NBA Jam was an arcade game released during the summer of 1993. The game was a larger than life simulation of basketball; players could perform unbelievable feats with current NBA players: somersault dunks, half-court shots, setting the ball on fire. As a child, I was obsessed with all facets of the game: when I wasn’t watching basketball on TV, I was practicing free throws, or begging my parents for quarters so I could play NBA Jam. My collection, “Enter Your Initials For Record Keeping,” is a series of essays about each of the teams in the game, as well as my relationship with the game of basketball–as observer, as player, and as a strange hybrid of the two, controlling the hyper-real avatars of my idols as they razzle-dazzle and do things the universe would not let me attempt, no matter how hard I wished.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
I have never seen myself play basketball. I was not good enough to be studied on film—to have cameras pointed at my body, to track my movements, to see which way I would roll (the left, always), how I created my shots. Seeing my body on film is a harrowing experience—it would be even moreso to watch me do something that I am not good at; we hope that the world is only interested in documenting our strengths, but there is a love of error—of air balls and blocked shots....Read More