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Great Basketball Reads

WHEN THE GAME WAS OURS

I grew up during the 80s during the LA Showtime era where Magic Johnson and Larry Bird ruled.  I remember playing one of my first favourite video games, "Larry Bird vs Dr J" on my cousin's Apple ][ and fell in love with Basketball.  It was a great era of basketball with two dominate teams in two divisions, it was Old School vs Showtime, physical vs finesse, East vs West. 

There has been no other 5 position player like Magic Johnson ever since, or a guy who could dominate and be as arrogant on the court as Larry Bird.

"When the game was ours" written by Larry Bird and Magic Johnson recounts those epic battles.  From the heady days of trading championships to the darker days of injury and illness, we come to understand Larry's obsessive devotion to winning and how his demons drove him on the court. We hear him talk with candor about playing through chronic pain and its truly exacting toll. In Magic we see a young, invincible star struggle with the sting of defeat, not just as a player but as a team leader. We are there the moment he learns he's contracted HIV and hear in his own words how that devastating news impacted his relationships in basketball and beyond. But always, in both cases, we see them prevail.

HARD WORK: A LIFE ON AND OFF THE COURT

Even though I wasn't a UNC fan, the legend of Dean Smith was huge when I first started watching NCAA ball.  I was a Duke fan because I had a huge crush with an "older" college girl working on an internship program in Toronto who was attending Duke.  But this book is about Roy Williams who also worshiped Dean Smith and is about his journey in become a succesor to Smith.  Williams tells the story of his life that few people know, from his turbulent family life as a child to the North Carolina Tar Heels' National Championship victory in 2009. He speaks candidly of his past, his passions, his inspirations, and the coaching philosphy behind one of college basketball's most successful programs. And he recounts the determination that took him from a small home in the mountains of North Carolina to the very pinacle of coaching success.

You don't have to be a Heel's fan or even a NCAA fan to enjoy this book.  It's more about a guide to remaining focused on life and achieving your goals.

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