COURT Basketball — Various

The following pieces of writing are various introductions to visual articles from Court Basketball Issue 01. 🏀 👀

Heads of Fame

Every year the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame honours a class of the best of the best; from players to coaches, from referees to complete teams.

But what about those who have achieved other extraordinary feats? The players whose giddy heights transformed them into pop culture references? The ones who become fan favourites for their off-court behaviour?

To us, they’re the real heroes of the game, the ones who belong in COURT’s very own Hall of Fame. We’ve worked with illustrator and sculptor William Edmonds to induct our very first class.

View the full article Heads Of Fame

Venice Beach League

Basketball is a game for all weathers, from under the grey skies of London to the sweltering heat of Venice Beach. The players who compete in all conditions are the ones who won’t walk off the court when the air conditioning breaks.

This summer saw the 8th annual Venice Basketball League take place westside of Los Angeles, where COURT’s Emily Maye was on hand to document what happened under the summer sun.

View the full article Venice Beach League

Ewing & MJ

From ‘Malice in the Palace’ to the love/hate relationship between Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant: for a non-contact sport, things often get physical on the basketball court.

Patrick Ewing and Michael Jordan’s is the archetypal rivalry, spawned from the enduring battle between the Knicks and Bulls in the 1990s. They measured in the play-offs five times. The Bulls came out victorious in four of these encounters…

Here, COURT pairs up with artist Andrew Ho to create an ongoing series of comic strips documenting their all-encompassing conflict.

View the full article Ewing & MJ

Champions of Cuba

You can go almost anywhere in the world and find a dedicated basketball community. They might not play to the level of the NBA — “we don’t even have statistics here” — but there are always stories to be told.

This pas summer photographer Mehdi Lacoste travelled to Cuba, where he photographed the Capitalinos — a team who hail from Havana and who are the current reigning champions of Cuban basketball. After gaining a record of 27–0 in the regular season of the Liga Superior de Baloncesto, the highest level of Cuban basketball, they defeated Ciego de Avila for their second championship.

Even here, on an island with a population one third of the size of Canada, there’s an eight-team league that has some historic rivalries, must see games, and one inspirational team in particular. These are the Capitalinos.

View the full article Champions of Cuba