Basketball Books

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There's a baseball-books thread...I've read some good ones: When the Garden Was Eden, about the early '70s Knicks (didn't realize they turned it into a 30 for 30; Loose Balls, my favourite, a history of the ABA; The Punch, about Kermit Washington laying out Rudy Tomjanovich (sad; Tomjanovich recovered, Washington didn't); Pistol, a biography of Maravich (my favourite player in high school). When the Raptors were in the finals with Golden State, I read Betaball. I'm reading The Last Pass right now: I wanted a good book on Bill Russell, and the biography that's out there didn't appeal to me. I didn't realize it's more about Bob Cousy and his his complicated relationship with Russell, but it's good. At some point I'll start on a biography of Marvin Barnes I bought; "turbulent" is a good come-on in any subtitle.

clemenza, Sunday, 4 October 2020 00:47 (three months ago) link

John McPhee wrote one about Bill Bradley:

the unappreciated charisma of cows (Aimless), Sunday, 4 October 2020 00:55 (three months ago) link

David Halberstam wrote one about the Bill Walton edition of the Trail Blazers, in the year after the championship:

the unappreciated charisma of cows (Aimless), Sunday, 4 October 2020 00:58 (three months ago) link

I'll probably read Halberstam's Michael Jordan book one day, although I'm not sure if it'll add much to the Netflix series...I guess a good enough writer always can.

clemenza, Sunday, 4 October 2020 01:04 (three months ago) link

Playing for Keeps is pretty good, though it’s been a long time since I read it. MJ declined to be interviewed and didn’t get to shape the narrative as much as in The Last Dance.

circles, Sunday, 4 October 2020 03:33 (three months ago) link

breaks of the game is absolutely essential. lazenby's bios of jordan and kobe are very useful and well-researched as far as setting context for those guys' careers. jack mccallum's dream team book is a lot of fun, i would highly recommend it. his warriors and suns books are also enjoyable if a little less essential.

call all destroyer, Sunday, 4 October 2020 03:43 (three months ago) link

bill russell's memoir/bio red and me is worth a read if you're interested in him. somewhat lightweight but bill is never less than a straight shooter so you get some honest commentary too.

call all destroyer, Sunday, 4 October 2020 03:46 (three months ago) link

and actually this is my strongest rec: forty-eight minutes by bob ryan and terry pluto. it's a blow-by-blow of a regular season game between the '87 celtics and a very young underdog '87 cavs team. against expectations, the game gets competitive. they cover the couple days leading up and then literally write a play-by-play account of the game, which sounds like it could be boring but is the complete opposite. if you want to know about being on the road, practicing in a weird gym, signing a guy to a 10-day contract and having to play him against the defending champs, and what goes into every possession in an nba game, read this book.

call all destroyer, Sunday, 4 October 2020 03:53 (three months ago) link

Sounds like a couple of baseball books out there (like Daniel Okrent's Nine Innings) that analyze a single game inning by inning--will look around for that. Another one I got really cheap via Book Outlet:

clemenza, Sunday, 4 October 2020 04:50 (three months ago) link

the two that come immediately to mind are David Frey's "The Last Shot" and David Wolf's "Foul! The Connie Hawkins Story"

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 14 October 2020 03:19 (three months ago) link

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