Lauded by today's most noteworthy sportswriters but recommended to me by, of all people, my grandmother. Among the most dominant teams ever assembled, these Blazers were characterized by their immense talent and their tragic flaws. Halberstam's portraits of Kermit Washington--the soft spoken forward who never managed to live down having nearly killed an opponent with a punch, and Bill Walton, the lanky redhead of mythic talent whose feet were so fragile and whose lifestyle was so groovy that he ultimately attended more Grateful Dead dates (855) than NBA games in which he played (468)--stand out. Though the hoops stars of the day were among the first to be paid like celebrities, exploitative team management and our racist society made it patently clear that they were still a class of laborers.— Will
A New York Times bestseller, David Halberstam's The Breaks of the Game focuses on one grim season (1979-80) in the life of the Bill Walton-led Portland Trail Blazers, a team that only three years before had been NBA champions.
About the Author
David Halberstam (1934-2007) was the author of twenty-two books, including fifteen bestsellers. Born in New York City, Halberstam spent much of the 1960s as a reporter for the New York Times, covering the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement. His Vietnam reporting earned him both a George C. Polk Award and a 1964 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. Vanity Fair dubbed Halberstam "the Moses of American journalism," and the subjects of his books reflect his passion and range: war, foreign policy, history, and sports.
The Best and the Brightest (1962), his sixth book, a critique of the Kennedy administration's Vietnam policy, became a #1 bestseller. His next book, The Powers that Be, a study of four American media companies, was hailed by the New York Times as a "prodigy of research." Many of Halberstam's books explored themes in professional sports, including bestsellers The Teammates, a portrait of the friendship between baseball players Ted Williams, Dominic DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky, and Bobby Doerr, and The Education of a Coach, a profile of New England Patriots' Coach Bill Belichick.