Bradley's memoir of the waning games in the New York Knicks' 1973-74 season (the season after they won their second NBA championship) contains many observations about professional sports that, unfortunately, continue to ring true today: the shameless exploitation of undereducated athletes by agents and comparable parasites; the intrinsic harshness of an itinerant existence during a roadtrip on the West Coast; the grueling physical and mental demands of the NBA regular season; the evanescent nature of fan support. Given all of the above, why then would anyone want to play NBA basketball? Well, Bradley also does a fine job of describing the many thrills an athlete can derive from, among other things, being exhalted by home fans; winning a championship; and being part of a selflless team unit that manages to sublimate individualistic tendancies in its pursuit of greater goals. Bradley's book, from what I can gather, was revolutionary for its time in that it eschewed the type of hagiographic approach that many writers took toward the world of professional sports and ablely demonstrated the myriad difficulties associated with being a player in the nation's largest media spotlight. It should be a must- read for all aspiring NBA players -- especially those players who are considering foregoing several (or all) years of their collegiate eligibilities to make a fast buck. They should be forewarned: "All that glitters isn't gold."
With all the hoopla surrounding Bradley's potential run at the presidency, this book offers unique insight from a non-politics perspective. It chronicles the last few weeks of a Knick's season, and all the emotion that comes with it. Also, Bradley provides commentary on a variety of topics which are still very relevant... i.e. the formation of the NBA Player's Association. The book reads very well, and there is interesting background coverage of Bradley's teammates, many of whom are well-known today. I HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone - from sports buff to the just curious. It is awesome!
Bill Bradley's account of three weeks in the life of an NBA team in the '70's is as much a stunningly insightful social commentary as it is a nice, easily-rambling, "On the Road"-style ride. Beautiful.