Category Archives: Sociology

The Dusty Jumper: A Memoir About Basketball, Adolescence, Anxiety, Identity and NBA Fandom

Hello Good People,

I finally finished editing. I have slowly destroyed my inner perfectionist. Or maybe I just got older. Or both. Words are never finished. Writing is never done. But this book is…at last.

The Dusty Jumper is a basketball memoir from a child of the 80s. A collection of tied-together moments from two decades of personal experiences and NBA-related writing. Pieces of a puzzle that concludes with the idea that we are all human. Writing that takes hoops as a centering theme but is really about people and our need to play, cheer, watch, read, and write, and generally connect to something bigger than ourselves.

Good for summer reading. Easy to carry around. Short passages. Basketball. Adolescence. Fandom. Anxiety. Hopefully, you’ll find it mildly humorous and somewhat poetic, though I’m not paid to be a comedian or a poet…(though, usually, comedians and poets are broke).

If you have promotion suggestions, feel free to send any thoughts my way. I’m not a marketing guru, if that wasn’t obvious.

I can tell you the book costs $10, which is less than two pints of gelato, unless they’re on sale.

Happy summer reading,

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James Baldwin on Hate

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”

– James Baldwin


For all of the post-election think-pieces on how so many Americans voted for Trump, not enough have dealt with this idea. Journalists have considered the economic causes and the cultural causes. The demographic shifts. The isolation. The fact that people weren’t honest about their pro-Trump opinions with pollsters, and thus, the polls were all wrong.

I understand the complexity, the myriad reasons that people wanted something radically different than the status quo. Bernie Sanders attracted so many for similar reasons. The desire, fictional though it may be, for something entirely new to change our government and our corporate-driven trajectory as a nation. Tragically, way too many bought the hype, and now we’re trying to uncover why.

James Baldwin’s words illuminate that sense of hate as a kind of terrible icing on a cake that is made of pain. Pain that is psychologically-based, rooted in economic distress and cultural fears, manipulated by the heat of racialized and gendered rhetoric. Fears both real and imagined, coalescing into pain both real and imagined, funneled into hate, both real and virtual. Social media being the conveyor-belt of these ideas.

We must take Baldwin’s words to heart…and use them to confront this new reality.

The new documentary comes out February 3. Thanks to Magnolia Pictures for producing it.


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Read! (Expand your mind. Laugh. Think. Empathy. Imagination.)

Just published at Propeller. My reflection on Jonathan Abrams’ new book Boys Among Men: How the Prep to Pro Generation Redefined the NBA and Sparked a Basketball Revolution.

“Boys Among Men” (Jonathan Abrams, NBA, teenage prodigies, economics, labor, sociology of sport, humanizing athletes, race)


Here is a collection of my favorite essays, reflections, opinions, lists from the last few months.

“16 Thoughts on the 2016 Couch Olympics” by Dave Pell (humor)

“Hope is an Embrace of the Unknown” by Rebecca Solnit (wisdom, philosophy, psychology, education)

“Black Mothering is a Means of Protest” by Dominique Matti (self explanatory)

“The Longest Run” by S.L. Price (Refugee Olympic team)

“Performance, Anxiety, and the Brocial Compact” by David Roth (masculinity, conformity, insecurity and the sports media)

“The Round Mound of Enough Already” by T.D. Williams (race, media, Barkley)

“There’s no Emotion We Need to Think Harder About than Anger” by Martha Nussbaum (emotion, psychology, spirituality, healing, Nelson Mandela)

“American Horror Story” by Laurie Penny (politics, myth-making, democracy)

“President Obama’s speech at Dallas Memorial Service (race, policing, police brutality, empathy, unity)


My work:

“You are Given a Glass of Water” (politics, Bernie Sanders supporters, Hillary)

“Feel Good Music: Michael Kiwanuka’s Love and Hate” (music review, music as art/therapy/healing/equality)

“Ceremonial Entrances in Rio” (Olympics, parade of nations, humor)

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