Ball Don't Lie

9781439912423: Hardback
Release Date: 5th April 2016

9781439912430: Paperback
Release Date: 5th April 2016

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 228

Series Sporting

Temple University Press

Ball Don't Lie

Myth, Genealogy, and Invention in the Cultures of Basketball

Pro basketball player Rasheed Wallace often exclaimed the pragmatic truth "Ball don't lie!" during a game. It is a protest against a referee's bad calls. But the slogan, which originated in pickup games, brings the reality of a racialized urban playground into mainstream American popular culture.  In Ball Don't Lie!, Yago Colás traces the various forms of power at work in the intersections between basketball and language from the game's invention to the present day. He critiques existing popular myths concerning the history of basketball, contextualizes them, and presents an alternative history of the sport inspired by innovations. Colás emphasizes the creative prerogative of players and the ways in which their innovations shape—and are shaped by—broader cultural and social phenomena. Ball Don't Lie! shows that basketball cannot be reduced to a single, fixed or timeless essence but instead is a continually evolving exhibition of physical culture that flexibly adapts to and sparks changes in American society.
Hardback / £66.00
Paperback / £15.99

Pro basketball player Rasheed Wallace often exclaimed the pragmatic truth "Ball don't lie!" during a game. It is a protest against a referee's bad calls. But the slogan, which originated in pickup games, brings the reality of a racialized urban playground into mainstream American popular culture.  In Ball Don't Lie!, Yago Colás traces the various forms of power at work in the intersections between basketball and language from the game's invention to the present day. He critiques existing popular myths concerning the history of basketball, contextualizes them, and presents an alternative history of the sport inspired by innovations. Colás emphasizes the creative prerogative of players and the ways in which their innovations shape—and are shaped by—broader cultural and social phenomena. Ball Don't Lie! shows that basketball cannot be reduced to a single, fixed or timeless essence but instead is a continually evolving exhibition of physical culture that flexibly adapts to and sparks changes in American society.

Preface: In Praise of Heresy 
Acknowledgments 
Introduction: "Ball Don't Lie!" December 2, 2012

I Myths of the Basketball Republic (1891–1949) 
1. The Myth of Creation, December 21, 1891 
2. The Myth of Foundation, June 6, 1946

II Myths of the Modern Basketball State (1949–1991) 
3. The Myth of the Rivalry, November 7, 1959 
4. The Myth of the Garden, May 8, 1970 
5. The Myth of the Amateurs, March 26, 1979

III Myths of the Basketball Empire (1991–Present) 
6. The Myth of the Greatest of All Time, June 13, 1991
7. The Myth of Blackness, March 12, 1997
8. The Myth of the Right Way, June 15, 2004
9. The Myth of the Man, July 8, 2010

Notes 
Index

Yago Colás teaches in the Department of Comparative Literature and in the Residential College at the University of Michigan and is the author of Postmodernity in Latin America: The Argentine Paradigm.

In this compelling critical dissection of a truly fascinating sport, Yago Colás effectively breaks down the game of basketball in ways social, cultural, and political. As Rasheed Wallace said, ‘Ball don’t lie!’ Neither does this book.”—Todd Boyd, author of Young, Black, Rich and Famous: The Rise of the NBA, the Hip Hop Invasion and the Transformation of American Culture

“Ball Don’t Lie! is an original, unique, well-conceived, and well-executed work on the history and culture of basketball. In an accessible and engaging writing style, Colás tackles basketball from the perspective of a literary critic. He cleverly sets up each chapter with a myth and then he goes about deconstructing it from a variety of angles. This book can help change how we teach and write about sport.”—Aram Goudsouzian, author of King of the Court: Bill Russell and the Basketball Revolution