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The Breaks of the Game

A book by David Halberstam

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The best basketball book I've read

  • Apr 18, 2011
  • by
After reading Bill Simmons' The Book of Basketball, I always made it a point to read this book and I'm glad I did. The teams and players in this book are before my time but I've always been interested in NBA history and the era before and after the NBA/ABA merger and an interesting time when small market teams won championships regularly.

The book focuses on the '77 championship Portland Trailblazers and the years following that championship year. It focuses on all the players from Walton and Maurice Lucas, Lionel Hollins, Herm Gilliam and players who joined the organization in years following such as Tom Owens, Kermit Washington and Billy Ray Bates.

It was really interesting to see that occurrences we see today existed back then. The book goes into detail about the hierarchy of the players' wives, contract issues, problems within the organization, injuries and how they are dealt, and the mentality of players trying to make the team.

As a Clipper fan, I was fascinated by the story of Bill Walton and his move to the San Diego Clippers. The Clippers have always had to deal with injury curses and one can argue that it started with Bill Walton and his foot injury and the Clippers did have some regrets signing Walton without having him fully checked out. They just wanted to have that big name on their roster. All of it just seemed like a perfect fit with Walton recovering from an injury, making a major comeback in his hometown. But unfortunately, it didn't work out that way.

The book also goes into detail about the legendary Dr. Jack Ramsey (who has apparently gone crazy, voting for Manu Ginobili for MVP in 2011), and how he coached and his mentality behind everything. I found it interesting that he didn't particularly like to talk about Walton, following the trade but definitely gave him his credit when he did talk about him.

I could go on and on about the interesting things in this book but I'll just say that every NBA fan needs to read this book. The reader is able to better their understanding of what goes on within an organization and will also give the reader a better understanding of what it's like to be an NBA player and the things that they need to deal with: the money, the agents, the doctors, the organization- everything.

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Peter Kim ()
Ranked #2
I love basketball, exercise, reading, business, movies and occasionally some brainless reality TV shows =P I am more than happy to help anyone out with anything here on Lunch and definitely looking forward … more
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About this book


The Breaks of the Gameis sports reporting at its finest--basketball's equivalent to Roger Kahn'sThe Boys of Summer. Join David Halberstam on his yearlong journey with the 1979 Portland Trail Blazers and witness professional basketball from the inside, where front-office egos, big-money contracts, and the colorful personalities of coaches and players collide, and winners and losers emerge. This insightful account is evidence of how much basketball has--and hasn't--changed since 1979, before the moneyreallystarted rolling in.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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ISBN-10: 9781401309725
ISBN-13: 978-1401309725
Author: David Halberstam
Genre: Sports
Publisher: Hyperion
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