Those Who Love the Game

By Glenn Rivers and Bruce Brooks


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     This book is a gem!  It's only 152 pages, and that is the only negative about it.  It is so insightful, I wish it were triple that size!
     Rivers is one of the more insightful players in NBA history.  He doesn't have a Charles Barkley-like personality.  He doesn't fire one liners like Barkley or Kevin McHale.  He doesn't have the charisma of Magic Johnson, yet he was named to the all-interview team year after year.
     After reading this book, written in 1993, while he was still playing, it was obvious that he would be an excellent TV broadcaster.  Rivers mixes his chapter-topics up, but breaks them  into 4 categories (mixed together):

Family:  His personal life
Teaching:  Insights into the skills and fundamentals
Players:  His take on teammates and opponents.  Each chapter outlines a different player.
The Real Game:  Deeper insights into the game.

An example of each is:

Family-- he tells a charming story of eating cereal with his son, Jeremiah.  Jeremiah is concerned that it would be bragging to say that Doc Rivers is his dad.  Doc assures him it is not.  His son says, "Are you sure?"  Doc says that he is Jeremiah's daddy, and that is just telling the truth.  He tells his son that he tells people that his son is Jeremiah Rivers is his son.  The others always compliment him because of this.  He concludes by saying, "Is that bragging?"  The son says, "No, Daddy.  It's O.K."  Doc says, "That's what I think.  I think it's very good.

Teaching:  He gives a wonderful chapter on drills for building shooting technique.

Players:  He tells of how one instance of having a "conversation" with Alonzo Mourning convinced him that Zo is a fierce competitor and will be a great player.

The Real Game:  He talks about the decision to retire that all players have to come to.
         This book is the standard by which many others are compared to.  This is easily in my top 5 books.

Introspection:  5
Insight:  5
History:  1980s-1993.
Readability:  5

Those Who Loved the Game.  Glenn Rivers and Bruce Brooks.  Henry Holt and Company, Inc.  1993.

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