Bucks Diary

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Don't forget the "The Breaks of the Game"

Yesterday a great literary voice was silenced when the world lost author David Halberstam in a California automobile accident. All of the tributes to him that I have heard and read thus far have been fitting and proper but I think one of his greatest books is getting shortchanged.

I'm referring to his sports masterpiece entitled The Breaks of the Game, originally published in 1981. It is Halberstam's engaging chronicle of the implosion of a dynasty that never was, the 1979-80 Bill Walton Portland Trailblazers. I've read many of Halberstam's works, including his political books like The Best and the Brightest and his baseball books like Summer of '49, and his period chronicles like The Fifties. The Breaks of the Game stands up against all of them. I would give everything to write something that good just once in my life.

It was the first sports book I ever read, and it still stands as the second best sports book I ever read, just barely behind Roger Kahn's classic The Boys of Summer. In fact, in its own way, Halberstam's book is the basketball version of The Boys of Summer. Its sports journalism in its finest form.

So if you love basketball, and if you're on this site I assume you do, I urge you to read it.


At April 27, 2007 at 3:15 PM, Blogger Alfred said...

I've been looking around for that book for a while at my local libraries, heard it was very good.

Did you read his jordan/bulls book? Excellent.

Sad, sad day. I'm sure he had a ton more amazing material in him waiting to get out.


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