Sports writing is at its best when it is filled with fond admiration and informed by a deep knowledge, not fawning celebrity worship or half-baked populist rants that appeal to insecure Monday morning quarterbacks-or, in this case, point guards. Put together by Daily News sportswriters, this book tells the story of Philadelphia basketball the best way possible: by relying on those who have played it, coached it, and watched it grow up. Everyone from the earliest, pre-NBA players to playground gods, luminaries from local high schools and colleges, and big Philly guns like Wilt Chamberlain, Dr. J, and Rasheed Wallace figure in these pieces, which are contributed by sportswriters and sports personalities alike. Experts like Dr. Jack Ramsay, Dick Vitale, Jon Chaney, and others contribute to the discussion. The result is a work as encyclopedic as it is artful, bringing alive the players, the venues, the coaches, the city, and the fans. A smooth, tuneful collection, at once lyrical and factual, this is recommended for all collections.-James Miller, Springfield Coll. Lib., MA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.