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The New York Times best seller, now with a new introduction! The Breaks of the Game focuses on one grim season (1979-80) in the life of the Bill Walton-led Portland Trail Blazers, a team that only three years before had been NBA champions.
The tactile authenticity of Halberstam's knowledge of the basketball world is unrivaled. Yet he is writing here about far more than just basketball. This is a story about a place in our society where power, money, and talent collide and sometimes corrupt, a place where both national obsessions and naked greed are exposed. It's about the influence of big media, the fans, and the hype they subsist on, the clash of ethics, the terrible physical demands of modern sports (from drugs to body size), the unreal salaries, the conflicts of race and class, and the consequences of sport converted into mass entertainment and athletes transformed into superstars - all presented in a way that puts the listener in the room and on the court, and The Breaks of the Game in a league of its own.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By cwortolani on 03-11-16
Truly one of the all time great sports books
The fact that Halberstam, a world renown American historian, put as much effort into chronicling an era of the NBA as he did with wars and presidential administrations makes this a must read for any sports fan, even if basketball isn't your thing.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Kyle on 06-13-18
This book is a must read for all NBA junkies.
This book is a must read for NBA junkies. This covers an in-depth look of the Portland Trail Blazers from 1977-1980. Led by Bill Walton, the '77 Blazers thrilled many basketball purists with their unselfish style of play. Following the '77 season, injuries and chemistry problems led to decline of the team and their unsuccessful pursuit of a potential dynasty.
More importantly, the story also tackles many topics such as race, racism, contract disputes, loyalty, television advertising, team chemistry, team politics, Bill Walton, corruption in college basketball (this is in the 70s which is crazy!), college vs. pros, the Blazers making one of the WORST trade of all time by trading Moses Malone to the Houston Rockets for a bag of chips, a player by the name of Marvin Barnes who could've been the GOAT but ruined his career by doing drugs and many more.