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An illustrated history of basketball's most colorful ballers from A to Z.
An illustrated history of basketball's most colorful ballers from A to Z.
780 backers pledged $19,911 to help bring this project to life.

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$19,911

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"B is for Baller" introduces kids to the greatest stars, best nicknames, and most interesting players in basketball history. Just as important, you are going to enjoy reading it too. 

The book features an illustrated player to represent every letter of the alphabet.

Old school ballers, like Dr. J, teach essential basketball history. And while "B is for Baller" goes back all the way to the days of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, the book also features more recent legends, like Kobe and the King, Curry and KD, Duncan and Dirk.

Dirk, in lederhosen.
Dirk, in lederhosen.

 

Black Mamba
Black Mamba

Kids will gravitate to the different nicknames, brought to life in each illustration. We think you'll appreciate the descriptions, carefully tailored to encapsulate what made each player memorable.

 

Some players will get their own letter, while other letters will showcase a group of ballers - i.e. "S is for Showtime" features Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy. 

In all, "B is for Baller" will feature 34 players and coaches, including:

  • Michael Jordan 
  • Larry Bird 
  • LeBron James 
  • Magic Johnson 
  • Kobe 
  • Shaq 
  • Steph Curry 
  • Kevin Durant 
  • James Harden
  • Russell Westbrook 
  • John Stockton 
  • Charles Barkley 
  • Allen Iverson 
  • Uncle Drew 
  • Steve Nash 
  • Hakeem Olajuwon 
  • Tim Duncan 
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 
  • "Grandmama" Larry Johnson 
  • Bill Russell 
  • Muggsy Bogues 
  • Dennis Rodman
  • "Iceman" George Gervin 
  • Bill Walton 
  • Wilt Chamberlain 
  • Coach Popovich 
  • James Worthy
  • Dwyane Wade 
  • Chris Bosh 
  • Penny Hardaway 
  • Dirk
  • Dr. J
  • Karl Malone
  • and "Pistol" Pete Maravich
Pistol Pete
Pistol Pete

The book is written and we're eager to bring it to the masses. We're asking for $5,000, and that funding will enable us to finish the illustrations and pay for all the printing/publishing costs. 

We're aiming even higher though, and if we reach these Stretch Goals we will be able to include even more players into our alphabet of ballers.

STRETCH GOAL! $6,000

If we reach $6,000, we'll add the following ballers:

  • David Robinson
  • Kevin McHale
  • Robert Parish
  • Shawn Kemp
  • Gary Payton
  • Tony Parker 
  • Pau Gasol

STRETCH GOAL #2! $7,500

And if we reach $7,500, we'll add everyone above plus these players:

  • Reggie Miller
  • Jesus Shuttlesworth
  • Kevin Love
  • Dikembe Mutombo
  • Chris Mullin
  • Scottie Pippen
  • Patrick Ewing

UPDATE: STRETCH GOAL #3! Get a Poster

Due to popular demand, we're adding another Stretch Goal.

If we reach $25,000 we'll be sending one 16 x 18 poster to every backer who's purchased a physical copy of "B is for Baller."  

This posterization will feature art from the book and include a player for each letter of the alphabet A to Z.

About the Illustrator

Matthew Shipley's been drawing and balling since he was a kid. He led his church ball team to multiple titles as an overweight, but deceptively athletic teenager. He now draws pictures as a less overweight, deceptively athletic illustrator. 

About the Author

James Littlejohn grew up watching the greatest generation of Golden State Warriors: Adonal Foyle, Bimbo Coles, and Vonteego Cummings. Now, as a father of two, he looks forward to indoctrinating a similar level of fandom into his children.

Risks and challenges

The main challenge we face is finishing all the illustrations - Matthew Shipley leads a very active lifestyle and if he suffers a torn achilles he'll probably finish faster because he'll be forced to sit in a chair and just draw all day. However, let's say he's practicing dunking, shatters the backboard and cuts up his right hand, then yeah, there could be problems. We don't anticipate this, but you need to be aware of the risks. However, be it known that if funded, Matthew will be able to take some DNP-Rests, put off his other freelance projects and dedicate the time needed to finish the art.

Another challenge: self-publishing. This is the first time Matthew or I have self-published a book. Is there a learning curve? You bet. We feel a little bit like LeBron, Wade and Bosh in their first year in Miami. Obviously, our incredible raw talent can take us pretty far, but what happens when we're trying to post up J.J. Barea? We're not really sure because this analogy is somewhat confusing, but we do believe we have a good handle on the costs and timelines to deliver as promised.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About $5

    Player Art

    Be tippin' like Pippen. Pick your favorite baller (see our list of available players in description) and we'll email you a high-res illustration you can print at your leisure.

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About $10

    eBook

    Get an eBook of "B is for Baller" to read on one of those electronic device things.

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    Pledge $14 or more About $14

    The Book - Early Bird Backer

    Available to the first 20 backers - get your very own copy of "B is for Baller" for just $14.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    The Book

    Get your very own copy of "B is for Baller" and bask in its wonder.

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    Pledge $26 or more About $26

    The Book x 2 - Early Bird Backer

    Double up. Get 2 copies of "B is for Baller." This price is limited to the first 20 backers.

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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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    Pledge $28 or more About $28

    The Book x 2

    Double up with 2 copies of "B is for Baller."

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    105 backers
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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    The Book x 3

    Command a triple team. Get 3 of your very own copies of "B is for Baller."

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    46 backers
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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    The Book x 5

    5 copies of "B is for Baller." It's kind of like getting four copies, except clearly better.

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    51 backers
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  9. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Book x 5 + Add a Baller

    Pick 1 player from one of our stretch goals (see the description for the list of players) and we'll include them in the book, even if we don't hit our stretch goals. Plus, you'll get 5 copies of "B is for Baller."

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Book x 5 + Add Any Baller

    Didn't see your favorite player? We'll add an illustration of ANY player you want. Plus, you'll get 5 copies of "B is for Baller."

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Book x 5 + Your Dedication

    Get 5 copies of the book and the right to dedicate our book to anyone you want. That's right - instead of the traditional dedication coming from the author and illustrator, it's all yours. If you've always wanted to have a book dedicated to your kid, or you, or Pooh Richardson, take note.

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Funding period

- (30 days)