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The Breaks of the Gameby David Halberstam
Portland: Read this. The Breaks of the Game, finally back in print, is almost certainly one of the best books ever written about the NBA, but that statement hardly does it justice. Halberstam's subject far transcends any action on the court. In 1979, professional sports and, perhaps more to the point, American culture, stood on the cusp of sweeping change. Consider that in the book's first sentence we meet the mighty Trail Blazers as they gather for the preseason at a small motel in Gresham. Exploring race and class; wins and losses; coaches, executives, players, and fans; amid the nation's vastly expanding television landscape, Halberstam delivers a portrait of our city and our team worthy of his illustrious reputation.
Synopses & Reviews
Available for the first time in years, David Halberstam's The Breaks of the Game focuses on one grim season (1979-80) in the life of the Portland Trail Blazers, a team that only three years before had been National Basketball Association champions.
As Halberstam follows this collection of men through the months, through the losing streaks and occasional victories, the endless trips and the brutal schedules, we come to know them and their world — the other players, coaches, and owners; the competition, drafts, trades, and traditions; the wives, the fans, the media connections — a world of grand dreams, impossible expectations, and bracing realities.
The tactile authenticity of Halberstam's knowledge of the basketball world is unrivaled. Yet he is writing here about far more than just basketball. This is a story about a place in our society where power, money, and talent collide and sometimes corrupt, a place where both national obsessions and naked greed are exposed. It's about the influence of big media, the fans and the hype they subsist on, the clash of ethics, the terrible physical demands of modern sports (from drugs to body size), the unreal salaries, the conflicts of race and class, and the consequences of sport converted into mass entertainment and athletes transformed into superstars — all presented in a way that puts the reader in the room and on the court, and The Breaks of the Game in a league of its own.
"One of the best books I've ever read about American sports!" Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
"Among the best books ever written on professional basketball." The Philadelphia Inquirer
David Halberstam, best-selling author of The Fifties and The Best and the Brightest, turns his keen reporter's eye on the sport of basketball — the players and the coaches, the long road trips, what happens on court, in front of television cameras, and off-court, where no eyes have followed — until now.
About the Author
David Halberstam was one of America's most distinguished journalists and historians. His many books on politics and power in America included The Best and the Brightest, War in a Time of Peace, and The Coldest Winter. He was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his early reporting in Vietnam. Of his many bestsellers, The Amateurs, The Breaks of the Game, Summer of '49, and The Education of a Coach are counted among the best sports books of our time. He was killed in a car accident on April 23, 2007, while on his way to an interview for what was to be his next book.
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