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Review: Basketball: A Love Story

The TV Documentary turned book is a worthwhile read for fans of the sport.

Basketball: A Love Story is a book, which was spun up as a byproduct of creating an ESPN documentary series of the same name. Like the documentary, the book is an oral history that stitches together a patchwork of interviews and testimonials of many of the game's biggest stars from throughout the years. For the most part, the book focuses on the late 50s/ early 60s Chamberlain/ Russell era through the present day.

If, as I am, you're a fan of the sport, then the book is a read worthy of your time. I personally found the chapters related to earlier eras--especially the material covering the ABA and the early 70s Knicks--to be of far more interest than those dealing with more modern times (i.e. the 80s through today). The reason was mostly that this book is a history and, as someone who's read a lot about basketball during my lifetime, this book didn't necessarily add too much new material to what I already knew from those eras.

Ultimately, once I accepted this book for what it was (an oral history) and stopped hoping for it to be the rollicking, argument-inducing experience that was Bill Simmons' The Book of Basketball (or, to a lesser degree, Shea Serrano's Basketball (And Other Things)), I could appreciate Basketball: A Love Story for what it was, as opposed to being disappointed for what it wasn't.



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