Read To Achieve – The Breaks of the Game

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A book about the 1979/80 Portland Trailblazers, a team that only won 38 games and whose best player was Kermit Washington shouldn’t be an interesting read. But, when that subject is put into the hands of a Pulitzer Prize winning writer like David Halberstam, things get interesting. Originally released in 1981, The Breaks of the Game has recently been revived in paperback form and it is well worth your time to pick it up. It is truly one of the greatest basketball books ever written.

Even though he was no longer on the team, the real star of the book is the San Diego Clippers Bill Walton. Walton’s shadow still loomed large over the Blazers as the 1980s unfolded, so he rightfully got plenty of ink in the tome. This is what makes Breaks such a classic book – Halberstam spends plenty of time not just documenting the 1979/80 Blazer season, he spends even more time dealing with side issues – race, contract disputes, television deals, biographical info on former players like Walton – in the book. The NBA held a much more precarious position in society at this time than it does today – can you even imagine having to watch the NBA Finals on tape delay at midnight like what happened in those days? So it is very refreshing and entertaining to read about where the NBA was and where it is today.

In terms of the best basketball books of all-time, this one ranks right up there with Heaven is a Playground. So, basically, what I am saying is if you are a basketball fan and you haven’t read this book yet you have to RIGHT NOW. And to make anyone who read this book when it originally came out feel old, current NBA player Luke Walton is born at the end of the book, with his dad naming him after former Blazer teammate Maurice Lucas.

You can grab this must-read hoops book here: The Breaks Of The Game

or here: Breaks of the Game, The