Cunningham seems to tend towards writing sports articles. However, what I appreciate is his ability to do so in a way that isn’t exclusionary to those who don’t watch the NBA (including myself). In many ways, he is a unifying writer- taking something niche and analyzing it in a more accessible light. I wonder if this is solely because he writes for a venue as high-volume as the New Yorker, or because it is truly a stylistic choice.
His most recent work examines the normalization of what NBA players do on a daily basis. Their athleticism, level of performance, and dedication to competition are important to many Americans. Cunningham makes comparisons to classic players and notes that our critiques of these players are probably a bit harsh. Given what they are able to do, we should be revering them all. However, that’s not how Americans or professional basketball works.