Bruce Says: Read A Good Book


The Hoop Historians are sharing their favorite basketball books for your reading enjoyment. 
Send your favorites to us at and we will include them to share with everyone.


How the NCAA Tournament Became the Greatest Sporting Event in America

The March to Madness is the fascinating account of how the telecast between Houston and UCLA laid the foundation for what became one of the greatest sporting events in America. It's an account told through the voices of a who's who of great players, coaches, and announcers.  The book puts college basketball in its historical context, with a focus on the first televised basketball game, UCLA vs. Houston, played in the Astrodome. Overall a very informative and entertaining book, it is strongly recommended it to any college basketball fan.


WILT, 1962

Big, strong, gregarious, dapper: Wilt Chamberlain stood in no man’s shadow — except his own . . . author Gary Pomerantz unfolds a meticulous and engaging narrative that illustrates how a combination of obsequious teammates, forgiving rims, and more than a little showmanship (picked up playing a year for the Globetrotters) converged to make a historic evening — and a slam dunk of a read. 
At the heart of the book is the self-made Chamberlain, a romantic cosmopolitan who owned a nightclub in Harlem and shrugged off segregation with a bebop cool but harbored every slight deep in his psyche. Wilt, 1962 is not only the dramatic story of a singular basketball game but a meditation on small towns, mid-century America, and one of the most intriguing figures in the pantheon of sports heroes.


WEST BY WEST: My Charmed, Tormented Life

One of basketball's towering figures: "Mr. Clutch," who mesmerized his opponents and fans. The coach who began the Lakers' resurgence in the 1970s. The general manager who helped bring "Showtime" to Los Angeles, creating a championship-winning force that continues to this day.   Now, for the first time, the legendary Jerry West tells his story-from his tough childhood in West Virginia, to his unbelievable college success at West Virginia University, his 40-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and his relationships with NBA legends like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, and Kobe Bryant. Unsparing in its self-assessment and honesty, WEST BY WEST is far more than a sports memoir: it is a profound confession and a magnificent inspiration.



THE WIZARD OF ODDS:  How Jack Molinas Almost Destroyed the Game of Basketball

Jack Molinas was a star college and professional basketball player in the 1950s who was expelled from the National Basketball Association in his rookie year for betting on games. He had been manipulating point spreads since his college days at Columbia, and after his expulsion from the NBA he attained his law degree and became a major wheel in the mob-influenced college basketball point fixing scandals of 1961. Eventually sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role as a fixer, he served five before being paroled, and finally being gunned down under mysterious circumstances. A fascinating view of the seamy side of sports gambling, this will be of particular interest to college sports and basketball historians.

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