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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Death at the Wing

Streaming on Apple Podcasts / Podcasts

The arts have the 27 Club—a list of musicians and artists who died at age 27, names like Jimi Hendrix, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Amy Winehouse—and now basketball has Death at the Wing, a new podcast that focuses on rising hoop stars who were overwhelmed by the forces of 1980s America. Hosted by Adam McKay (The Big Short, Vice, Succession), each episode focuses on one player—Terry Furlow, Len Bias, Benji Wilson—one tragedy, and the political and social context of the time, from the merging of the A.B.A. with the N.B.A., to Reagan’s presidency, to drug addiction, to the AIDS epidemic. “Once we dove in,” McKay says in an introduction to the podcast, “it became obvious the tragic stories of these young, mostly African American, men are really the story of what happened to America over the last 40 years. A 40 years that would see the N.B.A. become a global powerhouse while the U.S. slowly came apart.” —J.V.

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