boys among men how the prep to pro generation redefined the nba and sparked a basketball revolution

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Boys Among Men

Author : Jonathan Abrams
ISBN : 9780804139267
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 27. 61 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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The definitive, never-before-told story of the prep-to-pro generation, those basketball prodigies who from 1995 to 2005 made the jump directly from high school to the NBA. When Kevin Garnett shocked the world by announcing that he would not be attending college—as young basketball prodigies were expected to do—but instead enter the 1995 NBA draft directly from high school, he blazed a trail for a generation of teenage basketball players to head straight for the pros. That trend would continue until the NBA instituted an age limit in 2005, requiring all players to attend college or another developmental program for at least one year. Over that decade-plus period, the list of players who made that difficult leap includes some of the most celebrated players of the modern era—Garnett, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Tracy McGrady, and numerous other stars. It also includes notable “busts” who either physically or mentally proved unable to handle the transition. But for better or for worse, the face of the NBA was forever changed by the prep-to-pro generation. In compelling, masterfully crafted prose, Boys Among Men goes behind the scenes and draws on hundreds of firsthand interviews to paint insightful and engaging portraits of the most pivotal figures and events during this time. Award-winning basketball writer Jonathan Abrams has obtained remarkable access to the key players, coaches, and other movers and shakers from that time, and the result is a book packed with rare insights and never-before-published details about this chapter in NBA history. Boys Among Men is a thrilling, informative, must-read for any basketball fan.

The Legends Club

Author : John Feinstein
ISBN : 9780385539425
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 87. 39 MB
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The riveting inside story of college basketball's fiercest rivalry among three coaching legends—University of North Carolina's Dean Smith, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, and North Carolina State's Jim Valvano—by the king of college basketball writers, #1 New York Times bestseller John Feinstein On March 18, 1980, the immensely powerful Duke basketball program announced the hiring of its new coach—the man who would resurrect the team, restore glory to Duke, and defeat the legendary Dean Smith, who coached down the road at UNC Chapel Hill and had turned UNC into a powerhouse. Duke's new man was Mike Krzyzewski. The only problem was, no one knew who Krzyzewski was, he had a so-so record in his short time as head coach of Army, and worst of all, no one could even pronounce his name. The announcement caused head scratches . . . if not immediate calls for his head . . . and on this note his career at Duke began. The table was set nine days later, when on March 27, 1980, Jim Valvano was hired by North Carolina State to be their new head coach. The hiring didn't raise as many eyebrows, but with the exuberant Valvano on board, two new coaches were now in place to challenge Dean Smith—and the most sensational competitive decade in history was about to unfold. In the skillful hands of John Feinstein, this extraordinary rivalry—and the men behind it—come to life in a unique, intimate way. The Legends Club is a sports book that captures an era in American sport and culture, documenting the inside view of a decade of absolutely incredible competition. Feinstein pulls back the curtain on the recruiting wars, the intensely personal competition that wasn't always friendly, the enormous pressure and national stakes, and the battle for the very soul of college basketball allegiance in a hot-bed area. Getting to the roots of the NCAA goliath that is followed religiously by millions of fans today, Feinstein uses his unprecedented access to all three coaches to paint a portrait only he could conjure. The Legends Club is destined to be one of Feinstein's biggest bestsellers.

Chasing Perfection

Author : Andy Glockner
ISBN : 9780306824036
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 71. 54 MB
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Chasing Perfection goes behind the scenes of the multi-million dollar, high-stakes world of basketball player development, research and analysis, and the often secretive, cutting-edge methods that NBA franchises use to turn less-expensive, supporting players into vital parts of championship teams. NBA superstars push as close to perfection as we’re likely to see, but they are few and far between. The farther you get from the league’s top echelon of talent, the more it’s up to the players—and their teams—to develop and utilize their strengths while diminishing and masking their weaknesses as much as possible. There are no perfect basketball players, but there are plenty of perfected ones, who start with a basis of skill and physical ability and then are refined further and further in order to move closer and closer to their absolute potential. In Chasing Perfection, national sportswriter Andy Glockner reveals that, though the concept of player improvement is as old as basketball itself, the current era of Big Data analytics in the NBA is transforming that process more quickly and aggressively than anything we have seen before. Players are learning more and more about themselves through video and data visualization, seeing how things like diet and sleep can impact their performance, and learning how having healthy joints and role-specific workout plans are lengthening and improving their careers. Teams are internalizing the same lessons, as well as figuring out how to better implement optimal on-court strategies, how to refine their approaches to player acquisition and how to gauge the varying values and success rates of different, crucial team-building strategies. It’s an absolutely fascinating time to be a fan, as the marriage of basketball and technology is bringing two of our most popular and competitive worlds together in compelling fashion. Using the 2014–15 NBA season as a prism to explore this mesh of sport and science, Glockner offers detailed perspective from NBA players, coaches, team management, and media, offering a comprehensive insider’s view of how analytics are shaping the basketball we watch, and how those who are lagging behind in the technology race already are feeling the competitive hit.

Rise And Fire

Author : Shawn Fury
ISBN : 9781250062178
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 50. 52 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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It’s hard to believe that there was a time when the jump shot didn’t exist in basketball. When the sport was invented in 1891, players would take set shots with both feet firmly planted on the ground. Defenders controlled the sport, the pace was slower, and games would frequently end with scores fit for a football field. It took almost forty years before players began shooting jump shots of any kind and sixty-five years before it became a common sight. When the first jump shooting pioneers left the ground, they rose not only above their defenders, but also above the sport’s conventions. The jump shot created a soaring offense, infectious excitement, loyal fans, and legends. Basketball would never be the same. Rise and Fire celebrates this crucial shot while tracing the history of how it revolutionized the game, shedding light on all corners of the basketball world, from NBA arenas to the playgrounds of New York City and the barns of Indiana. Award-winning journalist Shawn Fury obsesses over the jump shot, explores its fundamentals, puzzles over its complexities, marvels at its simplicity, and honors those who created some of basketball’s greatest moments. Part history, part travelogue, and part memoir, Rise and Fire bounces from the dirt courts of the 1930s to today’s NBA courts and state-of-the-art shooting labs, examining everything from how nets and rims affect a shooter to rivalries between shooting coaches to how the three-pointer came to rule the game. Impeccably researched and engaging, the book features interviews and profiles of legendary figures like Jerry West, Bob McAdoo, Ray Allen, and Denise Long---the first woman ever drafted by the NBA, plus dozens more, revealing the evolution of the shot over time. Analyzing the techniques and reliving some of the most unforgettable plays from the greats, Fury creates a technical, personal, historical, and even spiritual examination of the shot. This is not a dry how-to textbook of basketball mechanics; it is a lively tour of basketball history and a love letter to the sport and the shot that changed it forever.

The Whore Of Akron

Author : Scott Raab
ISBN : 9780062066381
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 76. 19 MB
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After 52 long years, the city of Cleveland finally has a new championship team, thanks to LeBron James and his Cavaliers. Scott Raab—Cleveland super-fan—has suffered for every one of those five decades of drought. In the tradition of Frederick Exley’s cult-classic sports book A Fan’s Notes, The Whore of Akron is Raab’s hilarious and unhinged plea for deliverance from all those years of pain. Traveling from Cleveland to Miami and back again, Raab heads out on an obsessive quest to uncover the soul of one of today’s greatest basketball players: LeBron James, the man who finally brought Cleveland out of sporting exile.

The Rap Year Book

Author : Shea Serrano
ISBN : 1419718185
Genre : Music
File Size : 21. 14 MB
Format : PDF, Mobi
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The Rap Year Book takes readers on a journey that begins in 1979, widely regarded as the moment rap became recognized as part of the cultural and musical landscape, and comes right up to the present. Shea Serrano deftly pays homage to the most important song of each year. Serrano also examines the most important moments that surround the history and culture of rap music--from artists' backgrounds to issues of race, the rise of hip-hop, and the struggles among its major players--both personal and professional. Covering East Coast and West Coast, famous rapper feuds, chart toppers, and show stoppers, The Rap Year Book is an in-depth look at the most influential genre of music to come out of the last generation. Complete with infographics, lyric maps, hilarious and informative footnotes, portraits of the artists, and short essays by other prominent music writers, The Rap Year Book is both a narrative and illustrated guide to the most iconic and influential rap songs ever created.

Not A Game

Author : Kent Babb
ISBN : 9781476778983
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 32. 27 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Former NBA superstar Allen Iverson was once one of America's most famous athletes: a trendsetter who transcended race, celebrity, and pop culture, and emerged from a troubled past to become one of the most successful and highly compensated athletes in the world. Now, his life and career come vividly to light in this "searingly honest and intimate portrait of a captivating icon" (Baxter Holmes, ESPN NBA reporter). Through extensive research and interviews with those closest to Iverson, acclaimed Washington Post sportswriter Kent Babb gets behind the familiar, sanitized, and heroic version of Iverson—the hard-changing, hard-partying athlete who played every game as if it were his last. Babb brings to life a private, loyal, and often generous Allen Iverson who rarely made the headlines, revealing the back story behind some of Iverson’s most memorable moments, such as his infamous “Practice” rant, delving even deeper to discover where Iverson’s demons lurked. He drank too much, stayed out too late, spent more money than most people could spend in a dozen lifetimes—blowing more than $150 million of his NBA earnings alone. His then wife Tawanna, seen often as the mild-mannered woman who tamed the bad boy, tried to keep her husband and family on the rails. But, as so many others learned on basketball courts, she was no match for the force of nature that was Iverson. Jealousy, meanness, and relentless eventually wore down even his biggest fans, teammates, and, eventually, even his most formidable opponent. Not a Game is an impeccably researched, honest look at the factors that led to the rise and fall of a basketball superstar. In doing so, it illuminates the dark side of our modern day, multi-billion dollar sports and entertainment culture in which talented players are disposable—and all too often success and tragedy wear the same number.

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