FreeDarko Presents the Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac
Styles, Stats, and Stars in Today's Game
By Gilbert Arenas (Foreword by)
(Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, Hardcover, 9781596915619, 219pp.)
Publication Date: November 11, 2008
List Price: $23.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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The indispensible, amazingly illustrated companion to today's NBA—a roundball Rosetta Stone that hilariously decodes the trends and tendencies of pro basketball.
The NBA of the moment is a league of hugely charismatic celebrities, crackling aesthetic intrigue, sociopolitical undercurrents, and raw humanity: every Kobe Bryant pump-fake or LeBron James dunk holds within it a Shaq-size load of meaning. The Macro-Phenomenal NBA Almanac is a one-of-a-kind guide to this tumultuous and exciting league. In a series of brilliantly illustrated chapters—from Master Builders like Tim Duncan to Destiny’s Kids like Amare Stoudemire to Lost Souls like Lamar Odom—the almanac breaks down the styles of the NBA’s most colorful characters, showing what each one reveals through his play and conduct, both on the court and off. Filled with some of the smartest, funniest sportswriting known to fankind, this book will cast an entirely new light on one of our favorite games.
"A textual-visual showpiece... Fabulously eccentric and gloriously illustrated... It is likely the only sports almanac in existence that features a manifesto, cooks up winkingly abstruse statistics like “cancer effect” (e.g. Stephon Marbury and the Knicks), provides an etymology of the hoop slang “swag,” and name-drops Amiri Baraka, Martin Buber and Chris “Birdman” Andersen. The book knows its hoops too... Phenomenal swag." -- New York Times Play Magazine "At the beginning of the Almanac—a compendium of odd statistics, kinetic diagrams and goofball-academic essays—lies the Free Darko Manifesto, which puts style (flash, idiosyncrasies, etc.) above wins and losses, the individual above the home team, and flaws above perfection... It’s hard not to be converted by the Darko mandate to elevate style above all else in basketball. The almanac is more than a guide to the delirious side of the NBA, it’s an argument for a more humane approach to fandom. Head cases and millionaires, as viewed through the Darko lens, aren’t the evil acid eating away at professional sports that a lot of the nation’s columnists would have us believe. And all of this is rendered in gorgeous illustration and provocative—if often ludicrous—prose." - Time Out Chicago "This guide to pro hoops from the freaks at FreeDarko is a gorgeously illustrated, deeply idiosyncratic work of mad, mad genius. They break the game down into a periodic table of playing styles (knife, shark, snowflake, this is not a pipe), identify players' spirit animals (Gilbert Arenas=Tasmanian Devil) and have the gumption to liken Tim Duncan to the Shelley sonnet "Ozymandias" (so true!)." - Philadelphia CityPaper
"There's never been a basketball book — maybe even a sports book — quite like The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac, the first print endeavor of the cult-favorite NBA blog FreeDarko... But for certain nontraditional basketball fans — the egghead, the hipster, the ironist, the amateur culture critic — this might be the hoops book you've been waiting your whole life for... The FreeDarko crew celebrates a notion of pro hoops as an arena of athletic spectacle, geometric precision, unintentional comedy, outlandish personalities, and rich sociocultural meaning. It does so with player profiles that mix on-court insights with psychoanalysis and cultural critique, charts and graphs of oddball brilliance, and beautiful, almost whimsical illustrations." - Memphis Flyer