Can’t Knock the Hustle: Inside the Season of Protest, Pandemic, and Progress with the Brooklyn Nets’ Superstars of Tomorrow

Matt Sullivan. Dey Street, $27.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0063036802
Sportswriter Sullivan takes readers on a propulsive ride in his tour-de-force debut, pulling from over 400 interviews to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the 2019–2020 NBA season and the resurgence of the Brooklyn Nets. Starting in May 2019—when Kevin Durant prepared his move to the Brooklyn Nets—Sullivan follows the Nets’ rise from a coachless team in early 2020 to a star-studded group of vocal activists at the epicenter of a civil rights movement. After the death of George Floyd, the Barclays Center became a “recognizable gathering place,” as protests erupted in Brooklyn and worldwide. During this time, Nets players decided to take their politics from the court to the streets, using their fame to bring attention to the growing injustice. Sullivan leads up to this with news of other earth-shattering events, like Kobe Bryant’s death to the looming chaos of the pandemic. Perhaps most illuminating is his recounting of the NBA playoff bubble in the summer of 2020, when players wrestled with the decision to play as the Black Lives Matter movement reached its apex. Sullivan’s detailed account will intrigue anyone who cares about sports and the role it plays in social justice today. Agent: David Granger, Aevitas Creative Management. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/17/2021
Release date: 06/22/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-303682-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-7999-5259-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-7999-5260-2
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