Enter Your Initials for Record Keeping: Standard Edition
In this always-on-fire collection of essays on the classic 2-on-2 video game NBA Jam, Brian Oliu and 13 Player 2 contributors offer essays that explore the purest love and hatred for the game of basketball. While Oliu tells of his continuous battle with identity—particularly due to the overwhelmingly large shadow of his father’s basketball abilities, as well as Brian’s own seemingly larger-than-life size as a child—Player 2 authors provide an eclectic balance of comic and tragic stories about the teams that represent them.
Some excerpts from Brian Oliu’s “Player 1″ essays:
“One game, my father couldn’t miss—he could hit every shot from every angle, his teammates passing the ball to him at every impasse they created for themselves, asking my father to do the unburying. Afterwards, as we drove home in his Buick Century, sweat soaking into the felt seats, I asked him why he couldn’t do that every single game: the naivety of a child who does not understand how probability works, the audacious and beautiful belief that what is possible in one moment is possible forever.”
“I lose more than I win. It is something that is within my blood—that when I was assembled, that when I was plucked from one world and placed in the next, I was deemed as someone who does not come out on top; there is comfort among the failures.”
“I too believed that I was a great player on the wrong team, a sideshow in every way. I could be the best if I just got the ball, I thought—each slick point guard dribbling themselves into a corner, never looking toward the middle. I was useless because I kept my back to the basket; by the time I turned around, it would be too late—the ball stripped from my hands and sent back down the court—myself the fool.”
“When I am shooting baskets by myself, this is the best basketball player I can possibly be. There are no defenders looking to swipe the ball away; there is no shot clock, no audience, no outside pressures causing me to miss. Every shot is an open shot, which makes every miss even more frustrating—this game will never be any easier.
Standard Edition Release: July 17, 2015