The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The NBA according to The Sports Guy—now updated with fresh takes on LeBron, the Celtics, and more!
Foreword by Malcom Gladwell • “The work of a true fan . . . it might just represent the next phase of sports commentary.”—The Atlantic
Bill Simmons, the wildly opinionated and thoroughly entertaining basketball addict known to millions as ESPN’s The Sports Guy, has written the definitive book on the past, present, and future of the NBA. From the age-old question of who actually won the rivalry between Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain to the one about which team was truly the best of all time, Simmons opens—and then closes, once and for all—every major pro basketball debate. Then he takes it further by completely reevaluating not only how NBA Hall of Fame inductees should be chosen but how the institution must be reshaped from the ground up, the result being the Pyramid: Simmons’s one-of-a-kind five-level shrine to the ninety-six greatest players in the history of pro basketball. And ultimately he takes fans to the heart of it all, as he uses a conversation with one NBA great to uncover that coveted thing: The Secret of Basketball.
Comprehensive, authoritative, controversial, hilarious, and impossible to put down (even for Celtic-haters),
The Book of Basketball offers every hardwood fan a courtside seat beside the game’s finest, funniest, and fiercest chronicler.
“[A] slam dunk.”—
“The work of a true fan . . . It might just represent the next phase of sports commentary.”—
“May be one of those literary lollapaloozas that Simmons’s fans must buy.”—
The New York Times
“Wildly prolific, ceaselessly witty, harmlessly crass, and generally wise, Simmons has built an everydude empire by triangulating the trashy pop-culture futon talk of Chuck Klosterman and the stats-heavy philosophizing of Malcolm Gladwell.”—
The Village Voice
“This is just plain fun. . . . The true NBA fan will dive into this hefty volume and won’t resurface for about a week.”—
Booklist (starred review)
“The book flows much like Mr. Simmons’s ESPN columns. . . . Opinion gushes out of him. But he backs it up with equal parts serious research and off-angle observations. . . . He has produced enough provocative arguments to fuel barstool arguments far into the future.”—
The Wall Street Journal
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
About the Author
Bill Simmons writes “The Sports Guy” column for ESPN online's
Page 2 and
ESPN: The Magazine. He is the author of
Now I Can Die In Peace, founded the award-winning bostonsportsguy website, and was a writer for
Jimmy Kimmel Live. He commutes between his home in Los Angeles and Fenway Park.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
I LEARNED THE secret of basketball while lounging at a topless pool in Las Vegas. As I learned the secret, someone’s bare breasts were staring at me from just eight feet away. The person explaining the secret was a Hall of Famer who once vowed to beat me up and changed his mind only because Gus Johnson vouched for me.
(Do I tell this story? Yes. I tell this story.)
Come back with me to July 2007. My buddy Hopper was pushing me to accompany him for an impromptu Vegas trip, knowing that I wouldn’t turn him down because of my Donaghy-level gambling problem. I needed permission from my pregnant wife, who was perpetually ornery from (a) carrying our second child during the hot weather months in California and (b) being knocked up because I pulled the goalie on her back in February.1 But here’s why I’m an evil genius: with the NBA Summer League happening at the same time, I somehow convinced her that ESPN The Magazine wanted a column about Friday’s quadruple-header featuring my favorite team (the Celtics), my favorite rookie (Kevin Durant), and the two Los Angeles teams (Clippers and Lakers). “I’ll be in and out in thir