As a member of the 1992 world-champion Chicago Bulls, a dashiki-clad Hodges delivered a handwritten letter to President George H. W. Bush demanding that he do more to address racism and economic inequality. Hodges was also a vocal union activist, initiated a boycott against Nike, and spoke out forcefully against police brutality in the wake of the Rodney King beating.
But his outspokenness cost him dearly. In the prime of his career, after ten NBA seasons, Hodges was blackballed from the NBA for using his platform as a professional athlete to stand up for justice.
In this powerful, passionate, and captivating memoir, Hodges shares the stories—including encounters with Nelson Mandela, Coretta Scott King, Jim Brown, R. Kelly, Michael Jordan, and others—from his lifelong fight for equality for African Americans.
“Long Shot tracks Hodges’s political awakening, from black-studies courses in college to his early run-ins with Donald Sterling, the notoriously racist owner of the San Diego (and later Los Angeles) Clippers. The trajectory is clear, and, despite the occasionally engrossing glimpse into the typical N.B.A. player’s home life—Hodges’s tumult involved R. Kelly—almost every detail is shared as context for his more radical turn in the late eighties and nineties.”—New Yorker
"Hodges has told his compelling life story with fiery passion, looping around a cast of characters stretching from Jordan, Magic Johnson and Phil Jackson back to Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, before returning to the present." —Guardian
“In the book, Hodges talks about conversations he had with teammates Jordan and Pippen about their lack of knowledge regarding Black history. ‘I don't bring this up to shame Scottie, Michael, and the other players who aren't educated in our history,’ Hodges writes. ‘I bring it up because we can't solve a problem if we don't recognize the sickness.’” —Rolling Stone
“Craig has written a very in depth portrait of his struggles and triumphs in the NBA and beyond.” —Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
"The people's champion." —Chuck D
"A skillfully told, affecting memoir of sports and social activism." —Kirkus
"With its sharp observations about Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and the state of race relations in the NBA, Long Shot is likely to cause a stir." —Chicago Reader
“Craig Hodges is someone I looked up to as a child & now as an adult…I read Long Shot in like two hours, I couldn’t stop turning pages. There are so many hooks in it." —Jesse Williams
"Long Shot is a beautifully written, brutally honest book. If you loved the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls, if you love black history, or if you are fascinated by the politics of sports, I highly recommend this book. Simply put: Craig Hodges’ life is incredible and Long Shot is invaluable." —AETHLON: The Journal of Sport Literature
"It is time to remove Craig Hodges from exile status and place him where he has always belonged: on the short-list of the activist athletes who stood tall, paid the price and now live their life perhaps scarred, but without regrets. Read this book so a new generation of NBA players and fans will know his true story. Read this book so to say not in a whisper but with a confident shout, 'You DO want to be like Craig Hodges.'
—Dave Zirin, from the Introduction
“This riveting and affirmative read offers a revealing and pertinent insight into the odious nature of corporate-driven politics in the US and the consequences of racism, poverty, homelessness and despair it engenders.
And, as a candid glimpse behind the scenes of the US basketball industry, it’s an eye-opener and many a nugget make it a diverting read.
A singular lesson of history in the making.’Michal Boncza, Morning Star