Red on Red

By Red Holzman and Harvey Frommer


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         This book is broken into 3 "books".  The first tells of his life from college up to when he took over as coach of the New York Knicks.  The 2nd book tells of his first 10 years as coach of the Knicks.  The last book goes through 1987, the year the book was written.

        The first book describes his years as a guard on the Rochester Royals and tells of their great teams and classic rivalry with the Minneapolis Lakers.  He also tells of his brief coaching stints at Milwaukee and Atlanta.  He also tells of his time coaching in the Caribbean Islands and his years in the Knicks organization as a scout and an assistant coach.

        Then he goes into his years as coach, and how he got the players to buy into his rigid defensive and team-oriented offensive strategies.  You learn all about "See the ball" and "Hit the open man," phrases you will run across in any book about the Knick teams from that era.  He talks about trying to find the right chemistry (which resulted in trading Walt Bellamy for Dave DeBusschere).  He also tells about acquiring Jerry Lucas and Earl Monroe and he also tells of who the Knicks were also looking into getting and why they couldn't.

        He also goes through the disappointing years of the late 1970s and the players on those teams, who he still speaks highly of.  He tells of being "promoted" into a figure-head job of little importance and what he's done since leaving basketball.
        It's a pretty good book if you are interested in that time period.  Nothing really stands out about it because he doesn't go into a lot of thorough detail about the players or seasons.  It is one of the few books I have read that gives a personal perspective of playing in the pre-shot clock era, though.

Introspection:  2
Insight:  3
History:  1950-1987
Readability: 3

Red on Red.  Red Holzman and Harvey Frommer.  Bantam Books.  1987.    

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