Our Last Season: A Writer, a Fan, a Friendship

Harvey Araton. Penguin Press, $28 (256p) ISBN 978-1-984877-98-7
New York Times sportswriter Araton (Driving Mr. Yogi) delivers a fascinating memoir of his many years covering the New York Knicks and his longtime friendship with one of the team’s “most devoted fans,” Michelle Musler. The daughter of a Jewish steamfitter and an Irish immigrant mother from working-class Hartford, Conn., Musler attended college, raised five children, became a Xerox executive, and eventually developed a career “managing and coaching corporate executives.” Early on she began following the Knicks, and with the help of friends with season tickets, became a courtside fixture—known to players and coaches alike as “the woman behind the Knicks bench... as big a staple at the Garden as Spike Lee.” Araton recounts his early development as a sportswriter and meeting Musler, who became “a friend to keep me grounded” and “a well-placed source to help keep me enlightened.” She shared impressions she had from what she had seen behind the bench, such as recognizing that the troubled career of Patrick Ewing, for example, was really “a reflection of the team’s notoriously capricious ownership.” Musler’s “instincts and insights and tough but dedicated love had guided me through so many professional and personal storms,” Araton writes. This heartwarming look at the life of a friend and die-hard sports fan is effortlessly charming. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 05/22/2020
Release date: 10/20/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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