The Breaks of the Game PDF epub by David Halberstam

David Halberstam Á 7 CHARACTERS

Es the long road trips what happens on court in front of television cameras and off court where no eyes have followed until n. Along with the focus on the Portland Trailblazers as a team Kermit Washington Bill Walton Jack Ramsey are the featured characters during the 1979 1980 season The Blazers were the NBA Champions just two years prior Then they had a disappointing season in 1978 1979 losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Phoenix Suns Bill Walton sat out the entire year due to a contract dispute As you may have guessed by the title the 1979 1980 season featured in the book went even further downhill for the Blazers Walton was traded away and many players became tired of DrJack Ramsey s exacting coaching style Halberstam is one of my favorite non fiction writers of all time sports wars or civil rights he simply could write about anything Despite his captivating writing style and impeccable research the problem with this specific book is its lack of timelessness and dare I say general lack of relevance It was published uickly after the Blazer s disastrous season Well it just so happened that 1980 was a seismic shift in the NBA with the introduction of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson They helped lead the NBA into the modern style of play that was so well suited for great television Halberstam missed this pivotal story and instead focused his story on a sub500 team 40 stars but only because the writing is so good My brother and I were at our peak in collecting baseball and basketball cards in 1979 so I remember all of these players in the book and Halberstam admittedly goes awfully deep when discussing players like Lionel Holland and Bobby Gross I feel like for casual basketball fans or much younger readers none of these names would resonate

REVIEW The Breaks of the Game

The Breaks of the Game

THE FIFTIES and THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST turns his keen reporter's eye on the sport of basketball the players and the coach. I told my dad I was reading this book because its reputation precedes it as one of the best sports books ever written His matter of fact answer well that s because Halberstam is one of the best writers ever 362 pages later I can t help but agree He may not be a hoity toity modernist prose stylist like those names often thrown around as candidates for that prestigious title but he does possess a uniue gift to seamlessly interweave logistics and information about everything conceivable such as the delicate structure of Bill Walton s foot with emotional human stories such as how a uniuely damage prone foot affects the day to day life of a restless athletic soul like Bill Waltoin After I finished it I gave this book to my dad to read and soon enough found myself reading over his shoulder on an airplane It sucks you in and doesn t let go And to think that Halberstam s sportswriting was his hobby done for fun years after he had already won his Pulitzer That s like Dr J winning an NBA championship as part of a high flying Philly team in 1983 long after his legendary years on the Nets were a distant memory Incredible

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Among the best books ever written on professional basketball The Philadelphia InuirerDavid Halberstam best selling author of. The late great David Halberstam followed the Trail Blazers during the 1979 1980 season two years after their acclaimed victory over the Sixers The Breaks of The Game the book that resulted remains one of the best sports books I have ever read and a work that has easily stood the test of timeThe author of than 20 books on topics as diverse as the Vietnam War the modern civil rights struggle the decline of the American auto industry and the history of American media Halberstam returned again and again to sports as a topicAlthough readers of The Teammates and The Summer of 49 could tell that baseball during those years had a particularly firm grip on Halberstam s heart The Breaks of the Game remains a special work even among the 10 of his books that I have readTo begin unlike many sports narratives the story follows the Portland franchise after its memorable ascent and during what ultimately became a lengthy decline As a result the triumphant moment while still present in the book is a reminder of past and rapidly receding glory rather than the culmination that precedes the tidy wrap up and update in the Epilogue In additon to the narrative arc The Breaks of the Game is replete with vivid and memorable characters from coach Jack Ramsay whose inability to accept losses affect his mental health and relationships with his friends to power forward Maurice Lucas whose physical style of play is vital to the Blazers success yet who like an earlier Shawn Marionon the Mike Dantoni era Phoenix Suns feels unappreciated to Billy Ray Bates the cocky late season addition to the suad who helps fuel the Blazers late season playoff runThe characters do not just exist on the court Rather Halberstam employed his relentless reporting drive with his direct knowledge of American history he covered nearly every major story from 1955 to his untimely death in 2007 to create textured portrayals that teach the reader about the players background and even about their place in American society Bates for example grew up in the cotton fields of Mississippi Halberstam ends the book with tales of his playing reverberating in that community He also writes extensively about Kermit Washington the enormously shy power forward from Washington DC whose life became inextricably linked with Houston Rockets star Rudy Tomjanovich when he punched the oncoming Tomjanovich in the face during an on court fight between teammatesAnd of course there is Walton the supremely talented sharp passing politically active red headed center who had one of the greatest careers in NCAA history yet who never uite delivered on his enormous promise in the NBA because of his recurring injuriesThese portraits add tremendous richness to the book because they provide far deeper context than one usually sees in accounts of sporting games I m about halfway through Dan Rooney s My 75 Years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL and don t know if I m going to be able to make it for that reasonThe Breaks of the Games also has many memorable moments Some are of unintentional cruelty Halberstam describes how a surgeon tells Geoff Petrie a former Rookie of the Year and an early Blazers star that he will never play basketball again and then a second later exults at getting to meet New York Jets uarterback Joe NamathOthers are humorous Halberstam s description of how glowering power forward Lloyd Neal leapt up from the bench after Lucas blocked a Kareem Abdul Jabbar sky hook and yelled Take that motherfucking cuckoo to a startled and uncharacteristically silent Jack Nicholson remains one of my favorite of all time The exploits of the outrageous Marvin Barnes who showed up just before game time in a mink coat with his uniform underneath are similarly entertaining In short the book is an utter treasure and not just for sports fans although hoops fans who have not yet read The Breaks of the Game are in for a real treat So while checking out the latest exploits of Roy Aldridge Oden Outlaw and Co or for those who are simply looking for a greater check out The Breaks of the Game You will not be disappointed


10 thoughts on “The Breaks of the Game

  1. says:

    The late great David Halberstam followed the Trail Blazers during the 1979 1980 season two years after their acclaimed victory over the Sixers The Breaks of The Game the book that resulted remains one of the best sports books I have ever read and a work that has easily stood the test of timeThe author of than 20 books on topics as diverse as the Vietnam War the modern civil rights struggle the decline of the American auto indust

  2. says:

    The Cuckoo Man was Jack Nicholson the movie star a devoted follower of Laker basketball who had a seat right ne

  3. says:

    Wow This is a phenomenal book Halberstam gets into the nuts and bolts of not just basketball but people society

  4. says:

    I told my dad I was reading this book because its reputation precedes it as one of the best sports books ever written His matter of fact answer well that's because Halberstam is one of the best writers ever 362 pages later I can't h

  5. says:

    I bought this book because I read somewhere that it was one of the greatest sports books ever written Halberstam is a good writer and a master of the vignette He does a great job of giving a sense of his subjects in just a few pages Still I'm

  6. says:

    This book is a masterpiece It's the best sports litsports history book I've ever read So much was changing in the NBA in 1979; it was the birth of the modern league Young David Stern Magic and Bird were rookies

  7. says:

    Along with the focus on the Portland Trailblazers as a team Kermit Washington Bill Walton Jack Ramsey are the featured characters during the 1979 1980 season The Blazers were the NBA Champions just two years prior Then they had a disappointing season in 1978 1979 losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Phoenix Suns Bill W

  8. says:

    Fascinating book It's a conversational history of the NBA until 1981 told through the lense of the 1979 80 season of the Portland Trailblazers As the team's season touches on various characters and issues Halberstam pauses to explore them Great character sketchesbios of most of the great players up until that poi

  9. says:

    Truly a fantastic fascinating book As a life long Blazer fan I started the book with the hopes of understanding the roots of my hometown team What I found was an in depth examination of the NBA in a period of evolution and stunted growth with the '79 '80 Blazers as a vehicle to move the narrative forward Halberstam's coverage of racial social and economic actions and conseuences is direct and objective and provides far of a historical re

  10. says:

    GO TRAIL BLAZERSWe’re all becoming Trail Blazers fans next season We’re all going to watch the games and then find some random book to talk about it onHell I watch the WNBA the I realize its where it’s at K? When you get down to it basketball like politics is all about aesthetics Great book It was perfect for me The Blazers are so go

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