Review by Booklist Review
Photo-laden showcases of a sports' greatest players are fairly commonplace, but this one, compiled by Canadian sportswriter Grange, stands out from the rank and file for several reasons. First, Grange brings informed opinions and an engaging voice to his text, which effectively summarizes the careers of the basketball players he selects as the sport's 50 greatest stars and offers insightful analysis of what made them great. (No quibbles with his choices, either: no obvious oversights and a nice mix of contemporary and older stars.) Best of all, though, are the photos; beautifully reproduced, the four-color images jump off the pages, showing the various stars in signature shots (Kareem's sky hook; Michael, tongue extended, driving to the hoop; Dr. J hovering in midair). A sweet combination of superb browsing and surprisingly substantive commentary.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
This beautiful volume presents the sportswriter's selection of basketball greats from all eras, a concise history of the game, profiles of the franchises, and even coverage of international basketball, as well as stats on each featured player, a remarkable effort for a game that originally "featured only 13 rules." Grange is a colorful writer, and his examination of the development of gurus, consultants, and the science of success is fascinating. Magic Johnson is described as "[a] late bloomer who was off the radar at the University of Massachusetts...defining the rebel league with his majestic flights, the signature red-white-and-blue ball a grapefruit in his outstretched hands." Speaking of failing to stop Michael Jordan from scoring 63 points in a playoff game, Larry Bird said, "That was God disguised as Michael Jordan." New York Knicks star Bill Bradley has a different take on Bill Russell: "He waged psychological warfare, on and off the court. He would ignore an opposing rookie in a restaurant the night before a game so that the next night the rookie would try too hard to make an indelible impression." Jump for joy on this one. Photos. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Review by Library Journal Review
Typical of many Firefly books, this is a colorful, picture-driven reading experience. Don't expect an exhaustive history of the NBA, but an interesting summary of stars and teams. After a brief history of U.S. pro basketball, the book serves as a who's who of the sport, with Grange (sports columnist, Globe and Mail, Toronto) selecting his top players in two categories, the "Best of the Best" and the "Best of the Rest," 50 players in all. These two sections, the meat of the book, offer biographies (two or three pages each) and statistics. One could quibble with some placements (e.g., this reviewer would put Steve Nash in the "Best of the Best"), but the 50 players included are a good overall selection. Add a section of brief histories of each franchise, a chapter on international competition, and a chapter on statistical analysis of the sport, and you have a fun experience for the reader. VERDICT Recommended for fans of the NBA who seek a quick reference to the best players the game has ever seen and for all libraries collecting accessible and colorful basketball books.-Todd Spires, Bradley Univ. Lib., Peoria, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.