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