This is the opening section of a comprehensive feature published at RedLabelSports.com
A Primer on Nearly Two Dozen Basketball Books That Every Hoop Aficionado Should Read
By Ed Odeven
There are hundreds — no wait, thousands — of interesting books about Dr. James Naismith’s roundball game. To keep up with all of the new releases and previously published basketball tomes is, well, an impossible task even for the best librarians in this galaxy.
But in the interest of appealing to a wide audience, I’ve narrowed down a list of numerous quality books to 22, highlighting history and compelling narratives and insiders’ perspectives, from the NBA and beyond.
The selections below aren’t ranked. They are all presented, however, as must-read books to gain greater insights on the rise of basketball into a global cultural force.
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY: A LIFETIME IN THE GAME (RED AUERBACH AND JOHN FEINSTEIN; 2017)
From the NBA’s earliest days to the 21st century, in tales about Bill Russell and Michael Jordan, Sam Jones and Wilt Chamberlain, just to name a few, Auerbach shares memories about a lifetime in the game.
ELEVEN RINGS: THE SOUL OF SUCCESS (PHIIL JACKSON AND HUGH DELANTY; 2013)
The Zen Master’s remembrances of how and why his Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers teams grew into championship dynasties are shared in rich details. X’s and O’s are, of course, a part of it, but human relationships, trust, leadership and spiritual and mental components of his approach to winning are also explored with clarity.
WE CHANGED THE GAME (BOB NETOLICKY, RICHARD TINKHAM AND ROBIN MILLER; 2017)
To understand the modern NBA, you need to understand the ABA. The Indiana Pacers embodied the high points and low points of the upstart league in the 1960s and ’70s, with a trio of ABA titles along with financial woes along the way.
Netolicky, a former Pacers star and co-authors Tinkham (co-founder) and Miller (a young reporter in the ABA days) join forces to pen the ultimate authoritative look back at the team and its legacy before it joined the NBA in 1976.
I reviewed the book in 2019.
Read the full article here.