The NBA finals are heading to game #2, and one of the biggest questions remains what will Wade, Bosh and LeBron where at the post game press conference (no reason to worry about Duncan or Parker). Read in the context of the NBA dress code, the league’s racialized culture wars, the “larger politics of adornment” (Ford), what is “legible and illegible” when it comes to black masculinity (Neal), and countless other issues, NBA fashion is a space for some important discussions.
I had the opportunity to “sit down” (in the google hangout; although I am not visible in the video) with Dr. Tanisha Ford, an assistant professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at University of Massachusetts, and a national expert on race, gender, sartorial choices, and youth culture to talk about NBA fashion.
While not explicit there seems to be this subtle tone that the Spurs success reflects the number of international players. The constant references to their unselfishness, team-first, and playing the right way encapsulates these sort of narratives and tropes. The constant discussion of their teams intelligence (last night Boris Diaw was celebrated as a smart basketball player — nevermind that every NBA players has a high basketball IQ – right before he went for terrible steal leading to foul on Duncan) operates through a particular racial and national landscape. The imagination of the Spurs as “model minorities” given the league’s demographics and their team roster should give us pause. The imagination of the Spurs as hard working “immigrants” who play the game “the right way” is a window into some larger discussions and discourses
From “NBA Finals boast record international presence”
Social media has allowed sports fans all over the world to connect with one another in ways they never have before, and for the 2013 Finals, the NBA is taking that inclusiveness to even greater heights.
The NBA announced in a press release that the Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs will be broadcast in 215 countries and territories and be translated into 47 languages.
This year’s Finals features a record 10 international players between the two teams. The Spurs feature three French players (Tony Parker, Boris Diaw and Nando de Colo) as well as Argentinian Manu Ginobili, Brazilian Tiago Splitter, Australians Patrick Mills and Aron Baynes, U.S. Virgin Islands native Tim Duncan and Canadian Cory Joseph. The Heat feature Canada native Joel Anthony.
The Finals will be broadcast live in India on Sony Six as part of a new multiyear agreement, and many countries will have specialized experiences designed for them by the NBA.