NBA fans always want to expand their knowledge of their favorite players and teams. They watch games, read articles, follow their favorite stars on social media, stay excited about what’s going on in their life, and watch every new footage that pops up on them regardless of platform.
Another great way to learn about the history of the game and the rise of its individual Superstars is to get your hands on some of the best books written about the NBA. There is a vast treasure trove of books like this, written by some of the game’s best journalists, fans, and brilliant minds. In addition to watching the league’s growth, these people have documented the history of the game’s greatest players like never before.
Here are five such recommendations that every NBA fan must add to their library in order to improve their own learning of the game.
# 1 For the love of the game: My story of Michael Jordan
You’d think that any book about Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest NBA player by most accounts, would be a big, big tome detailing every little episode that led to him becoming the NBA alpha star. but For the love of the game: My story by Michael Jordan, and edited by Mark Vancil, takes an alternative approach and tells MJ’s story through an illustrated book.
First published in 1998, a few months after the Chicago Bulls won their sixth NBA title, the book uses incredible photos, innovative design, and minimal but effective text to describe Jordan’s journey to become an NBA superstar.
The book is an expensive purchase, but definitely worth it for any Jordan fan who wants to witness every triumph of this iconic superstar through a fabulously well-produced book.
# 2 The book of basketball
A must-have book if you are an NBA fan The book of basketball from legendary NBA fan Bill Simmons (now from The wrestler Fame) looks at all the major league milestones and discusses their greatest players with great details. What makes the book extremely compelling is Simmons’ voice. His tone is like a nerdy fan speaking about his favorite sport with great intensity, but Simmons also associates his passion with remarkable informality.
The book was so successful that not only did it climb to numero uno on the New York Times bestseller list, but it also led to Simmons’ one Podcast called Book of Basketball 2.0 in 2019, where he examined how the NBA and its Hall of Fame pyramid had changed over the past decade since his book was first published in 2009.
# 3 Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant
Although the author Roland Lazenby also wrote a great Jordan biography, Michael Jordan: Life, his book on Kobe Bryant, Show boat, may be more appealing. Why? Because there’s so much more to the public about MJ that it’s hard to surprise Jordan’s biggest fans. But in Show boat, Lazenby brings out so many nuggets about Bryant’s life that it’s hard not to constantly praise his research and writing.
As a Critics wrote about the book, “He [Lazenby] is a clear fan of Kobe’s undeniable work ethic, but it allows readers to reinforce their love or hatred for Kobe across the book’s 600+ pages. ” Show boat, like Lazenby’s Jordan tome, has been translated into several languages outside of English, clear evidence of the book’s winning quality.
# 4 basketball (and other things)
This is Shea Serrano’s most entertaining book. First published in 2017, BAOT is an illustrated book that explores the history of the NBA in a fun way. In addition to a sharp technical analysis of topics like “What year was Michael Jordan the best version of Michael Jordan?”, There are also amusing chapters like “How does player legacy change when we change their names?” and ‘If you could immerse yourself in one person, who would it be?’
BAOT was on Former President Barack Obama’s 2017 best books list. The book’s success led Serrano to write two more similar books, including Movies (and other things) and the one to be released soon Hip hop (and other things).
# 5 sprawl ball
If you want to understand the current era of the Pace-and-Space NBA, there is no better book than Kirk Goldesberry’s Sprawl Ball to help you understand. Goldsberry, an analyst at ESPN, uses stunning infographics to explain the explosion of three-ball shooting we’re seeing in the NBA today.
Goldsberry’s 2019 book explains the science behind modern NBA analysis: the importance of playing close to the basket, the growing importance of the league through a series of rule changes, the three-point shot, and the importance of reaching that Free Throw Line. Again, this is a pretty technical book, but the language and infographics make it an interesting read.
Also read: 5 must see NBA documentaries from The Last Dance to The Dream Team