I'm a fan of books, and at one time I was also a really big fan of PRO Basketball. However, the fantasy of actually becoming an NBA player passed my Sophomore year of high school when I realized that I was going to miss a Weezer concert for a JV game against Darlington High School.
Come on. Pinkerton had just come out. They were hot, give me a break. But it was my understanding that never again would basketball interfere with something like that in my life. That is until I found this book, and now it has interfered with my life again. I've bought it for other people, I've read it when I should be working...
Anyway, the book was written by a bunch of guys with fake names that pen a Basketball blog called Free Darko. Which, I have to say is a pretty good blog. I don't actually know why its that good, but it is. Maybe, simply, because it is updated on a regular basis, which apparently is the new standard for good blogs. Or maybe because the information contained within is so deep and nerdy that you simply have to be in the know to get it? - I'm not- But, either way, there is something there that I don't fully understand yet I'm drawn to all the same.
The book that they put out The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac: Styles, Stats and Stars in Today's Game happens to be pretty damn amazing. And very understandable.*
Written in a style that is part textbook and part irreverent to the whole idea of textbooks, the book reads like a charm.
Chapters run the gamut from things like "Master Builders" (Kobe, LeBron, KG, and Tim Duncan(??) to "People's Champs" (Rasheed Wallace, Yao Ming) and even the hillariously named "Phenomenal Tumors" (Ron Artest, Stephon Marbury)...amazing. Each player comes with their own playing style guide as well as a short chart with their stats and Spirit Animal**...below is Ron Artest.
The stats that are displayed are simply astonding as well. Their humorus take on everything provides a vehicle of delivery that almost sneaks by while at the same time teaching you something about this sport...
And this is what I learned and how it applies to cycling:
-Its not always about Jordan.
-Everyone has their own individual styles. Especially the PRO's. Even if this style involves punching fans...see Ron Artest or Bernard Hinault.
-All the stats are important.
But, at the same time that this book is informative it is also striking in its delivery. The design and flow of the book is so impeccable that you can't put it down. Not only would this book be in good company standing next to any textbook out there (I would place it in either my Anthropology, or Social Studies Libraries***) but it could, and should be found alongside some of the best designed books around.
* Yeah BKW!
** My spirit animal is a Goat.
*** I don't have a library.