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Best of the Month, October 2009: ( http://www..com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000429841 ) The Book of
Basketball is a 700-page work of hoops genius that would make Dr. James Naismith beam proudly – and probably blush.
Author Bill Simmons, best known as ESPN.com's "The Sports Guy," explores the NBA with hilarious insight, brilliant
analysis, and a bevy of irreverent footnotes. Simmons is a fan first – a fact best explained in an entertaining foreword
by Malcolm Gladwell – and writes from the stands, not the press room. His knowledge and passion for the game provide him
with few peers, yet his voice represents those who stick by their teams through thick and thin. As a result, The Book of
Basketball is not just a tribute to hardwood heroes, but also a celebration of yelling at TV sets, revering lucky
jerseys, and holding our breath until the final buzzer sounds. Throw in pages of nearly-insane statistical breakdowns
(including a projected boxscore from the movie Teen Wolf), and it's easy to see why fans of all levels should clear
shelf space for this instant classic. --Dave Callanan
From Booklist ( /gp/feature.html/?docId=1000027801 )
*Starred Review* Simmons, aka “the Sports Guy,” is a regular columnist on ESPN.com. He writes about all
sports, with a particular affection for his hometown Boston teams. Stylistically, there’s no one quite like him writing
about sports. Sardonic, both irreverent and reverent, silly, self-deprecating, and melancholy are all adjectives that
can be used to describe his work. The NBA seems to bring out his best stuff, perhaps because of its unique mix of
personalities and cultures and the mysteries of its team dynamics. This monster of a book (more than 700 pages) is equal
parts history and analysis. Simmons summarizes the history of the league, discusses his personal fandom, includes a
great “what if?” chapter (what if Michael Jordan had been drafted second by Portland instead of third by Chicago?),
analyzes Most Valuable Player choices through the years, and dissects the careers of the league’s all-time best players.
The true NBA fan will dive into this hefty volume and won’t resurface for about a week, emerging from the man cave
unshaven, smelling of beer and pizza, grinning, and armed with NBA history, insight, anecdotes, statistics, and a dozen
new examples of Simmons’ Unintentional Comedy Scale. This is just plain fun. Expect significant demand from hoops
junkies. --Wes Lukowsky
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