Now that Bookforum is back from the dead, it’s seemingly pushing legacy content through its RSS feed—which means lovely surprises like this Ross Gay essay about basketball (and the bellicose posturing that’s such an inextricable part of the game) from the Summer 2022 issue. My favorite poet, my favorite sport. Not a bad way to start a week.
He was also talking shit the whole time. I don’t know what he was saying—I mean, I can guess, ballpark—but his shit-talk reached its embodied zenith when he ripped their point guard at the top of the key and, sailing to the other basket and taking his last dribble, looked back at the kid chasing him and held the ball on a platter, like You looking for this, like, Not today, before laying it in. The refs kept getting on him, and getting on us to get on him, for all this jawing, this flamboyant chatter, but he couldn’t stop, I remember watching and giggling and thinking, He can’t stop, he just can’t stop, for he was elated, and his elation was elating, and Lord let me best as I can never be the asshole rips the wings off an elated kid.