Saturday, April 1, 2017

Three More Terrific Books About Sports!

First day of April greetings, everyone! This is no fooling--I've got three really, really good sports books to tell you about. And what a great time of year for sports! Major League Baseball begins today. The NFL draft comes up soon. Hockey is still going on. I'm sure you've seen your schools' soccer teams play. The NBA regular season is winding down but the NCAA Final Four is on tonight! Of  course, the Iron Guy must maintain his strict impartiality about the Final Four games (Go Tarheels!) but, in the spirit of fairness, I hope that all teams play well (Go Tarheels!!) and may the best team win.

Ahem, as I was saying, I just read a truly terrific book about basketball. It's Legends: The Best Players, Games and Teams in Basketball by Howard Bryant. Wow! What a great book! It's so good that I'm bending one of my rules. I haven't actually finished it--I'm about three-quarters through--but it's so very great that I just have to tell you about it.

Why do we love sports, people? For the same reason we love movies--the drama, the excitement, the fun! In sports, as in movies, there are moments of suspense, dynamic action, and humor. There are unexpected endings and sudden changes in the story. There is the buzzer-beater shot, the impossible catch, the  quick-as-lightning steal or the come-from-behind victory. Sports has dynasties that dominate and underdogs that defeat those dynasties. And sports provide us with a lot of ways to bond. Guys (and girls, too!) have gotten close with their parents, their siblings and their friends through endless discussions about who's the best, why my team is better than yours and what would have happened if...

And nobody captures that drama, excitement and fun better than Howard Bryant. This book on basketball is full of great and terrific stories (plus fascinating facts) such as:
  • The 1970 Finals with Willis Reed and the Knicks, a story that should be a movie
  • How "Dr J". changed the way basketball is played today
  • The rival basketball league that also changed how basketball is played 
  • The epic rivalry between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson
  • And, of course, the unbelievable 2016 Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers
Plus there are facts that I, a long-time basketball fan, didn't know
  • There was a time when coaches hated slam dunks!
  • Michael Jordan almost didn't make his high school varsity team because he wasn't tall enough!
And, when you're through, you could argue whether Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain or Oscar Robertson was the best player ever. (maybe we could add LeBron James or Steph Curry to that discussion one day)

If you're any kind of sports fan, you need to rush on down to your library and check this out. And if you're  not, you still need to rush on down because you'll find plenty high drama and excitement and fun in this book. Howard Bryant is a very good writer and he's given us one fine book.

And he has done the same for baseball in Legends: The Best Players, Games and Teams in Baseball
and football in Legends: The Best Players, Games and Teams in Football. (see my review of that book here)

Am I excited? You bet! That's why I've given this book (and the other two)--

The Iron Guy Seal of Approval as Terrific Books


Ms. Yingling said...

What's? No Legends of Cross Country's? I'll have to take a look at these. Go, sports! Do the thing! Win the points!

Iron Guy Carl said...

If there was a book on Legends of Cross Country Coaches, you'd be in it!

Greg Pattridge said...

Just what I need to start my spring off with a few great sports books. Thanks for the recommendations. Hard to believe another baseball season has begun.

cleemckenzie said...

Thanks for more books about sports! Keep 'em coming.

Joanne Roberts said...

I'd seen these books but didn't know what to make of them and hadn't met anyone who'd read them yet. Thanks so much.