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John Starks: My Life Hardcover – Audiobook, August 1, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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There's quite a story behind the New York Knicks' bad boy of the back court. One of seven children, Starks was raised by his mother in the ghetto of Tulsa. His biggest influence was his older brother, Monty, who witnessed from a jail cell most of his kid brother's rise from playground star to NBA headliner. But it was Monty who engineered John's first break by convincing a Division I school coach to scout John in one of his junior-college games, which paved the way for a scholarship to Oklahoma State. Starks shares stories and opinions about many of his fellow Knicks players and about Pat Riley, his NBA coach for most of his career, and happily recounts his favorite moments, including "the Dunk," his legendary stuff shot over the heads of the Chicago Bull's Michael Jordan and Horace Grant in the 1993 NBA playoffs. The book contains a 16-page pictorial and is accompanied by a DVD that features an interview with Starks (neither seen by the reviewer). Recommended for larger sports collections. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Spike Lee is one of the most prominent and influential media figures today. His films include the critically acclaimed "School Daze;" Academy Award nominee "Do the Right Thing; Malcolm X; Clockers;" and "25th Hour." Born in Atlanta, Spike attended Morehouse College and NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, where he earned his master of fine arts degree in film production. Spike and his wife are the authors of "Please, Baby, Please, " their first picture book with Simon & Schuster. They live in New York City with their two children.

Vince Spadea is a professional tennis player who, at 31, was ranked at #19 worldwide. He lives in Boca Raton, Florida. Dan Markowitz is a journalist, sports writer, and the author of "John Starks," a biography of the former New York Knick. He lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Sports Publishing LLC; Har/DVD edition (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158261802X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582618029
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #723,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Outside of Patrick Ewing, former CBA veteran John Starks is probably one of the most recognizable figures in New York sports during the 90's. In his book, Starks talks about his humble beginnings--moving from four different college academic programs to making it to the New York Knicks on a technicality (as injured players can't be cut from their teams, John attempted to dunk of Patrick Ewing during the pre-season in 88' and got hurt in the process).

Through his words, Starks shares the will, desire, and tenacity which made him one of the most exciting and controversial players to ever play in the NBA. Starks shares stories that made him the most decorated guard to ever come out of the CBA with accolades such as the winning a spot on the NBA All-Star team and the 6th Man of the year award. He also talks about his horrible game 7 performance in the 1994 NBA finals as well as the trials and tribulations which he and a number of his family members had to go through.

If your a fan of the NBA, this is certainly one ride you wouldn't want to miss! Get your copy today!

If you found this review helpful, kindly vote for it. Thanks!
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Format: Hardcover
Even if you're a die-hard Pacers or Miami fan, this book will convince you of what we Knicks fans knew all along, what drew us to the former grocery-bagger and CBAer from Tulsa, that Starks is the human being we all like to see in ourselves, his shocking rise to stardom another example of 'the American Dream.' Starks was the best of human nature--tenacious, passionate, ever-the-underdog, and pure; all the while you knew that even when he flipped off fans or head-butted Miller (I'm not saying anyone deserves to be head-butted, but...) he had a heart of gold.

As for the book itself, it's written very simply, but this just lays the sharpness betweens the lines of ethical conduct in Starks' world into starker relief. Furor about this being a book the 'author' didn't even read are really unnecessary. Starks would never claim to being a writer, and it's pretty clear that Markowitz put the book together from extensive interviews with Starks. If that bothers you, fine; for myself, I consider oral testimony a perfectly valuable form of storytelling, and it just so happens that a second party came in to organize and write it down.

I haven't read many of these kinda of books (autobiographies by popular public figures, I mean), but this one is truly fantastic. I just finished Infinite Jest, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Murakami before this, and I treasure this book more than those combined. If you're a basketball fan you will enjoy this book. Six thumbs up.
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Format: Hardcover
Starks does a good job here detailing his life and whats most rewarding is his confession of his errors and failures on and off the court. That is this book's strong points.

There are good photos here.

John discussing some of the nutty fans who stalked him is a good read and my personal favorite is his story of the first time he drives his mother and grandmother thru Manhattan traffic, weaving in and around the taxis. The description of what was going on with the two women had melaughing.

The weakness of this book is the dvd that is included with it.

John should have paid someone a little bit more money to produce this thing a little better. And throughout the book, he repeats a lot of the bad stuff that happened to his brothers over and over again. Hos co-writer should have edited that a little bit better.

Hopefully John will coach the Knicks one day. If you're a Knicks fan, then read this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I raced through reading this autobiography of John Starks, mainly for personal reasons. The rise of John Starks as a New York Knick corresponded with a lot of overcoming personal struggles in my own life, and I've always felt a deep connection with his story, his explosiveness as a player and as a person, his perpetual teetering on the edge of self-wreckage, and with his continuing maturity and enormous heart that he always brought to the table. This book is hardly a sophisticated read, so if you're looking for that, go elsewhere. But if you look at John Starks as I do, as a true phenomenon of character and class, as someone who broke through barrier after barrier, tripped over his own bad habits along the way and still always remained deeply resolute in his belief in himself, then you'll love hearing how his voice comes through the writing of Dan Markowitz. Learning about the chaotic and reckless background of John's life reminded me of how gritty and passionate he was as a player, how his unstoppable desire shook the NBA world. But even in a moment like "The Dunk," John always remained a humble, down to earth man, someone undisturbed by the glow of fame, even more human because of the doubt that always followed his brilliant success. I wish he could have won a championship and have his number retired at the Garden, but in a way, even though his "2 for 18" night left fans like me forever hungry, the dramatic ironies that occupy his life story and the peace that he discovers within himself allow me to savor the tales he tells in this book, as I will forever be inspired by one of the most unique and lovable characters in the history of New York sports.
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