"The Joy of Basketball" interlude
Andrew Kuo's favorite magazine covers, and more.
Hi everyone. Welcome to my newsletter companion to “Cover Story,” a basketball book I wrote now available in stores which you can order here. If you want to tell your followers about my book, feel free to share this tweet or this Instagram post. If you’re not a newsletter subscriber, click here to make sure you get every post in your inbox.
I’m so tired of promoting my own book it’s time to start a newsletter talking about another book. Ben Detrick and Andrew Kuo dropped “The Joy of Basketball: An Encyclopedia of the Modern Game” this week. I personally haven’t had a chance to check it out yet but based on the description of the book I’m going to say most basketball fans will enjoy this (except for the really miserable people, you know the ones I’m talking about):
Using text, charts, and illustrations that upend conventional jock wisdom, the book details the most incredible players in history, draft flops, long-limbed oddballs, superteams, the international talent wave, brawls, scandals, the rapid evolution of contemporary gameplay, coaching, fashion, crime, positional erosion, tragic tales, memes, and the sacred Kardashian Blessing.
If you don’t know, Ben and Andrew also run a podcast called Cookies and they’ve also got a great basketball shop where I’ve definitely spent my hard-earned money before. The two went for a night out with GQ’s Chris Gayomali recently to chat about their book. You can check out the profile here.
Alright that’s enough about other people (for now), back to me. If you missed it earlier this week, the new “Cover Story” x Larry Luk collaboration t-shirt is 100% certified fresh in the streets and available for pre-order at this link until this Friday (a.k.a. tomorrow). Unless you’re one of six friends who are blessed enough to make my seeding list, make sure to grab a tee and support Larry (I don’t get a dime from these merch sales, but I do get a shirt made by Larry Luk and that is priceless).
I did have a chance earlier this month to touch base with Andrew Kuo and asked him to pick his favorite magazine covers. Make sure you follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
The first pick is this New York Times Magazine cover from 2009 featuring Shane Battier of the Houston Rockets. “This Michael Lewis piece was fascinating and came out right when analysts nerds were getting to the bottom of something,” Andrew told me. “It’s fun to think about how influential some of the ideas in this story were... and also how they’re still controversial! If some role players effect the outcome of games as much as scorers, shouldn’t we consider them stars? What do we actually want from a game? How do we value players?”
Next up is this Emigre magazine cover featuring The Designer’s Republic, who occupied Andrew’s mind for close to a decade. “This was one of the first and only times their work was compiled in print,” he explained to me. “The rave aesthetic had the promise of the future, but it kind of already lived its life by the time electronic music made it to Playstation games like ‘Wipeout.’ This issue of Emigre was when they were still oversized… peak graphic design.”
And finally, Andrew chose the first issue of Nintendo Power. “It was the first time I could remember the culture of video games translating outside of the game itself,” he said. “It began to feel like a scene similar to music or sports. I must’ve combed over every page of this magazine every day for an entire summer. I couldn’t get enough of the colors and characters in this world. Amazing stuff.”
Thanks for reading the newsletter. Feel free to subscribe if it’s your first time reading. You can pre-order “Cover Story” here and find me on Twitter and Instagram. Email me if you want to chat.