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Seven Seconds or Less: My Season on the Bench with the Runnin' and Gunnin' Phoenix Suns Hardcover – November 14, 2006

58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A fascinating and funny book, a fly-on-the-wall account of what life is really like in the NBA." -- Steve Rushin, Sports Illustrated

"A must-read for NBA fans. . . . The most detailed view yet of what really transpires to make, or break, an NBA team." -- San Antonio Express-News

"A fascinating fly-on-the-wall look at how coach Mike D'Antoni and his staff led an injury-plagued team to the Western Conference Finals." -- Sports Illustrated

"A great read for Suns and NBA fans, and great insight into life beyond the locker room door." -- Scottsdale Tribune

"This is one of the best NBA books I've read, and I am pretty sure I have read them all." -- Detroit News

"A glimpse into NBA life that should be cherished by hoops fans for years to come." -- Toronto Star

"A Hall of Fame Book by a Hall of Fame writer." -- Mike Breen, ABC/ESPN broadcaster

"McCallum writes about basketball the way only a few have ever played it: With a grace and insight that changes the way you look at the game." -- Steve Rushin, Sports Illustrated

"McCallum delivers again!" -- Bill Simmons, The Sports Guy, --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jack Mccallum has been at Sports Illustrated since 1981 and the chief NBA writer since 1985. His work has appeared in the Best American Sports Writing Anthology, and in 2004 he won the Basketball Hall of Fame's Curt Gowdy Media Award for outstanding writing. He is the author of Unfinished Business: On and Off the Court with the 1990-91 Boston Celtics and coauthor of Foul Lines: A Pro Basketball Novel. He lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; First Edition edition (November 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074329811X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743298117
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

--I make a nice tomato sauce, using bell peppers and vinegar.
--Our family used to have two waverunners that I drove too wildly and served as a poor example for my sons, who also drove too wildly. We don't have them anymore.
--My wife is smarter than I. One of my sons is a farmer and the other is a professor of sociology and both are also smarter than I.
--I'm not sure what else I would've done if I weren't a journalist. I always dreamed about having a TastyKake route at the Jersey shore. I am at the shore much of the summer but have no route, though I do enjoy Tastykakes.
--I played a lot of pickup basketball until I tore my Achilles. My knees aren't great either.
--Though it is more in the romantic tradition of journalism to have an eccentric two-fingered typing style, I type well, owing to a background in piano and a typing class in high school. I now suck at the piano.
--I will talk about my grandson, Oliver, all day. He is also smarter than I even though he's not yet 3.
--My golf game is just good enough to be ultimately disappointing.
--I count myself lucky to have been covering the NBA in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Andy Orrock VINE VOICE on December 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jack McCallum's outstanding ":07 Seconds or Less" chronicles a season (2005-2006) spent inside the Phoenix Suns organization. McCallum uses 40 years of journalism skills and his decades as SI's top NBA writer to give us a compelling story of the Sun's tremendous achievements last year. Beset by season-ending injuries to stalwarts Amare Stoudemire and Kurt Thomas, Suns coach Mike D'Antoni and his staff somehow piece together 54 victories and two already-classic 4-3 series victories against the Lakers and Clippers before simply running out of gas against the Mavs. The centerpiece of the book are the three playoff series, especially the stirring comeback from a 1-3 hole against the Lakers. There's probably 100+ pages on those games alone. Whoever made the editing decision to front-load and spotlight that material deserves an award. By starting out with that series, the book takes a two-fisted grab of your attention and never lets go.

For those curious about the title, it alludes to Coach D'Antoni's philosophy that his offense has the best chance to score if it gets a shot off within the first seven seconds of its 24-second possession. It's that philosophy that makes the Suns so exciting and refreshing to watch. McCallum and the coaching staff make the point that the NBA is, in general, over-coached and, well, flat-out boring. Let's hope more teams see the product and the results that D'Antoni is getting and sign up. [Eddie Jordan's Wizards look to be on pace this year.] I'm sure players around the league are dying to play for D'Antoni. McCallum's book can only reinforce that perception. He comes across as a good guy and a talented coach who has the respect of his players.

The one eye-opening surprise in the book is the fragility of Shawn Marion's ego and psyche.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Darryl L. Cottier on November 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Finished the book in 2 days, amazing read, and well written. You laugh at the pranks,and player banter, and you see the daily struggles of life within a bright spotlight. You see Nash crying at a long season of overcoming doubters and pouring everything into this team and still coming up short of the NBA finals. You see a team, that was always doubted in there skills, there ability and there desire, but rising to challenge after challenge.

This book makes you feel apart of the team, and part of the inner circle and of a very special season. Jack McCallum is one of the best sports writers in my generation.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Jankowski on February 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I grew up in Phoenix and was seven years old when the Suns played their first game. I have many fond memories of this team, and just as many agonizing memories. The team has usually played a very entertaining game, and has received great support from the city. The fact that so many ex-Suns players continue to be affiliated with the team is a testament to the special nature of this franchise.

I think the author did a great of reporting the good (and not so good) aspects of the 2005-2006 season. He really hit the nail on the head as he described the team's lack of a killer instinct. I wonder if there is any team that has blown more double-digit leads over the years than the Suns. Certainly the Suns have pulled some major chokes in the playoffs, being one of only a handful of teams to give-up a 3-1 edge in a series as well as losing a series (more than once) by having a 2-0 lead (and winning both on the road).

This is an excellent chronicle of a season that exceeded the expectations of the fans - I highly recommend this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Romanian Reader on November 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed McCallum's cult hit "Foul Lines," and this is the non-fiction equivalent. The author takes advantage of some unbelievable access to give real sense of the inner workings of a team - of a coaching staff, in particular. The writing is top notch as well. This is really on the short list of fine sports books.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jesse on August 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm going to keep this short, because I know I hate when people are too wordy with these reviews. This is probably the best book about the NBA lifestyle that I have ever read. You really feel like you are part of the team, traveling with them, experiencing the ups & downs of a winning season/playoffs, and you really feel like you know these guys (especially the coaching staff) after you finish the book. I know this might sound crazy, but that is just how well written the book is. I also have to give a ton of credit to Mike D, the coaching staff, and the players; something tells me that with any other group of guys this wouldn't have gone as well, but since these guys were all so willing to open up and let a journalist become part of their team...well the result is really something special. So basically, if you want to know what went on behind the scenes with the Phoenix Suns during their run to the Western Conf. Finals and basically just what it feels like to be part of a coaching staff everyday on an NBA powerhous, then buy this book...I guarantee you won't put it down until you're done.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Hanson on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This compelling book gives you an inside look at the NBA's ultimate run & gun team. McCallum had to resist the overpowering urge to become a 'fan' and remain a reporter--which must have been quite difficult to do considering the down to earth nature of the Suns players. It's amazing that any team would grant an author such access to the inner workings. You get a true inside look at how the coaches think, how they make decisions and how they pull the strings in their attempts to become a winner.

I live in Phoenix and have been a fan of the Suns for several years. This obviously contributed greatly to my enjoyment of the book. It's hard to judge how others unfamiliar with the Suns' players would enjoy it.

My only critism is that the book was far too short. The 'Year in the life of' format deserves more space than the author gave it.
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