A New and Different Sun

2 12 2009

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly-changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
— Chris McCandless (or Alexander Supertramp)


The Art of a Beautiful Game

1 12 2009

Chris Ballard delves into the depths of the NBA game with “The Art of a Beautiful Game.” I truly enjoyed this book; I couldn’t put it down until I finished it.

Although the subtitle is The Thinking Fan’s Tour of the NBA, it’s really more for observant NBA fans and true fans of basketball in general. It doesn’t necessarily challenge you to think about the impact of basketball or how it ties into society.

Ballard focuses on different aspects of the sport, tying anecdotes around an NBA star who most exemplifies this characteristic. For example, the chapter on defensive prowess focuses on Shane Battier or the chapter on shooting focuses on a 3-point contest the author had with Steve Kerr.

Even if you’re just a casual fan, the small tidbits of information Ballard drops will keep you coming back for more. Want to know how Pittsburgh’s Sam Young prepared for the NBA Draft? Who is Idan Ravin and why does Carmelo Anthony respect him so much?

Ballard even drag-races Shaquille O’Neal after leaving the Suns locker room. After reading “The Art of a Beautiful Game,” you’re challenged to watch an NBA play closely and this book will definitely equip and reward you.

Launch the Revolution

21 09 2009

“Hers was the generation that would launch the revolution, but which for the moment was turning blue for the want for air. The generation reaching consciousness in a society that lacked any. The generation that despite the consensus that declared change impossible hankered for change all the same.”

— Junot Diaz, “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao”

Resilience by Alonzo Mourning

1 10 2008

In addition to sending me a copy of A Team To Believe In by Tom Coughlin a few weeks ago, the good folks at Random House just sent me Resilience by Alonzo Mourning for free!

Mourning’s book looks very interesting.  I would also like to note that it’s co-authored by Dan Wetzel.  Wetzel helped the late Don Haskins author Glory Road, which turned into a pretty good basketball film.  Here’s the scoop from the inside cover:

Resilience. It’s not just the title of Alonzo Mourning’s stirring memoir; it’s the stuff he’s made of.  Whether petitioning himself into foster care as an eleven-year-old, tirelessly studying his way onto the dean’s list at Georgetown University, making it as an all-star center in the NBA, or returning to peak form after organ-transplant surgery, Mourning has shown enormous inner strength.  His faith, his determination, and his courage are what have driven and sustained him throughout his extraordinary life…

Alonzo Mourning’s return to basketball glory, already familiar to sports fans and non-sports fans alike, has aspired millions of patients suffering from kidney disease and living with dialysis, as well as organ donors around the world.  By sharing his experiences of the physical, emotional and spiritual roller coaster of illness and recovery, Mourning delivers a message of faith and fire, hurdles and hope, trust and triumph.  Resilience is a story of both meaningful everyday lessons and the things, great and small, that truly matter in life.”

I must admit that when I hear that Zo was planning an NBA comeback, I thought he was crazy.  He had just come off an organ transplant surgery.  “He should be happy with just being around,” I thought.  Same story with Sean Elliott back in the day.  I knew that they would have to go through so much to get back on the hardwood so why risk it? This book should answer my questions and I’ll share my thoughts after I’ve finished the book.