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

Front Cover
Bob Batchelor
Haworth Press, 2005 - Sports & Recreation - 327 pages
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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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About the author (2005)

Bob Batchelor, PhD, is assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University and academic coordinator of its online master's program in public relations. Batchelor is the author or editor of 21 books, including 3 volumes in Greenwooda s a Popular Culture through Historya ? series: "The 1900s", "The 1980s", and "The 2000s". In addition, he edited Greenwood's four-volume "American Pop: Popular Culture Decade by Decade"; Praeger's three-volume "Cult Pop Culture: How the Fringe Became Mainstream"; and Praeger's three-volume "American History through American Sports".

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