Basketball Empire: France and the Making of a Global NBA and WNBA (Paperback)
The National Basketball Association (NBA), founded over 75 years ago, is staging a 21st century takeover. Watched in 215 countries and territories worldwide, and with nearly one in three players born and trained overseas, it is no longer just about America. In this book, Lindsay Sarah Krasnoff shows how basketball's global takeover could not have happened without France, exploring its interactions with the United States and colonial legacies with francophone Africa and the Afro-Caribbean. Taking us back to the very beginnings of basketball, she shows how remnants of empire have shaped the game.Asking how and why so many French basketball players have joined the NBA and WNBA, Basketball Empire explores what this has meant for the league and the players themselves. Going behind the scenes, it follows the generations of men and women who, since 1950, have followed their passion for the game to create a basketball breeding ground. Including interviews with players, sports journalists, league directors and coaches past and present, it uncovers the transatlantic networks and complex Franco-American relations that have nurtured a mutual exchange of culture, technical skill and knowledge. These first-hand accounts, supported by media and government archives, show how these forms of sports diplomacy sowed the seeds of a basketball revolution and helped make the NBA a global cultural entity. Arguing that basketball is deeply indebted to France's colonial history and close, albeit complicated, relationship with the United States this book is about the creation of a cultural empire, and shows how sports can be the vehicle to build bridges between nations.
About the Author
Lindsay Sarah Krasnoff is a historian, writer and consultant specializing in the history of global sport, communications and diplomacy. She is the Director of FranceandUS, lectures on sports diplomacy at New York University, USA, and as a Research Associate at SOAS University London, UK, co-directed the Basketball in Diplomacy in Africa project. The author of The Making of Les Bleus: Sport in France 1958-2010 (2013) she has written on global sport for CNN International, The Washington Post and The New Yorker, amongst other publications. She holds a PhD in History from City University of New York, USA, an MA in Journalism and French Studies from NYU, USA, and a BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University, USA.