chapter  3
30 Pages

The (Trans)National Basketball Association: American Commodity-Sign Culture and Global-Local Conjuncturalism

WithDavid L. Andrews

This chapter examines how the National Basketball Association (NBA) has been fashioned into an explicitly American and increasingly global media(ted) institution, which inevitably contributes to the conjunctural (re)articulation of local identities and experiences. The NBA triumphed in the United States because of the influence of the televisual media and explicitly that of the league's innovative promotional strategies. The NBA bombarded the American media with carefully scripted images that articulated basketball as an exhilarating, entertaining, and seemingly popular game. As Andrew Wernick intimated, the promotional dynamic of postindustrial society is prefigured on the inherent intertextuality of televisual discourse. Despite the superficial veracity of such statements, it would be a gross oversimplification to view the spread of NBA commodity-signs as being indicative of the establishment of a homogenous, primarily Americanized global culture.