The Perfect Team: The Best Players, Coach, and GM—Let the Debate Begin!

National Basketball Association, Author, National Basketball Association, Manufactured by , foreword by Chuck Daly. Doubleday $23.95 (332p) ISBN 978-0-385-50146-0

The National Basketball Association takes an unusual approach in creating a team of all-time greats. Instead of relying on statistics, the organization chose each player because he possesses one of 12 qualities that former NBA coach Daly says "all winning teams must possess." While this selection method leads to a few surprises—John Havilcek (who excels in "perpetual motion and hustle") and Bill Laimbeer ("intensity")—the rest of the team consists of the usual suspects, including Michael Jordan ("will to win"), Larry Bird ("confidence") and Magic Johnson ("leadership"). Each person and his defining quality gets his own chapter written by a different prominent sportswriter. The chapters brim with information that will interest fans, but many of the qualities are interchangeable among this collection of winning athletes. The book succeeds when the writers delve into the players' upbringings and college years, illuminating what went into creating the qualities they display on the court. Another highlight is the section where the athletes themselves assemble their own best teams, which will help fuel the debate about which players really are the best. Photos. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/21/2005
Release date: 01/01/2006
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