Forty-five years after his last NBA game, Bill Bradley’s mid-1970s book Life on The Run remains a classic treatise on the ins and outs of life in the NBA.

Insights on locker-room banter, illuminating details of endless road trips, in-game adjustments and exhaustive details about teammates’ personal and family backgrounds are sprinkled throughout the tome.

In moments of quiet reflection, Bradley, who suited up for the New York Knicks from 1967-77 and won a pair of NBA championships, delivered memorable observations about contemporary life, too.

As a public figure since his high school days, the future U.S. Senator already had a deep understanding about how people deal with and react to fame.

Case in point: giving speeches.

“You learn to sense the mood of an audience,” Bradley wrote. “The element of performance in a speech often outweighs the substance. The hard thing for me is to strike the balance between preaching on the one hand and slapstick on the other. Somewhere between those two extremes lies the craft of a professional speaker, be he lawyer or teacher, politician or basketball player.”