cover image Hoop Kings

Hoop Kings

Charles R. Smith, Charles R. Smith, Smith Jr. Charles R.. Candlewick Press (MA), $14.99 (42pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-1423-2

After paying homage to Hoop Queens, Charles R. Smith Jr. now focuses on 12 male NBA superstars in Hoop Kings. Memorable imagery and slick rhythms (not to mention an actual-size Shaq shoe print on a foldout) combine to create poetic portraits (such as the one for Allen Iverson: ""Crooked cornrows/ cause chaotic/ and catastrophic collisions/ with precision""). Smith's signature bold photographs, playful type, and electric colors and design blend 1970s-era basketball, modern street ball and hip-hop influences.