Tip-Off: How the 1984 NBA Draft Changed Basketball Forever

Tip-Off: How the 1984 NBA Draft Changed Basketball Forever

4.8 8
by Filip Bondy

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A revealing, behind-the-scenes account of the 1984 NBA draft, considered the greatest ever, as general managers, coaches, and players describe what really went downSee more details below


A revealing, behind-the-scenes account of the 1984 NBA draft, considered the greatest ever, as general managers, coaches, and players describe what really went down

Editorial Reviews

Thoughtful...This mother lode of wouldas, couldas, and shouldas will make very entertaining and informative reading for NBA fans.

Sports Illustrated

Yahoo! Sports
If you love the NBA, you won't put this book down...A fascinating story, told true and told well.

Nashville City Paper
A pro basketball fan's dream book, full of insider stories and anecdotes, offering a return to a bygone era.

Publishers Weekly

It's not the worst mistake in sports history, but it's among the most famous-with the second pick in the 1984 NBA draft, the Portland Trailblazers selected Sam Bowie instead of several future stars, including Michael Jordan. In this tremendously readable book, Bondy tells the full story of that draft, which most experts consider the best ever. Bondy follows six draftees-Bowie, Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, Sam Perkins and John Stockton. With commentary from scouts, general managers, coaches and the players themselves, Bondy draws a portrait of each player from just before the draft to the present day. Bondy perfectly synthesizes exactly why each player landed where he did, examining prevailing draft philosophies, recent roster blunders and the possibility that teams lost on purpose. While not as revelatory as Michael Lewis's Moneyball(Bondy's post mortem of Portland's mistake focuses on familiar themes, particularly the fetishism of height), this book is every bit as enjoyable as the baseball bestseller. Bondy delves deeper into the character of Bowie than anyone has before, revealing a likable man with terrible luck, and gives the reader a sense of how profoundly Jordan, Barkley and Olajuwon reshaped the league. It may not be transcendent enough to breakthrough with nonbasketball fans, but anybody with a cursory interest in the game is in for a treat. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Savvy overview of a paradigm-shifting moment in basketball, and the legends it created. In 1984, the NBA was hardly the slick hip-hop marketing juggernaut it is today. Teams were just beginning to utilize technology to improve scouting practices, operating budgets were a fraction of their present value and there was still some question as to whether a black athlete could be a successful pitchman in white suburbia. One thing, however, was the same: The draft was a crapshoot, which is why the '84 Portland Trailblazers and 2003 Detroit Pistons inadvertently passed up transcendental talents Michael Jordan and Dwyane Wade, respectively. In sports columnist Bondy's languorous stroll down memory lane, he shares recollections from players, coaches and team executives about that year's now-legendary draft, as significant for the future superstars it birthed-Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, John Stockton-as it was for the fact that it was the last non-lottery draft. (To prevent teams from intentionally losing to improve their draft position, the league instituted a lottery system the following year.) Had the draft yielded Jordan alone, it would have forever altered the game. It was also the first to choose a foreign-born player as number one (Olajuwon), and it decisively affected the fortunes of many major franchises. The author's exhaustive interviews and player profiles aren't particularly revelatory, but any basketball fan will enjoy reading the candid, often conflicting insights and opinions of talent evaluators concerning some of the biggest successes (and busts) in league history. Bondy doesn't devote enough time to analyzing the significance of Olajuwon's selection or how it relatesto the later influx of foreign-born players, and overall analysis of the draft's significance takes a back seat to key players' stories, but overall this is a lively and enlightening look at one of the NBA's decisive turning points. Like an all-star game: lots of style and flair, but not quite enough substance until the closing buzzer. Agent: David Black/David Black Literary Agency

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Product Details

Da Capo Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.70(d)

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