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Dan Devine

Pretty pictures: Art from FreeDarko's 'Undisputed Guide'

Dan Devine
Ball Don't Lie

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It's cropped down and imperfect; for that, I apologize. But I kind of like the impending doom aspect of this teaser image, pulled from the recently launched site for "FreeDarko Presents: The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History," the second book from the FreeDarko Collective, which drops on Oct. 26. There's something awesome about Jordan himself not appearing in the frame — just his inescapable shadow, larger than possible, covering up Ewing, Payton, Hakeem, and even the basket and the ball themselves. So cool.

Head to the book's site to check out more fantastic samples of the guide's engrossing, hyper-stylized art, featuring Barkley as a blimp, Magic and Bird as we should always remember them, and the full-size version of this phenomenal picture. You can even buy prints of some of them — I've got my eye on the "Talk of the Town" Knicks print, myself.

A brief note about FreeDarko: I've always enjoyed the way FD looks at, analyzes and writes about the game of basketball. I totally understand why the Collective's approach — viewing the game as a grand interdisciplinary exercise, celebrating players' style as a form of substance rather than proof of its absence, emphasizing that basketball is something we can, and should, aggressively access with intellect as well as emotion, etc. — doesn't necessarily appeal to everyone, but it's the right speed for the type of nerd I am. That's why I dug Book No. 1 and it's why I'm looking forward to Book No. 2. Well, that and fantastic stuff like what you see at the top of this post.

Full disclosure: I recently contributed a piece to FreeDarko as part of the site's "Dream Week" project and once watched Bethlehem Shoals eat a cheesesteak.

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