Review of Kicking Center

Allison, Rachel. Kicking Center: Gender and the Selling of Women’s Professional Soccer. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2018. Pp. 220. Appendices, notes, bibliography, and index. $27.95 paperback and eBook. Reviewed by Cat Ariail Earlier this summer, the US Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT), earned a fourth star on their shirt, winning the Women’s World…

From Next to Now: The WNBA in 2018

By Cat Ariail When advertising its inaugural 1997 season, the WNBA announced, “We Got Next.” The slogan represented a clever adaptation of the playground basketball expression. Unintentionally but appropriately, it also captured the perpetual liminality of the league. For much of its twenty-two year history, insecurity has characterized the league, with professional women basketball forever…

Review of Sugar

Rosen, Charley. Sugar: Michael Ray Richardson, Eighties Excess, and the NBA. Lincoln: Nebraska University Press, 2018. Pp. 192. $24.95 hardcover and ebook. Reviewed by Cat Ariail During his tumultuous tenure as general manager of the New York Knicks, Phil Jackson often appeared to air his grievances, including the infamous ones against Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo…

Becky Hammon, Basketball, and Gender Politics

By Cat Ariail On May 5, ESPN NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski dropped a “Woj bomb.”  The Milwaukee Bucks intend to interview Becky Hammon, a fourth-year assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs and, of course, the first woman to serve as an NBA assistant coach, for their vacant head coach position. Instantly, I was excitedly…

Looking Back on the NBA in 2017

By Cat Ariail If, as suggested by Sport in American History editor Andrew McGregor, college football represents a “safe space” for conservatives, the NBA  serves that function for liberals. In 2017, the NBA unapologetically carried on the spirit of Obamaian triumphalism. Most notably, LeBron James captured the sentiments of many a frustrated American in his much…

Review of Game Faces

Fields, Sarah K. Game Faces: Sport Celebrity and the Laws of Reputation. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2016. Pp. xxii+187. Notes, index. $95.00 cloth, $24.95 paper, $22.46 ebook. Reviewed by Cat Ariail In the fall of 2012, a lawyer representing Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea) filed a federal invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media for publishing…