View Full Version : The Best Basketball book this fall is the one we've all overlooked

11-20-2009, 05:04 PM
With all the talk (Things being relative of course, because nobody ever talks about books) of Bill Simmons, Brons and Magic/Larry's book the one nobody has commented on is still sitting on the shelves at your local B&N.

The Art of a Beautiful Game: The Thinking Fans tour of the NBA, by Chris Ballard (Sports Illustrated)

Heres a tidbit on the inside info you'll get:
the Secrets of Battier are unleashed by Ballard. The way in which Battier defends by neither blocking nor stealing the ball. The level to which Battier knows what his opponents will do before they do it. How he uses his hands in proximity to the opponent's face in order to freak them out. How he felt about Ron Artest. What he thinks of Tracy McGrady. (For the proper T-Mac critic, there is a load of material in this chapter. One particularly bemusing line, in a discussion of how Artest would switch himself onto Battier's man in a fit of confidence: "It's better than Tracy McGrady. I'd be on one side of the court and he'd be pointing, 'Pick him up! Pick him up!' So I'd have to run all the way across the court to guard a guy like Kobe. It's gone from one extreme to another.")


Perhaps the best factor in Ballard's favor, especially in comparison with the other notable basketball books currently in prominent position at Barnes & Noble and Borders, is that he's a major character without being the focus. Not to disparage the wonderful Simmons, but Ballard has not written something that is part autobiography, part basketball book.

11-20-2009, 05:16 PM
I'll have to check it out. Did you actually read it or are you just going off the Fanhouse post?

Also, the Magic/Bird book is terrible for anyone thinking to pick it up.

11-20-2009, 05:25 PM
So Tim Donaghy's isn't the must have book for the fall? :p

11-20-2009, 05:37 PM
Havent finished it, but I should have read it before Simmons and Magics, some cheap shots taken at Tmac in this one, from players I didnt expect and guys I thought respected him. Maybe they do, but they do shed some light on the mental fragility that is Tmac (atleast in his declining state)

11-20-2009, 06:22 PM
I'll check it out for sure, haven't read a book on basketball in ages.

Pat Thetic
11-20-2009, 06:46 PM
Is it a book about Shane Battier? That would not be interesting.

It would be interesting if someone thought there was enough material to write a book about Mr. Battier.

11-20-2009, 07:25 PM
I already read Bill Simmons's book and I'll look into this one. I'm going to take your word for it, but it does sound like an interesting book.

I probably will pick up a copy next week.

11-20-2009, 07:39 PM
Ballard always writes well, I'll read this when I get a chance.

11-20-2009, 10:13 PM
I read the LeBron James "Shooting Stars" book and I loved it. I'm planning on picking up the Simmons book and I guess now this one. I love reading basketball.

11-20-2009, 10:49 PM
I was debating while at Barnes and Noble between this book and Simmons book. Ultimately it came down to Simmons book being longer and the same price. Probably pick this one up with my Christmas money.