Alpha List by Ranking

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Note: The books are alphabetized by title within their groups.   These rankings are not written in stone.  Normally, when I read a book, my opinion is higher than it is a month later.  After a month or two, I may adjust the ranking.

6 star book - "The King of the Hill"



Secondary Author(s)

Jerry West

Roland Lazenby


5 star books - "The cream of the crop"



Secondary Author(s)

:07 Seconds or Less

Jack McCallum

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

Frank Fitzpatrick

Bird Watching

Larry Bird

Jackie MacMullan

Foul! The Connie Hawkins Story

David Shaw

Coach Tex Winter: Triangle Basketball

Ann Parr

Give 'Em the Hook

Tommy Heinsohn

Joe Fitzgerald

Glory Road

Don Haskins

Josh Wetzel

Jerry West

Roland Lazenby

Let Me Tell You a Story

Red Auerbach

John Feinstein

Life on the Run

Bill Bradley

Long Time Coming

Chet Walker

Chris Messenger

Loose Balls

Terry Pluto


Charles Barkley

Roy S. Johnston, Jr.


Mark Kriegel

Tall Tales

Terry Pluto

The Franchise

Cameron Stauth

The Jordan Rules

Sam Smith

The Lakers

Roland Lazenby

The Possible Dream

Wilt Chamberlain

Richard Freed

Those who Loved the Game

Glenn Rivers

Bruce Brooks


Lenny Wilkens

Terry Pluto

When the Game was Ours Larry Bird

Earvin "Magic" Johnson with Jackie MacMullen

Wilt: Larger than Life Robert Cherry  

Winning is an Attitude

Steve Wartenberg


4 star books - "Very good"



Secondary Author(s)

24 Seconds to Shoot

Leonard Koppett

Blood on the Horns

Roland Lazenby


Bill Reynolds


Larry Bird

Bob Ryan

Falling from Grace

Terry Pluto

From Set Shot to Slam Dunk

Charles Salzberg


Mark Heisler

Hondo: Celtic Man in Motion

John Havlicek

Bob Ryan

My Life

Magic Johnson

Peter Novak

Only the Strong Survive

Larry Platt


Dennis Rodman

Pat Rich & Alan Steinberg

Red and Me

Bill Russell

Alan Steinberg

Reggie Lewis: Quiet Grace

Craig Windham

Sacred Hoops Phil Jackson Hugh Delehanty

Season of the 76ers

Wayne Lynch


Pat Riley

Spanning the Game

Ralph Miller

The Big O

Oscar Robertson

The Big Three

Peter May

The Dandy Dons

James W. Johnson

The Greatest Basketball Story Ever Told

Greg Guffey
The Rivalry John Taylor

The Show

Roland Lazenby
Tip-Off: How the 1984 Draft Changed Basketball Forever Filip Bondy  
Values of the Game Bill Bradley  

Wilt, 1962

Gary M. Pomerantz


Wilt Chamberlain

David Shaw


3 star books - "A solid read"



Secondary Author(s)

A Rocket at Heart

Rudy Tomjanovich

Robert Falkoff

A Sense of Where You Are

McPhee, John

A View from Above

Wilt Chamberlain

Born to Coach

Rick Pitino

Bill Reynolds

Calling the Shots

Earl Strom

Blaine Johnson

Chaney: Playing for a Legend

Donald Hunt

Charlotte Hornets: Sharpening the Stinger

Rick Bonnel

Chocolate Thunder

Darryl Dawkins

Charley Rosen

Flying High

Spud Webb

Reid Slaughter

Forty-Eight Minutes

Bob Ryan

Terry Pluto

Giant Steps

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Peter Knobler

Go Up for Glory

Bill Russell

William McSweeny

Heir to a Dream

Pete Maravich

Darrell Campbell w/ Frank Schroeder

I Love Being the Enemy

Reggie Miller

Gene Wojcieckowski

In the Land of Giants

Muggsy Boggues

David Levine

John Starks: My Life

John Starks

Dan Markowitz

Just Ballin'

Mike Wise

Frank Isola


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Mignor McCarthy

Keepin' it real

Larry Platt

Living the Dream

Hakeem Olajuwon

Peter Knobler

Miracle on 33rd Street

Phil Berger

Nothing but Net

Bill Walton

Gene Wojcieckowski

Second Coming Sam Smith

Second Wind

Bill Russell

Taylor Branch

The Game within the Game

Walt Frazier Dan Markowitz

The Last Banner

Peter May

The Playmasters

Eldon J. Ham

This Game's the Best! (So why don't they stop screwing with it?)

George Karl

Don Yeager

Who's Better, Who's Best in Basketball Elliott Kalb  

Winning a Day at a Time

John Lucas

Joseph Moriarity


Yao Ming

Ric Buchler


2 star books - "so-so"



Secondary Author(s)

A View from the Bench

Red Holzman

Basketball: Startling Stories Behind the Records

Jim Beuagh

Basketball: The New Champions

Kurt Hannon

Bull Session

Johnny Kerr

Terry Pluto

Great Moments in Basketball

Sam Goldaper

I May Be Wrong But I Doubt It

Charles Barkley

Loose Balls

Jason Williams

Steve Friedman

Magic's Touch

Magic Johnson

Roy S. Johnson, Jr.


Leigh Montville

NBA Rookie Experience

Mike Monroe

Raw Recruits

Alexander Wolff

Armen Keteyian

Red on Red

Red Holzman

Harvey Frammer

Shoot out the Lights

Bob Spitz

Stockton to Malone

Roland Lazenby

The Long Hot Winter

Rick Adelman

Dwight Jaynes

Walt Frazier: A Magical Season and a Player's Life

Walt Frazier

Neil Offen


1 star books - "Not so great"



Secondary Author(s)

Basketball Shorts

Glenn Liebman

Basketball Stars of 1970

Louis Sabin

Elevating the Game

Nelson George

Forward: Rick Barry

Robert Geline

Pricilla Turner

Full Court Pressure

Kurt Sampson

Sir Charles: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley

Rick Reilly

The Bathroom Trivia Book

Steve Heldt

The Book of Isiah

Paul Challen

The Golden Boys

Cameron Stauth

The Pivotal Season

Charley Rosen

The Selling of the Green

Harvey Araton

Filip Bondy

Who's Running the Asylum?

Wilt Chamberlain


Books I haven't read yet



Secondary Author(s)

America's Dream Team

Chuck Daley

Alex Sachare


Allen Camelli

Basketball for the Fan, Player, & Coach

Red Auerbach

Basketball Stars of 1969

Barry Steinback

Basketball Stars of 1972

Louis Sabin

Basketball Stars of 1973

Louis Sabin

Basketball Stars of 1974

Hal Bock

Ben Olen

Basketball: A History of the Game

Alexander Wolff


Lee Daniel Nevine

Bird: Portrait of a Legend

Roland Lazenby

Bob Cousy

Bartholomew House

Bull Run

Roland Lazenby

Clyde: The Walt Frazier Story

Walt Frazier

Joe Jakes

Confessions of a Basketball Gypsy

Rick Berry

Bill Libby


Vincent M. Mallozzi

From Sweet Lou to 'Nique

Jeffrey Denberg

Roland Lazenby & Tom Stinson

Hang Time: Days and Dreams with Michael Jordan

Bob Greene

Hoop Dreams

Ben Jarorsky

I Can't Accept Not Trying

Michael Jordan

I Remember Pete Maravich

Mike Towle

In the Year of the Bull

Rick Telander

Jordan: the man, his words, his life

Mitchell Krugel


Joseph Hession

Larry Legend

Mark Shaw


Michael Morgan

Michael Jordan

Mitchell Krugel

Michael Jordan: Beckett Great Sports Heroes


Michael Jordan * Magic Johnson

Richard Brenner

On and Off the Court

Red Auerbach

Joe Fitzgerald

On court with the Superstars of the NBA

Merv Harris


Richie Powers

Mark Mulvoy

Pistol Pete Maravich

Bill Gutman

Playing Tall: The 10 shortest players in NBA history

Bill Heller

Rebound: The Odyssey of Michael Jordan

Bob Greene

Rookie: The World of the NBA

David Klein

Seeing Red: The Red Auerbach Story

Dan Shaughnessy

Special Delivery: The Amazing Basketball Career of Karl Malone

Clay Latimer

Stand up for Something

Spencer Haywood

Bill Libby

Stand Tall

Phil Pepe

Taking to the Air

Jim Naughton

The Bob Love Story

Robert Earl Love

Mel Watkins

The Breaks of the Game

David Halberstam

The Chicago Bulls Encyclopedia

Alex Sachare

The Encyclopedia of Pro Basketball: Team Histories

Peter Bjarkman

The Knicks: The 50th Anniversary Celebration

Geroge Kalinsky

The Last Amateurs

John Feinstein

The Last Season

Phil Jackson

The NBA book of fantastic facts, feats, and superstars

Zander Hollander

The NBA Finals: a fifty year celebration

Roland Lazenby

They call me Coach

John Wooden

To the Hoop

Ira Berkow

Unstoppable: The George Mikan Story

George Mikan

Joseph Oberle

Unsung Heroes of Pro Basketball

Raymond Hill

Vintage NBA: the pioneer era

Neil D. Isaacs

Willis Reed

Larry Fox