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Basketball's Greatest Stars

Basketball's Greatest Stars

by Michael Grange, Wayne Embry (Foreword by)

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Profiles of the best NBA players provide a great history of the game.

Basketball is an elite professional sport and players command stratospheric salaries. The spectacular success of the NBA is based on its stars' performances, which excite fans game after game, championship after championship.

Basketball's Greatest Stars features


Profiles of the best NBA players provide a great history of the game.

Basketball is an elite professional sport and players command stratospheric salaries. The spectacular success of the NBA is based on its stars' performances, which excite fans game after game, championship after championship.

Basketball's Greatest Stars features detailed profiles of the 50 greatest and most exciting players in basketball history. They're all here: the score-at-will centers, the quick-dishing guards and the take-it-to-the-hoop power forwards. The book also features the players whose star power has gone beyond the court into the culture of celebrity. Action photographs celebrate the play of every superstar past and present, and the 30 franchise profiles chart the league's rise to greatness.

Included in this edition are:

    New stars
  • Carmelo Anthony
  • Andrew Bynum
  • DeMarcus Cousins
  • Stephen Curry
  • Anthony Davis
  • Kevin Durant
  • Blake Griffin
  • James Harden
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Kevin Love
  • Greg Monroe
  • Rajon Rondo
  • Derrick Rose
  • Russell Westbrook
  • Deron Williams

  • Michael Jordan
  • Magic Johnson
  • Larry Bird
  • Bill Russell
  • Jerry West
  • Wilt Chamberlain
  • Julius
  • Kareem Abduhl-Jabbar
  • Rick Barry
  • Shaquille O'Neal
  • LeBron James
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Tim Duncan
  • Karl Malone

The author also examines the sport in three insightful essays, covering the leading men and defining moments that have shaped the sport, the international game and the changing nature and importance of statistical analysis. Basketball's Greatest Stars is a superb book for the fan and a compelling history of a great game.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist - Bill Ott
[Review of previous edition:] Photo-laden showcases of a sport's greatest players are fairly commonplace, but this one, compiled by Canadian sportswriter Grange, stands out from the rank and file for several reasons.... Best of all, though, are the photos; beautifully reproduced, the four-color images jump off the pages, showing the various stars in signature shots... A sweet combination of superb browsing and surprisingly substantive commentary.
Pioneer Press Saint Paul Minnesota - Mary Ann Grossmann
[Review of previous edition:] Detailed profiles of the 50 players the author believes are the greatest and most exciting in the history of the game, including career highlights of superstars Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Kobe Bryant, as well as players in the "Best of the Rest" section, from Steve Nash to Isiah Thomas. Included is a list of franchises and a chart of NBA Finals history. Illustrated with exciting action shots.
Tulsa World - James D. Watts Jr.
[Review of previous edition:] Basketball's Greatest Stars is a collection of 5O profiles of some of the greatest players in the game, from Bob Cousy and Bob Pettit to Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Grange divides them in the "Best of the Best" and the "Best of the Rest." given over to players who, despite their great talents, never quite made superstar status -- Dave DeBusschere, Elvin Hayes, Pete Maravich, and John Stockton. And it's loaded with great game images of high-flying, slam-dunking players.
American Profile - Neil Pond
[Review of previous edition:] Was Magic Johnson better than Larry Bird? How does Shaquille O'Neal compare to Wilt Chamberlin? Hoops fans will quibble with the author's ranking of the sport's 50 top players, past and present. But even casual readers will thrill to the dazzling court-action photos and be enlightened by the thoughtful essays on the superstars and moments that have defined the NBA.
Resource Links - Victoria Pennell
[Review of previous edition:] Basketball fans will find all kinds of interesting information in this book. It will appeal to readers at the junior high and senior high school levels who are involved in the sport or just have an interest in it.
Publishers Weekly
This beautiful volume presents the sportswriter's selection of basketball greats from all eras, a concise history of the game, profiles of the franchises, and even coverage of international basketball, as well as stats on each featured player, a remarkable effort for a game that originally "featured only 13 rules." Grange is a colorful writer, and his examination of the development of gurus, consultants, and the science of success is fascinating. Magic Johnson is described as "a late bloomer who was off the radar at the University of Massachusetts...defining the rebel league with his majestic flights, the signature red-white-and-blue ball a grapefruit in his outstretched hands." Speaking of failing to stop Michael Jordan from scoring 63 points in a playoff game, Larry Bird said, "That was God disguised as Michael Jordan." New York Knicks star Bill Bradley has a different take on Bill Russell: "He waged psychological warfare, on and off the court. He would ignore an opposing rookie in a restaurant the night before a game so that the next night the rookie would try too hard to make an indelible impression." Jump for joy on this one. Photos.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
Typical of many Firefly books, this is a colorful, picture-driven reading experience. Don't expect an exhaustive history of the NBA, but an interesting summary of stars and teams. After a brief history of U.S. pro basketball, the book serves as a who's who of the sport, with Grange (sports columnist, Globe and Mail, Toronto) selecting his top players in two categories, the "Best of the Best" and the "Best of the Rest," 50 players in all. These two sections, the meat of the book, offer biographies (two or three pages each) and statistics. One could quibble with some placements (e.g., this reviewer would put Steve Nash in the "Best of the Best"), but the 50 players included are a good overall selection. Add a section of brief histories of each franchise, a chapter on international competition, and a chapter on statistical analysis of the sport, and you have a fun experience for the reader. VERDICT Recommended for fans of the NBA who seek a quick reference to the best players the game has ever seen and for all libraries collecting accessible and colorful basketball books.—Todd Spires, Bradley Univ. Lib., Peoria, IL

Product Details

Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date:
Edition description:
Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 11.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Michael Grange is a sports columnist for Canada's The Globe and Mail and the sports beat writer for the Toronto Raptors.

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