Under the Boards: The Cultural Revolution in Basketball

Synopsis

The true story of basketball lives as much off the court as on the hardwood; it is about politics and race and cultural clashes as heated as a final-four buzzer-beater. This story unfolds in all its gritty and colorful detail in Under the Boards. From the birth of the Larry Bird legend to the ascendancy of a hip-hop-infused NBA to the backlash against bling and the contemporary American game, Jeffrey Lane traces the emergence of a new culture of basketball, complete with competing values, attitudes, aesthetics, and racial and economic tensions. The revolution Lane describes resonates in the way Latrell Sprewell's assault on his coach forever changed NBA power relations; in legendary coach Bob Knight's entanglement in high school basketball history; in the dramatic shift in attitude toward European players; in the impact of the deaths of two rappers on rookie Allen Iverson's career; and in conflicting cultural models rooted in ideals of black masculinity and white nostalgia. In these moments Lane's book documents a profound change in basketball and in American culture over the last thirty years.