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A textual-visual showpiece... Fabulously eccentric and gloriously illustrated... It is likely the only sports almanac in existence that features a manifesto, cooks up winkingly abstruse statistics like "cancer effect" (e.g. Stephon Marbury and the Knicks), provides an etymology of the hoop slang "swag," and name-drops Amiri Baraka, Martin Buber and Chris "Birdman" Andersen. The book knows its hoops too... Phenomenal swag. (New York Times Play Magazine)
At the beginning of the Almanac--a compendium of odd statistics, kinetic diagrams and goofball-academic essays--lies the Free Darko Manifesto, which puts style (flash, idiosyncrasies, etc.) above wins and losses, the individual above the home team, and flaws above perfection... It's hard not to be converted by the Darko mandate to elevate style above all else in basketball. The almanac is more than a guide to the delirious side of the NBA, it's an argument for a more humane approach to fandom. Head cases and millionaires, as viewed through the Darko lens, aren't the evil acid eating away at professional sports that a lot of the nation's columnists would have us believe. And all of this is rendered in gorgeous illustration and provocative--if often ludicrous--prose. (Time Out Chicago)
This guide to pro hoops from the freaks at FreeDarko is a gorgeously illustrated, deeply idiosyncratic work of mad, mad genius. They break the game down into a periodic table of playing styles (knife, shark, snowflake, this is not a pipe), identify players' spirit animals (Gilbert Arenas=Tasmanian Devil) and have the gumption to liken Tim Duncan to the Shelley sonnet (Ozymandias" (so true!)."Philadelphia CityPaper)
There's never been a basketball book -- maybe even a sports book -- quite like The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac, the first print endeavor of the cult-favorite NBA blog FreeDarko... But for certain nontraditional basketball fans -- the egghead, the hipster, the ironist, the amateur culture critic -- this might be the hoops book you've been waiting your whole life for... The FreeDarko crew celebrates a notion of pro hoops as an arena of athletic spectacle, geometric precision, unintentional comedy, outlandish personalities, and rich sociocultural meaning. It does so with player profiles that mix on-court insights with psychoanalysis and cultural critique, charts and graphs of oddball brilliance, and beautiful, almost whimsical illustrations. (Memphis Flyer)
FreeDarko is a collective of like-minded NBA writers and artists whose blog has become a staple of basketball fandom on the Internet. More a movement than a self-contained website, it had a regular spot on the McSweeney's site and is frequently called on by Deadspin.com to provide guest NBA coverage. Bethlehem Shoals, its chief operative, is a regular contributor to SportingNews.com and SLAM, and has published basketball-related writing in Spin, Slate, and Chicago Sports Weekly.