Arguably the best player in basketball history, undeniably its highest scorer, Abdul-Jabbar (born Lew Alcindor) made sports headlines from his high-school days in New York City until his retirement last spring as the captain of the Los Angeles Lakers. Here he reviews his life to date with the able assistance of McCarthy ( Women Coming of Age ), reprising some of the material in his earlier book, Giant Steps , but concentrating on his final season, a triumphal tour of all the NBA cities. The former star writes of his heroes--among them Jackie Robinson and UCLA coach John Wooden--opponents he has faced, like Larry Bird, such teammates as Magic Johnson, and the problems created by racial discrimination for blacks in general and black athletes in particular. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Apr.)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This book is a diary of Abdul-Jabbar's final season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Designated as the legendary center's ``farewell tour,'' it provided fans in every National Basketball Association city with the opportunity to honor him with a formal goodbye ceremony. At each stop Abdul-Jabbar resurrects and reflects upon memories of his many career milestones. However, except for a poignant description of a visit to his old New York City neighborhood and grade school and a scathing open letter to Wilt Chamberlain (a long-time critic of his play), the account is mostly subdued, similar in tone to his Giant Steps ( LJ 12/1/83). Suitable for libraries wishing to supplement the earlier work. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/89.-- William H. Hoffman, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., Fla.
Library Journal - Library Journal
As sports biographies go, this one is different. Abdul-Jabbar covers, in diary format, his last season with the Lakers, interspersing the daily events and game highlights with reminiscences of his childhood and early career in basketball . A very private person (he has four children but never discusses the women in his life, other than his mother), Abdul-Jabbar nevertheless reveals his feelings and values--the importance of education and teamwork rank high. Because he holds the NBA record for the most seasons played, the book covers a lot of territory. Statistics are included, but this isn't a biography for reports; rather, it offers interesting insights into a sports legend. --Diana C. Hirsch, Prince George's County Memorial Library System, MD
School Library Journal - School Library Journal