File Size: 1874 KB
Print Length: 478 pages
Publisher: Hachette Books (July 17, 2012)
Publication Date: July 17, 2012
This is the previous Halberstam book I will read. I have read just about everything he has written and I was deeply saddened by this death. He has long already been one of my favorite authors. But the cadence of his words becomes shateringly predictable in this publication. I am going to require a long fast before I can appreciate it again. (less), The 1977 Portland Trail Blazers were one of the more memorable teams to win a title and then not successfully protect their crown. The squad's unselfishness and team play during its championship run thrilled basketball purists, and many fans across the country believed more championships were on the way for the Blazers. As an alternative, Portland fell prey to the major pitfalls that can unravel a championship team, and by the 3rd year following their magic season they had a losing record and barely made the playoffs. Famed author David Halberstam chronicles that 1979-80 season in " The Breaks or cracks of the Game. "
Blazers head coach Jack Ramsay is known as the most effective coaches in a brief history of the NBA and was later inducted to the Hall of Fame, but he had his work cut out for him in the seasons following the 1977 championship in trying to lead a declining team. Injuries, player selfishness due to no-cut contracts, salary complaints, team chemistry problems, and the diminishment of the strength a coach had in regard to his team all made their presence sensed in Portland in the late Seventies.
Halberstam profiles Ramsay and the important players on the 1979-80 Portland squad in the course of the book, as well as being a of the other key figures in the league such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Reddish Auerbach. Bill Walton meant as much as anyone to the '77 team, and the author recalls how injuries and other struggles led to his receding with the business and departure to San Diego more than three decades ago.
The writer looks at many issues, some topical and others timeless, that were impacting the NBA in the late Seventies such as race, team chemistry, the business enterprise side of pro golf ball, drugs, trade and agreement rumors, important but unsung players, tv and tv advertising, and the relationship of school basketball to the pro game. Halberstam describes the way the league was in trouble if he wrote, to the extent that the Finals that year between the Lakers and 76ers were tape-delayed, but later in the eighties the league enjoyed a boom in popularity that finally gained it an extensive, enthusiastic following across the country.
Longtime followers of the league will note that the problems of NBA overexpansion and the wave of similar, cookie-cutter arenas that Halberstam decried in " Breaks" repetitive themselves in the past due Eighties and early Nineties. Another regular of the NBA across the decades that Halberstam broaches which overexpansion has just worsened has been that of the top half-dozen or so teams being highly watchable and the bottom half of the league distinctly uninteresting, save for a period in the mid-to-late Eighties when about two-thirds of the teams were compelling.
Via Halberstam's description of the pros and cons of an 82-game regular season and one-miniseries-and-done playoff run of a declined team like the 1979-80 Trail Blazers, golf ball fans get an even more practical picture of what NBA life is like for many teams than they do by reading one of the many books discussed teams that won headings. The forward by Bill Simmons rightly notes that this is the most effective basketball publications ever, and " The Breaks of the Game" is one of the premier case studies of how precarious success is for pro basketball teams and how quickly dispenses can fall., I believe this is the greatest sports fictional accomplishment of all time. Every paragraph is perfectly constructed as the readers is drawn into the locker room with the Trailblazers, a team with unlimited potential and unforeseeable problems around every corner. Journalists are not granted this degree of access to athletes anymore. You will observe why when reading this publication - the relationships are fickle, fragile, and interesting. Halberstam's unflinching account really does not spare anyone from the scrutiny of his honest focus., This is a typical David Halberstam book in the sense it is meticulously correct, documented and deeply descriptive of the true characters captured in this insightful story of professional basketball. The comprehensive, very interesting backgrounds of the majority of the real life personalities within this story are fascinating and engaging. The inclusion of team owners, coaches, trainers, general managers and the majority of all the players in this evolutionary human drama is a microcosm of our general society as it relates to socioeconomic, business and racial issues of the 70's and 80's. Nearly every sports fan would enjoy and be fascinated by reading
" The Breaks of the Game "., This work delves deeply into the Portland Trailblazers of the late seventies following their earlier championship season. Not necessarily only does it discuss the game of golf ball, but it discusses deeply all the pressures sensed throughout the team, from renegotiation of contracts to playing identity to second and 3rd order effects of injury. While it might not get super deep into the "X's and O's" of the game of basketball, this work offers a broad view of a very tumultuous season for the blazers. Worth the time to read., After reading Bill Walton's recent exceptional biography Choice to read this publication by Bill's close friend and noted historian, David Halberstam. This book is a little slow for me and much too much information. Frankly it reads like a fan by way of a vem som st?r who didn't know when to stop. Now, if you are a fan of the Portland Tailblazers, of basketball generally speaking in the 70s/80s, this may be your book. But he or she covers everyone in great detail. Some who just doesn't merit the time or my time to read.
A great book, not a great book and difficult to finish in my schedule.
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