By Mike Monroe
This book covers 6 players from the rookie class of 1997-98: Tim Duncan, Keith Van Horn, Tracy McGrady, Chris Antsey, Bobby Jackson, and Jacque Vaughn. It is an interesting cross-section of players. Duncan was the obvious superstar, winning the rookie of the year, and earning a lion's share of print that season. Van Horn was the surprise, coming on and raising eyebrows, while gaining undue hype (comparisons to Larry Bird, for instance), rather than an appreciation for what he had done. Antsey was a project center from Australia. Jackson was the troubled rookie who logged in heavy minutes on the worst team in the league, who sums up what many think about the young players of today: talented, athletic, and spoiled. McGrady was the high school student-come-rookie who struggles greatly to learn the game. Vaughn was the rarely used rookie -- 3rd string on a contender.
Except for Jackson, the writing wasn't overly revealing. Jackson was somewhat intriguing, because playing for the worst team in the league, he didn't get much ink. The author is a reporter from a Denver paper, which is why I suppose so much more is written abut Jackson than any of the others. I also found Antsey to be an interesting choice, since he also didn't receive much publicity.
The book is a quick read and is good to learn about some younger, obscure players. It is geared more toward younger readers.
NBA Rookie Experience. Mike Monroe. 1998