BASKETBALL FEELINGS
BASKETBALL FEELINGS
The Basketball Feelings Podcast, Episode 47: Phil Maciak
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The Basketball Feelings Podcast, Episode 47: Phil Maciak

Author and The New Republic's TV critic on romantic fandom, where criticism could be better put to use in the NBA, and The Process as existentialism or nihilism.

Criticism to me is a practice of paying attention… Basketball, as a text, as a performance, as a set of rituals, as a set of personalities and actions, is just full of interpretable moments and qualities and features.

I think I found Phil Maciak, or he found me, through the once more robust trade winds of NBA Twitter. He’s a professor, wrote the book Avidly Reads Screen Time, has been an editor at the L.A. Review of Books, has written for WIRED, Slate, and The New York Times Magazine in addition to his role as TV critic at The New Republic. He also loves, deeply, the Philadelphia 76ers.

We talked about hats (for a long time), fandom from afar, following The Process from afar, whether The Process is (was?) an example of nihilism or existentialism, whether being a Sixers fans means giving up on the romance of fandom, and what romantic fandom entails.

We also talked about criticism — by definition, how it usually is interpreted, and how it really just means playing close attention to something — and how basketball offers up endless windows for interpretation, especially for fans who seem to shy from emotional interpretation of the game.

Plus: Tobias Harris and Kyle Lowry as team barometers — and the need for team barometers, missing Brett Brown, the joy of Tyrese Maxey, where criticism would be better put to use within the NBA, and creating spaces outside of team scrums or internal power dynamics to ask important questions.

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BASKETBALL FEELINGS
BASKETBALL FEELINGS
Talking around basketball with writers, media, and people closest to it.