Let’s get the disclosures out of the way first. The mastermind behind this title is Nathaniel Friedman A.K.A. Bethlehem Shoals, who worked with me at FanHouse and works with Chris at The Sporting Blog. Plus, any recommendation of mine for a book authored by a sports blogger is tainted, but let’s be honest. I’m not writing anything over 500 words anytime soon.
With that out of the way and the season upon us: Run don’t walk. FreeDarko Presents … The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac is a brilliant book; flawlessly executed and beautifully illustrated (by the artist Big Baby Belafonte). It’s broken into six chapters — Master Builders, Uncanny Peacocks, Lost Souls, Phenomenal Tumors, People’s Champs and Destiny’s Kids — with each chapter containing extended essays, full-page illustrations and absurd-yet-telling stats on three players. And the end of each chapter is a subsection carrying the theme to its natural conclusion. In the case of Master Builders, there’s Jerseys for Every Occasion (i.e. Phil Jackson’s Knicks throwback for a Civil War reenactment).
I could go on all day, but check it out for yourself and, if you care at all about today’s NBA, buy this book. Especially you Wiz fans, as the foreword is by Gil. And, yes, Arenas is an Uncanny Peacock.* Of course he is.
* Read the Arenas excerpt and see what I’m on about here.