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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2007
Terry Pluto has written the most entertaining book on the NBA I've ever read. Logging the history of the league in a conversational format, Pluto has captured the formative years of the NBA in a bottle. This book is done in a style of quotes with the men who played, coached and refereed the game when the league used to be the opening act for the Harlem Globetrotters. I've read this book many times and it is always great. Some of the stories are truly priceless. It chronicles the Dynasties of the Minneapolis Lakers, the Boston Celtics, and the 1967 76ers. A fascinating chapter on the rivalry between Wilt Chamberlain and the Bill Russell led Celtics Dynasty told by the players themselves really puts you in the locker rooms of those classic battles.Great anecdotes about how rough things were for visiting players back in the day reveals how the referees always stood right next to the home teams bench knowing that drunken fans didn't throw things at the home players. This book is a whos who of NBA greats from a by gone and largely forgotten era before the million dollar contracts and huge TV ratings. It's just like sitting down with the legends of the old guard and sharing a few beers and hearing all their great stories. If you are a fan of the NBA and are at all interested in the history of the league, this book is a must have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2009
Today, the NBA is a billion-dollar league, with multimillionaire players playing in state-of-the-art arenas in every corner of the country. Terry Pluto tells the story of the league's much humbler beginnings in "Tall Tales".

The book is written in interview format, with both well-known and lesser-known figures remembering their days in the league. Pluto tells the story of how and why pro basketball got its start and describes the culture of the early NBA and its style of play in the early years. The book describes the growing pains the league went through, with franchises in small cities eventually replaced with moves to big cities, racial segregation replaced with racial integration, and stall-ball replaced with the 24-second clock and up-tempo basketball. The Boston Celtics' great teams and their rivalries with the St. Louis Hawks in the '50s and the Los Angeles Lakers in the '60s are recalled, as is Bill Russell's titanic rivalry with Wilt Chamberlain.

"Tall Tales" would be enjoyed by any NBA fan who was following the league prior to 1970, or by anyone younger who is curious about the league's early decades.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2008
Terry Pluto is hands down the best sportswriter in America. One big reason is that he actually listens to the athletes and lets them speak for themselves. This volume on the NBA shows Pluto's great interviewing skills. As for content, it reveals the early generation of NBA players loved the game and were warriors on the court.
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on July 20, 2010
As with Loose Balls, Pluto's brilliant look at the ABA, Pluto serves up fascinating interviews with NBA players, coaches and owners. Sometimes they're discussing aspects of their careers and at others they're offering insights into others' careers, but it's always mesmerizing. Pluto does a great job of culling interesting information and editing it into chunks that serve up lots of fun without the fat.

Some insights are outright startling, others humorous. An easy page-turner: this is the kind of book you can read nonstop on a plane flight or pick up and put down whenever you're in the mood for fast, fun reading.
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on April 17, 2015
terry pluto does it again. this book brought back many present memories of my childhood.
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