View Full Version : From "The Basketball Book"

12-25-2007, 11:13 AM
Mrs. RZ gifted me with Sports Illustrated's coffee-table sized The Basketball Book and while reading the introduction by Alexander Wolff, was struck by this passage:

"Basketball also exists in its own way, on its own terms, in small-town America. There, hundreds of thousands of hoops, some jerry-built in alleyways, others mounted like altars over garage doors, are reassuring. They bespeak stout-hearted values. They conjure up the image of a solitary boy working on what he would call "my game," or the rituals of a Friday night in February in some fevered high school gym, or the crazy lotto of an office pool in March. Basketball signifies and sanctifies community. And its ideal of five working as one to win a championship defies the disorder that seems so intrinsic to the game. What is the essence of that ideal? We don't know exactly. But basketball champions seem to hold in perfect balance the individual and the collective."

12-25-2007, 02:43 PM

12-26-2007, 02:48 PM
Reno, you have my old hoops loving eyes misting up. I tried to rep you again but the man said no.

12-26-2007, 05:44 PM
Alexander Wolff & Jack McCallum are two of SI's best, IMO. . .both make significant contributions to the book.

One Zag related highlight: A two page spread that shows John Stockton in time-lapse photos all over the court one night in Utah. . .another Stockton related photo: An aerial view of a cornfield that was cut to portray a Stockton basketball card.

Really neat book if you're a hoops fan; about 60% relates to the pro game, the rest to college hardwoods.

12-27-2007, 02:54 PM
Reminds me of one day a few months ago when my son and his kids (Frances, age 7 and Charlie, age9) were visiting with my sis and me at sis's house in the Gonzaga district. Charlie spotted a hoop on a stand alongside the street half block away, so we grabbed a bball and headed off to shoot some hoops. I said to my son, "Should we ask permission first?" He looked at me like I was nuts. "No! Hoops are meant to be used." He has a hoop in front of his house at the curb and is delighted whenever he can watch a kid using it.

After the kids had put up just a couple of balls, the lady of the house came out and yelled at us. Who did we think we were???? What if we broke the backboard? Yada yada yada. Welcome to the Logan neighborhood, kids, where hoops are by invite only. Effing Communists!