The Breaks of the Game is sports reporting at its finest--basketball's equivalent to Roger Kahn's The Boys of Summer. Join David Halberstam on his yearlong journey with the 1979 Portland Trail Blazers and witness professional basketball from the inside, where front-office egos, big-money contracts, and the colorful personalities of coaches and players collide, and winners and losers emerge. This insightful account is evidence of how much basketball has--and hasn't--changed since 1979, before the money really started rolling in.
"One of the best books I've ever read about American sports!" --Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
Available for the first time in years, David Halberstam's The Breaks of the Game focuses on one grim season (1979-80) in the life of the Portland Trail Blazers, a team that only three years before had been National Basketball Association champions.
As Halberstam follows this collection of men through the months, through the losing streaks and occasional victories, the endless trips and the brutal schedules, we come to know them and their world--the other players, coaches, and owners; the competition, drafts, trades, and traditions; the wives, the fans, the media connections--a world of grand dreams, impossible expectations, and bracing realities.
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 reader in the room and on the court, and The Breaks of the Game in a league of its own.
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