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Bill Simmons "The Book of Basketball"

gladhands

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Has anyone here read it. I'm finishing up now, and I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised. His homerism is as blatant as ever, but at least it only worked one way. He overvalued a few celts, but didnt' let his Laker hatred affect his evaluation of some of their greats.

My one gripe has to do with his assessment of Wilt Chamberlain. It's almost as if he felt that he had to tear Wilt down to elevate Russel.
 

LawrenceMD

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Originally Posted by gladhands
Has anyone here read it. I'm finishing up now, and I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised. His homerism is as blatant as ever, but at least it only worked one way. He overvalued a few celts, but didnt' let his Laker hatred affect his evaluation of some of their greats. My one gripe has to do with his assessment of Wilt Chamberlain. It's almost as if he felt that he had to tear Wilt down to elevate Russel.
its great toilet reading. seriously he copped gladwell in that sense, where you can just kind of open up the book and start reading. he's good but I'm waiting for the next wave of bill james kind of writing for bball. its coming, and there are already some already out. the, story's backed by analytical data (stat geek stuff) is where you get the true fanaticism out. but the book's back stories and history is the true gems. that stuff is priceless. like the quotes and stories from wild getting blown during a flight.
 

gladhands

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Originally Posted by LawrenceMD

he's good but I'm waiting for the next wave of bill james kind of writing for bball. its coming, and there are already some already out. the, story's backed by analytical data (stat geek stuff) is where you get the true fanaticism out.


That's so hard to do with basketball because so many of the simple stats are subjective or flawed. What constitutes an assist? Why does the guy who catches the deflection get the steal, and not the guy who deflected the ball. Add in the fact that blocks and steals are relatively modern statistica, and you'll fing that it's much harder to use advanced metrics to compare basketball players historically.
 

life_interrupts

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I read the book over the Holidays and found it an enjoyable read. Like many, I'm over his love of the Celts to the detriment of other players. But his analysis is solid. Yeah, gladhands, his Wilt hate is without parallel. The refs essentially allowed teams to bludgeon the man, which doesn't override his poor foul shooting, but might explain his attitude. Appreciated his love of Maravich (even before the Celts) and Iverson. Recognizing greatness isn't always associated with a ring.
 

gladhands

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I haven't watched the amount of tape or done the research that Simmons did, but my general perception of Russell was that of a super-Ben Wallace who could focus on defense and rebounding because he was his teams third or fourth scoring option.

Regardless of his importance, 2nd greatest player of all time seems like a bit of a stretch.
 

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