The story behind our recent print collaboration “The Ghost of Sprewell” from @stayclosetay
Earlier this year, I connected with a fellow named Dan, who runs a non-profit called @project_backboard that repaints neglected basketball courts in parks all around the country, and I was immediately attracted to his mission statement and work. It was icing on the cake that the very project he was working on with @activatemke2018 was the repainting of Tiefenthaler Park, on 25th and Galena in my hometown of Milwaukee. He asked if I was interested in coming up with a piece for the Tiefenthaler reveal. And messed around and mentioned that Latrell Sprewell was his favorite player.
Dan sent me a whole box full of @slamonline magazines, and one of them was special to him. A torn issue from September 1999, which was ripped in a scuffle with his best friend. I used the contents of this magazine to create the piece you see before you: The Ghost of Sprewell. This piece commemorates his status as the best player from my city, but also speaks to the reputation that has followed him everywhere he’s gone since his career ended. Yes, he was suspended for choking that coach. And famously, he even turned down a 14 million dollar extension because he had a “family to feed”. 20 plus years and a ton of financial woes later, all we remember about Sprewell is that. Not his career achievements. Or his beloved status in New York as a savior of the Knicks. Or being the original Golden State Warrior everybody loved. Some say he deserved it all, while others say his haunting image is racially-biased. Rather than tell a one-sided story, I wanted to explore all of these themes in this work.
Here’s why I’m writing all of this. Because we are selling this print. For a good cause. All the proceeds go towards helping @project_backboard continue their work in the basketball communities all over. The print is a four color CMYK hand screen-print on 140gm Bristol paper, courtesy of the good homie Jay over at @toil_press in Mexico City. So, if you love me, or PB, or Milwaukee, or NY or basketball in general...head over to the website link in the @project_backboard BIO or find the link on my website
Thanks again to #ScottAlbrecht @scottyfivealive, @thenbpa the City of New Rochelle, the New Rochelle Basketball Association and all the volunteers @rafterclub @sugarlift @local_hoops and more - Go to Great Big Story to see the full video!
#Basketball courts often become the center of a community. But many public courts in the US are left neglected. With @project_backboard, Daniel Peterson is transforming these courts into works of #art. Check out the link in our bio to watch #ProjectBackboard work with artist @scottyfivealive to give this court in #NewRochelle a second lease on life.
Thanks to our guest editor this week, @NBA @TrailBlazers' @3JMcCollum. What community projects are you involved with? Share them with us in the comments below.
More to come... @scottyfivealive #Repost @greatbigstory
This week, we're proud to welcome Portland @TrailBlazers' @3jMcCollum as Great Big Story's latest guest editor. Stay tuned for new stories handpicked by CJ celebrating #mentors sparking inspiration in the next generation.
Have a mentor that has changed your life? Tag them and share your story in the comments below!
Available now in the online shop - Project Backboard’s first limited edition fine art print created by Milwaukee-raised/Houston-based artist Rontaye Butler (@stayclosetay) in collaboration with Toil Press (@toil_press) in Mexico City. All proceeds go to support public outdoor basketball court renovations around the world.
Four color CMYK hand screen-print on 140gm Bristol paper. Series of 30.
Image size: 14 1/8” x 17 1/8” (35 1/2 cm x 44 1/2 cm)
Getting closer to this special drop with my guys @project_backboard and @toil_press showing love to the greatest from the crib and New York legend Latrell Sprewell. If you from Milwaukee, New York, love the NBA, or basketball in general, you might like this piece. STAY CLOSE #projectbackboard #toilpress #stayclose
“My aim was to bring colour and motion to the court as a way of encouraging the community to use the area once again” 🌊 #loisohara
First snow #Milwaukee
📷 @wctank @unitedspecies @activatemke2018 @airbrushassassin
Monday, 11/12, Project Backboard will finally release our first limited edition art print created by @stayclosetay and printed by @toil_press
This print is very personal but also further explores two questions that have driven Project Backboard’s work: “what if the “great masters” were basketball fans?” and “what current artists are fans of the game and making work that will withstand the test of time?”
This photo is not the print but is a picture of my old Slam Magazine which was torn in a “disagreement” with my best friend who was fouling me too often at summer basketball camp! #noeasybuckets
Part 2 #tiefenthalerpark #milwaukee
Activating People + Space inspired by Art + Sport, changing the world and building a beautiful future Together! Where Next? #inspire #changetheworld #buildthefuture #peace #love #community #milwaukeehome #cometogether @unitedspecies @project_backboard @lakevalleycamp @airbrushassassin @_websterx @milwaukitout @jzzam_peterson @joefr_nke @chadwleczyk @coachhartsuiker @wctank 📷🎥 Original Music by: @handbookuk **
Building a better Future and Changing the World Together inspired by Art + Sport #changetheworld #courtart #inspire #peace #love #milwaukeehome #cometogether @unitedspecies @project_backboard @lakevalleycamp @airbrushassassin @_websterx @milwaukitout @jzzam_peterson @joefr_nke @wctank 📷 Original music by: @handbookuk