From Publishers Weekly
In this shocking, and shockingly entertaining, memoir of a life in basketball, Dawkins, a former NBA star with the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets in the 1970s and '80s, takes readers from his earliest days in a poor Florida backwater through his first games as an 18-year-old NBA whippersnapper to later years of hard playing and harder partying. Dawkins has many professional claims to fame-he is generally credited with elevating the dunk to an art form and being the first to jump from high school to the NBA. But the best reason to read this book has nothing to do with who Dawkins is and everything to do with what he says. In an age when even athlete bad boys tend to be bland clich-machines, Dawkins is a throwback, a tell-it-like-it-is chatterbox who follows the one-jaw-dropping-anecdote-deserves-another school of thinking, whether he's comparing the merits of pot and cocaine, recounting his childhood pastime of shooting at roosters, giving his estranged wife a broken nose (it was self-defense, he says) or describing the things that affect his play. (He writes, "Me and Kelly were fucking so much that I could hardly shoot the ball, but I was rebounding like I was on welfare and the ball was made of gold.") He gets away with most of it because of a lighthearted tone and a playfully unapologetic style, resulting in a book that is as likely to make readers laugh as make them cringe. The book's messy, rambling charm wears thin toward the end, when Dawkins begins to feel like a caricature. But he redeems himself with straight talk about serious issues, too, like the double standards of race in basketball. Raw, provocative and as unsubtle as a shattering backboard, this is a look at how it used to be-from a man who was most definitely there.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.