sports

  John Feinstein has been praised as “the best writer of sports books in America today” (The Boston Globe). The Walk On is the first installment in his Triple Threat series is his most thrilling and suspenseful novel yet. He joins us to talk about the series and about current events in the world of sports.

 

   In Against Football, Steve Almond details why, after forty years as a fan, he can no longer watch the game he still loves.

Major League Baseball is the toughest level of the sport, with the world’s best players and highest quality of play. But contrary to what modern fans used to on-demand scores and video might think, it wasn’t always this way.

    The fights resonate still: The Fight of the Century, Down Goes Frazier!, The Rumble in the Jungle, The Thrilla in Manila. And the fighters, too, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and George foreman - three complicated and competitive men who happened to be vying for sport's biggest prize when boxing was still a national reassurance and its champion a cultural resource. They fought five times for that title, from 1971 to 1975, ranging across the globe, and their struggles, triumphs, and defeats echo through the years as well.

In Bouts of Mania: Ali, Frazier, and Foreman - and an America on the Ropes, longtime Sports Illustrated writer Richard Hoffer evokes all the hopes and hoopla, the hype and hysteria of boxing's last and best "golden age."

Even as LeBron James make a run at his supremacy, the “greatest ever” conversation in basketball starts and ends with Michael Jordan. As Roland Lazenby makes clear in his new biography of the six-time NBA champ, Jordan has long been driven by an unrivaled competitive nature that has often damaged his personal relationships.

June 14 marks the 20th anniversary of one the most memorable nights in New York hockey history, when the New York Rangers broke a 54-year curse and beat Vancouver for the Stanley Cup.

  In The Magnificent Masters, Gil Capps, a twenty-two-year veteran of the golf industry with NBC Sports and Golf Channel, recaptures hole-by-hole the thrilling drama of this singular event during golf’s golden era, from the media-crazed build-up and intertwined careers of the three combatants to the tournament's final dramatic putts that would change the game of golf forever.

As we near another season, the sport’s all-time hits leader remains banned from baseball and its Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. It’s a stark problem in America’s pastime: some of its greatest players, including its home run champion Barry Bonds and other bashers from the steroid era, have an uneasy relationship with the sport and a worse one with fans, media and the record book.

    

  The Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s personified the flamboyance and excess of the decade over which they reigned. Beginning with the arrival of Earvin “Magic” Johnson as the number-one overall pick of the 1979 draft, the Lakers played basketball with gusto and pizzazz, unleashing their famed “Showtime” run-and-gun style on a league unprepared for their speed and ferocity—and became the most captivating show in sports and, arguably, in all-around American entertainment.

Bestselling sportswriter Jeff Pearlman draws from almost three hundred interviews to take the first full measure of the Lakers’ epic Showtime era in Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, And The Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty Of The 1980s.

    

  Ed Breslin fulfills every college basketball fan’s fantasy of being an NCAA Division I coach in his new book: The Divine Nature of Basketball: My Season Inside the Ivy League. The book describes a season spent as a virtual coach in the Ivy League, shadowing head coach of Yale men’s basketball James Jones.

It’s sports journalism in the tradition of George Plimpton. But above all, it’s a celebration of basketball, of participation in life, of gifted mentors and coaches, and of the proper approach to collegiate athletics.

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