Fly: The Big Book of Basketball Fashion

Artisan. Sept. 2023. 208p. ISBN 9781648290923. $40. SPORTS
In prose as stylish as its subject, this love letter to basketball and its swanky superstars takes readers on a colorful ride through the sport’s sartorial preeminence from the 1940s to the present. Novelist and Pulitzer Prize–winning feature writer Jackson (Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family) celebrates the legacies and individual personalities of these elite athletes—Wilt Chamberlain, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and many more—while illustrating how they were influenced by and also affected cultural history throughout the decades. The book’s abundant photographs are a mix of candid and composed shots that are given full credit in the backmatter. Readers who don’t have extensive knowledge of basketball and its biggest stars may feel the need to play catch-up at times due to the work’s rapid-fire sports history references and nonstop name-dropping. However, true fans will relish the breadth and depth devoted to the game and its players’ on- and off-court looks. The book places them in context with their eras’ political and cultural climates.
VERDICT A recommended purchase with crossover appeal for fans of basketball and contemporary fashion.
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