Basketball: Great Writing about America's Game

Basketball: Great Writing about America's Game

Basketball: Great Writing about America's Game

Basketball: Great Writing about America's Game


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From the street game to March Madness to Jordan and LeBron, the greatest writing about the grit, grace, and glory of basketball

Made in America, basketball is a sport that stirs a national passion, reaching fever pitch during the NCAA's March Madness and the NBA Finals. Masterfully assembled by longtime Sports Illustrated writer Alexander Wolff, Basketball spans eight decades to bring together a dream team of writers as awe-inspiring and endlessly inventive as the game itself. Here are in-depth profiles of the legends of the hardcourt—Russell, Kareem, Bird, Jordan, and LeBron—and storied franchises such as the Knicks and Celtics, along with dazzling portraits of the flash and sizzle of playground ball and more personal reflections on the game by some of America's finest writers, among them Donald Hall, John Edgar Wideman, and Pat Conroy. Highlights include James Naismith recalling how he invented the game that would go on to conquer the world; John McPhee capturing the ever-disciplined Bill Bradley as a Princeton Tiger; Peter Goldman's indelible portrait of the life and death of a Harlem Globetrotter; and Michael Lewis's account of the brave new world of NBA analytics. Classic journalism about inner-city basketball by Pete Axthelm, Rick Telander, and Darcy Frey is joined by stories of the game's popularity across America, from the heartland of Hoosier country to an Apache Reservation in Arizona.

Cover: Copyright © 1996 by NBAE. Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781598535563
Publisher: Library of America
Publication date: 02/27/2018
Pages: 485
Sales rank: 667,976
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Longtime Sports Illustrated contributor ALEXANDER WOLFF is the author or co-author of seven books on basketball, including The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama; the New York Times bestseller Raw Recruits; and Big Game, Small World: A Basketball Adventure, a 2002 New York Times Notable Book. In 2011 he was named winner of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame's Curt Gowdy Media Award for lifetime coverage of the game.

Table of Contents

Foreword Kareem Abdul-Jabbar xi

Introduction: February Reconsidered Alexander Wolff xv

From Basketball: Its Origin and Development James Naismith 1

A Case of Malnutrition Red Smith 11

Indiana's Town of Champions Edith Roberts 14

Farewell to Cousy Herbert Warren Wind 20

From A Sense of Where You Are John McPhee 40

47 Years A Shot-Freak Roy Blount, Jr. 43

From The City Game Pete Axthelm 53

A Reflection of Society George Kiseda 64

The Coach Who Couldn't Shoot Straight Jimmy Breslin 68

From Caught in the Pivot Tom Meschery 76

From Heaven Is a Playground Rick Telander 87

From The Joy of Sports Michael Novak 95

From The Game They Played Stanley Cohen 97

Requiem for a Globetrotter Peter Goldman 104

Girls Win, Boys Lose Douglas Bauer 116

From Second Wind Bill Russell Taylor Branch 126

From The Breaks of the Game David Halberstam 129

The Rabbit Hunter Frank Deford 150

The Autumn of the Age of Jabbar David Bradley 172

Basketball: The Purest Sport of Bodies Donald Hall 187

The Passion of Doctor J Mark Jacobson 192

Memories Curry Kirkpatrick 210

From Forty-Eight Minutes Bob Ryan Terry Pluto 227

Pete Maravich Dave Kindred 230

The Coach and His Champion Alexander Wolff 233

The Brother from Another Planet Charles P. Pierce 248

From The Last Shot Darcy Frey 256

Eyes of the Storm Gary Smith 264

Last Call? Rick Reilly 283

It's All in the Game Melissa King 293

From A Season on the Reservation Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 307

From Hoop Roots John Edgar Wideman 313

From My Losing Season Pat Conroy 320

I Believe in B-Ball Steve Rushin 332

Playing for Jud James McKean 335

From The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac Freedarko 349

The No-Stats All-Star Michael Lewis 353

From Play Their Hearts Out George Dohrmann 374

The Fiberglass Backboard Bryan Curtis 389

From Dream Team Jack McCallum 393

His Last Game Brian Doyle 410

The King: LeBron James, Sportsman of the Year 2012 Lee Jenkins 414

The Life and Death of Fandom Zach Lowe 427

Days of Wine and Curry Rowan Ricardo Phillips 434

Life Is Not a Playground David Shields 438

Sources and Acknowledgments 445

Index 449

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