Best Seat in the House, Spike Lee’s evocative and compelling basketball memoir, interweaves several journeys over a course of thirty years. The first is professional basketball’s metamorphosis from a fringe sport to the big-money spectacle it is today, filled with outrageously inflated salaries and egos. The other journey is that of Shelton Jackson Lee himself, who has gone from a skinny kid playing ball on the streets of Brooklyn, sneaking into Madison Square Garden to watch his beloved Knicks, to a student at Morehouse College and NYU film school, to a world-renowned film director and hoops fan.
Along the way Spike takes readers on entertaining and provocative detours, including a one-on-one with that other Brooklyn-born, film-directing, Garden-inhabiting hoops fan, Woody Allen; reviews of sports movies (Spike has seen them all, and the results aren’t pretty); an unusually candid interview with Michael Jordan; and a stark assessment of the role of African-American athletes—both in the big business of sports and in the broader culture.
But overall, Best Seat in the House is a love letter, from a passionate and unswervingly devoted fan, to the game and the team that took possession of Spike’s adolescent heart—the New York Knickerbockers—and held it without a turnover through thirty years. of bang-ups and fouls, bad calls and air balls.
Best Seat in the House is a slam dunk.
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