David Halberstam takes us here in to the life of a sports franchise, the lives of it's players and of the environment surrounding them in the late seventies world of sport, following the merger of the two basketball league. The exposion of television coverage and of a team in the aftermath of a championship. Halberstam is more than fair in his depiction of all the personalities involved with and on the periphery of the team. His exhaustive research is in evidence. The players are not shown to be charming charismatic larger than life heroes but human beings with stories of their own, interesting ones at that. Mr. Halberstam successfully conveys how the personalities all combined to make up this team. The thing about this book is that Mr. Halberstam always presents a new take even on well covered topics. He makes you consider what you may not have considered otherwise. Interestingly this book covers the team in something of a decline not the championship year. That in itself gives a unique view at the end of this book you have an idea of not only why they won but of the difficulty of repeating as champions, of the tenuous relationships formed between players, the slights, the friendships, the business of sports and those behind. Vivid and rich with color and power. This book doesn't disappoint. Everyone from the rather unique owner to the 12th man. From preseason to playoff. An excellent read.
this book was expertly written and researched.it was fascinating to hear about the 77 blazers, one of the most skilled and exciting teams ever. i have always been a huge jack ramsay and bill walton fan, and this book made me appreciate them more. this book really went inside the heads of the various (and troubled) players like lucas, hollins, and who can forget the marvelous marvin barnes. i remember when i was 7 or 8 years old, the game was exciting, the aba was at full throttle, and the players were still bound by the reserve clause. television changed everthing as did the big contracts. i didnt watch or pay attention to nba basketball between 1974 and the arrival of bird and johnson for this reason, and halberstam's book explains to me why.
This book delves into the personal lives of the NBA players (at least the NBA players in 1978). Halberstam expresses a great ability to decipher and put on paper the racial tension and often awkward interaction between white and black athletes of that day. He also holds an uncanny ability of clearly stating the emotions and interests of all the players on that Portland Trailblazers team.
Along with The Professional (WC Heinz), The Breaks of the Game is the best sports book I've ever read. Nothing else is particularly close. The perfect writer in the perfect situation. You don't have to be a basketball fan to get sucked into this brilliant book.