Basketball's Greatest Stars

Michael Grange, Author, Wayne Embry, Foreword by
Michael Grange, Firefly, $35 (216p) ISBN 978-1-55407-637-6
Reviewed on: 01/10/2011
Release date: 09/01/2010
This beautiful volume presents the sportswriter's selection of basketball greats from all eras, a concise history of the game, profiles of the franchises, and even coverage of international basketball, as well as stats on each featured player, a remarkable effort for a game that originally "featured only 13 rules." Grange is a colorful writer, and his examination of the development of gurus, consultants, and the science of success is fascinating. Magic Johnson is described as "[a] late bloomer who was off the radar at the University of Massachusetts...defining the rebel league with his majestic flights, the signature red-white-and-blue ball a grapefruit in his outstretched hands." Speaking of failing to stop Michael Jordan from scoring 63 points in a playoff game, Larry Bird said, "That was God disguised as Michael Jordan." New York Knicks star Bill Bradley has a different take on Bill Russell: "He waged psychological warfare, on and off the court. He would ignore an opposing rookie in a restaurant the night before a game so that the next night the rookie would try too hard to make an indelible impression." Jump for joy on this one. Photos. (Nov.)
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