It’s All-Star Weekend, and for the first time since 1998, New York City is hosting the showcase of the best players in the game!
To celebrate the All-Star Game’s return to the Mecca of Basketball, Madison Square Garden, here are some suggestions for great books on basketball and its deep connection to our city.
If you’re talking the history of the game, you might as well start at the beginning, with the man who invented it. James Naismith’s Basketball: Its Origin and Development lets you see how the rules of the sport were refined and what inspired its creation.
And of course, if you love the Knicks as much as Spike does, you should pick up When the Garden was Eden and relive the championship teams of the early ‘70s. Former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley was a member of those teams, and is a great writer, whose books Life on the Run and Values of the Game share the life lessons he learned from his basketball experience.
Basketball in New York isn’t just about the pros, or the college game, but the summer playgrounds where local legends are made. Pete Axthelm’s The City Game follows the 1969-70 Knicks season and captures the neighborhood basketball being played at the same time. And for classic stories of city basketball and how it can make (and break) young people’s hopes for a better life, check out Heaven is a Playground and The Last Shot.
And if you want to learn more about the teams, players, and coaches that have made the game great over the years, you can find books, DVDs, and other materials about basketball at your local Queens Library!