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"Chris Herren's Basketball Junkie is the story of what happens when a town and a family pressure a favorite son to embody their dreams, which turn out to be his nightmare. If a book can be both anguished and celebratory, this is it. Herren's account of his descent into hell and back show that beyond the bench pressing and the sprints and all the other prep work that help to create an athlete, in the end, character-building is the one drill that really matters." (Madeleine Blais, New York Times bestselling author of In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle)

"What a story. If you read a sports book - no, any book - that sticks in your head longer than Basketball Junkie this year please let me know. This was a walk down a long, dark street to places that most of us have never been. Who knew there was a regulation basketball court in the ninth circle of hell? Fascinating." (Leigh Montville, New York Times bestselling author of Ted Williams and Evel: The High Flying Life of Evel Knievel) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

CHRIS HERREN is a former NBA basketball player for the Denver Nuggets and the Boston Celtics. His company, Hoop Dreams with Chris Herren, Inc., provides basketball training for young players as well as educational talks. He lives in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.


Chris Herren is the founder of Hoop Dreams with Chris Herren, a basketball player development company; the author of Basketball Junkie; and a public speaker with the American Program Bureau.


BILL REYNOLDS is a sports columnist for The Providence Journal and the author of several previous books, including Fall River Dreams and (with Rick Pitino) the #1 New York Times bestseller Success Is a Choice. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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35 von 36 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
This is one honest book 25. März 2011
Von EJ - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
For some reason I've been reading quite a few memoirs lately about people who crash and burn due to addiction and then make it back out of the cesspool. There is a potential hazard with serial reading like this, as there is a risk of all of these stories starting to jumble together. However, I needn't have worried in this case, as Chris Herren presents a searing and brutally honest telling of his epic downfall from NBA player to junkie.

This memoir follows Herren from his well-documented time as a high school basketball star to his college and professional playing days in the NBA as well as overseas. This provides a glimpse into what the life of a college and professional athlete can be like underneath all of the perks. Although Herren never lets himself off the hook for his misdeeds, at times he does seem to be an apologist for others such as Jerry Tarkanian, who depending on your point of view is either Sports' Spawn of Satan or a man who believed in second chances.

In this book more than any other similar tome that I've read recently, I got the sense that this was a story that Herren absolutely had to tell, though he is so incredibly upfront about his various misdeeds that I almost suspect he may be punishing himself for his past transgressions. It has a feel of atonement. He makes no excuses; he blames no one other than himself. I admire that. And while I was concerned at first that this might be another case of an athlete staying sober for a month and calling it a recovery, by the end of the story it seems clear to me that after two years in recovery, Herren has all the tools in place to make it.

The overall message of this book is not just "hey kids, don't do drugs". Rather, it's a message directed at parents and one that I agree with fully: Sports should be fun for kids. Overwhelming pressure on kids to perform athletically, whether internal or external, can have disastrous consequences. This book is simply written; this is not a literary masterpiece. But because of that, it's also very accessible.

I recommend this for all audiences. Though I'm admittedly a huge hoops fan, this is a universal story that happens to be about a basketball player.
17 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
You Have To Fall To Pick Yourself Up 24. März 2011
Von Kevin L. Nenstiel - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
Bill Reynolds' "Fall River Dreams" made Chris Herren a national celebrity when he was just sixteen; but this was just one more pressure on an impressionable youth. Already a teen delinquent in a no-hope town, where only the basketball team bound the community, even the adults pinned their aspirations of Herren's college and NBA careers. But the pressure, frustration, and despair manifested in the form of several abusive, self-destructive addictions.

Seventeen years after Herren reached stardom, this memoir recounts how his demons became the center of his life. He achieved the heights of stardom, playing under Jerry Tarkanian before the NBA draft. His paychecks soared so high that he lost more in one card game than I make per year. But everything paled for Herren beside his hunger for the next fix. Piece by piece, he lost everything that mattered.

Herren's brutal honesty regarding his long string of bad choices recreates his horrific experience. As he repeatedly makes bad bets and pins his hopes on false promises, we feel life's weight mounting as relentlessly as Herren must have. And when he finally hits rock bottom, sees everything he still stands to lose, and chooses to pull his life back together, we feel the same weight lifted off our own shoulders.

Unfortunately, we can see Herren's lack of experience in writing. Reynolds' prologue says that Herren seldom read in high school, and this book suggests he hasn't remedied that much since.
For instance, consider the really short paragraphs.
They accumulate.
The f***ing language gets distracting.
He makes "you" the center of many of his anecdotes, like he's deflecting.
And all his rhetorical questions?
Don't even get me started.

But if readers surmount the occasionally rocky language, Herren's memoir reveals plenty about the demands that turn many promising prodigies into society's great "might-have-beens." He recounts how far he had to fall before he could reclaim the direction in his life. And he shares what he's learned on the journey. I'd recommend this book for every sideline dad, in-yer-face coach, and anyone who hopes their kid will be a star.
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Heartbreaking Hoops Story... 1. Juni 2011
Von Christopher R. Horton - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
I had never heard of Chris Herren before this book. Being a major basketball fan of both the NBA and Collegiate Hoops I was intrigued by the book after listening to Herren give an interview on Dan Patrick's radio show.

The book didn't disappoint as Herren and Reynolds are excellent storytellers.

Herren emerged as the local star after replacing his brother as the family standout. He gained national attention from major college programs while becoming a superstar in high school and on AAU squads competing at the national level.

During all of this success he was doing drugs, drinking, failing classes and disrespecting any adult in his life including his parents and his coaches. This leads to the downward spiral he would exist in for the remainder of his basketball career.

I don't want to go into too much detail as the book is worth reading for yourself, but I was amazed at how much his teams, coaches and schools would put up with just because he was a star athlete. I was also amazed at the fact that he could play and function on the basketball court while being high or drunk.

I couldn't relate to that side of his story but I did relate with his reflections on the basketball side of things. His description of his hatred for losing and how his body would be tormented in any way possible in order to avoid the feeling of losing was something I too went through in high school. In fact, my body is a mess now and I regret living that way. He described how his teammates tolerated him but probably didn't really like playing with him in high school, and I am certain that was probably the feeling that my teammates had towards me.

This book isn't uplifting or encouraging by any means. It is instead a great warning to young athletes or really anybody that thinks drugs or alcohol are a way of life, especially as a high profile athlete or any other position of status.

It was a fascinating insight into what life is like playing in a major college program with people that basically worship you and will do anything to protect you as an asset of their school, team or program.

This will go down as a classic for me. I just hope it doesn't end up being a James Frey in the making and we find out that it is all made up.

It is worth the read!
12 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
If you're familiar with Chris, then you must read this 12. November 2011
Von Stephen A. Mintz - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
If you don't know who Chris is, then only read this if you are NOT an addict. If you're an addict this story will be horrifyingly familiar to you, and could read like your life.

I got to know Chris a little bit, and what this book is lacking is...well...Chris. Bill Reynolds wrote a wonderful book called "Fall River Dreams," written for anyone, fan of basketball or no. This book, however, lost itself between Bill's voice and Chris' voice. The ESPN documentary turns out to be a much better telling of this story because you need to see Chris. You need to hear his voice, his accent. You need to see that his wife isn't just the girl-next-door with a golden smile, you need to hear that she, too, has that unique accent and that she, too, grew up in the mean streets of Fall River.

The story itself is an amazing reveal of rags-to-riches to rags again. But you really have to see Chris or know him in his glory to know how astonishingly sad the story is, how horrific the fall from grace. You often hear about people who have the world by the tail, who have charisma or charm, who have tons of potential. Chris Herren was 200 times more than that. No one, if he chose, could resist his charms or abilities. No man, woman, child, coach...no one was immune to Chris Herren. Mike Wallace from 60 Minutes was enthralled by Chris...Chris who, while they were setting up his 60 Minutes interview, turned the tables on Mike Wallace and asked Mike all about Mike's life. Mike Wallace spent an hour pouring out his heart to Chris Herren, and it was clear Mike was smitten from then on. Bill Reynolds has felt this, too, but doesn't convey it in the book. I've watched as Chris was in a hospital and just leaned over a counter and exerted his charm silently on the woman behind the paperwork, practically willing her to look at him. She could feel it too and finally, after a long silent struggle, looked up at him. Chris just smiled, having won, and she brushed her hair off of her shoulders and gave him a stare back, one that acknowledged that no matter how independent, how strong this woman, no one was immune to Chris Herren.

Which means you have to see Chris and hear his voice to know also how easy it would be to fall for his lies. How he had no problem at all at Fresno State...he had a girl to wake him in the late morning. He had people do his homework. He had boosters throwing money at him, wanna-be's buying him drinks, handing him drugs, fans lapping up his every move, and Chris was able to convince each and every one of them (at least for a moment) that they meant something to him...that they were important.

The Rolling Stone freelancer was asked "Why Chris?" and the freelancer said "Are you kidding? Chris is Elvis!"

And Chris was.

Which is why this story matters and is so astounding and significant. But that very essence is also missing in this book. Unless you realize the power of Chris Herren, you can't fully appreciate how tragic his fall. Until you can watch Chris grab someone by the neck and bring them in for a once in a lifetime hug, or until you watch Chris literally shaking in anger at someone he's trying not to kill, you can't understand the abyss of his emotions. Finally, in this book you can't appreciate Chris' physical skills, even with the well-written verse of Bill Reynolds. I once watched Chris lift a girl up in the air while he was sitting on a couch and he just used one hand to grab her upper arm and he just....lifted. A 6'4" 220lb mass of an assistant coach tried to set a pick against Chris once. Once. The assistant had just hit a brick wall and lay on the floor for several minutes while Chris hovered unapologetically.

This book leaves you with a sort of finality, that Chris made it through the storm and is now well. The ESPN doc does the same thing. The problem is that there may easily have to be another book about Chris soon. Chris is a bright yellow star that underwent a meltdown and became a literal black hole. Now what for him? He still possesses the physical skills, but what of the personality, the gravity, the mass of his charisma?

The book neither leaves you hoping for more or wishing for less...it just kind of leaves you.

It's a good book, but it just needs to reflect Chris Herren better, and I don't know that Bill Reynolds has that kind of majesty within him.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
"The Beauty of It" 18. Mai 2011
Von Eileen Granfors - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I saw this title, "Basketball Junkie," and assumed it would be a journal of someone following March Madness, from game to game across the country.

Instead, it is truly the story of a Chris Herren, basketball superstar and street junkie, someone who is given the world little kids only dream of, and who throws it all away on drugs. First it was alcohol, then other drugs, then Oxy, then cocaine, then heroin. He was dropped from two college programs (Boston College and Fresno State). He played for pro teams, fitfully, for he was a user even as he competed at the highest level. He has a ton of talent and learns about hard work. He carries a ton of guilt about his addiction, which only makes his addiction worse.

He played in Europe, in Asia, and the bottom fell out in Turkey.

Along the way, his high school love stays with him though they fight frequently. When there is no farther to fall, he enters another rehab. He keeps deluding himself that he can quit whenever he wants to. Only when he admits he is not in control, that his children would be better off without him, does Chris finally see the light of change and hope.

What I liked about Chris's story (told with the help of Bill Reynolds) is that Chris does not blame his coaches for not understanding him, nor does he blame the schools for throwing him out. Once he begins tutoring younger kids, he says "that's the beauty of it"--he has lived their lives and can mentor them forward through his own mistakes.

"Basketball Junkie" is a terrifying portrait of what drugs do to the human body. In fiction, I liked Roxana Robinson's "Cost" for her portrayal of the cost of drugs to family relationships and James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces" for the expression of how drug addiction feels. For its truth about a fall from grace, I recommend this true story of Chris Herren, one more guy who had it all and threw it all away. His honesty is refreshing. His humility about his NBA career, which he calls "a blip on the radar screen," could possibly set some kids straight on the value of values versus the value of excelling at as an athlete. Even a superstar is a human being with human failings.
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