Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Prime Music Sweepstakes egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Luxury Beauty Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Cyber Monday Deals Nintendo Digital Games Outdoors Gift Guide on Tikes
The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $20.00
  • Save: $5.35 (27%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
The Book of Basketball: T... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Used, good condition book. Average cover/page wear especially on the edges and corners. Cover may have some indentations/creasing. It may have Dogeared page/pages throughout. Otherwise, pages remain in good condition. ** Eligible for $35 FREE/PRIME SHIPPING**. Satisfaction guaranteed! SHIPS FROM AMAZON WAREHOUSE!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 4 images

The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy Paperback – December 7, 2010

408 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$10.53 $5.68

"Yosemite in the Fifties: The Iron Age"
Personal stories and archival photos of the first ascents of Yosemite. See more.
$14.65 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy
  • +
  • Got to Give the People What They Want: True Stories and Flagrant Opinions from Center Court
  • +
  • The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song From Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed
Total price: $41.42
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Best of the Month, October 2009: The Book of Basketball is a 700-page work of hoops genius that would make Dr. James Naismith beam proudly – and probably blush. Author Bill Simmons, best known as's "The Sports Guy," explores the NBA with hilarious insight, brilliant analysis, and a bevy of irreverent footnotes. Simmons is a fan first – a fact best explained in an entertaining foreword by Malcolm Gladwell – and writes from the stands, not the press room. His knowledge and passion for the game provide him with few peers, yet his voice represents those who stick by their teams through thick and thin. As a result, The Book of Basketball is not just a tribute to hardwood heroes, but also a celebration of yelling at TV sets, revering lucky jerseys, and holding our breath until the final buzzer sounds. Throw in pages of nearly-insane statistical breakdowns (including a projected boxscore from the movie Teen Wolf), and it's easy to see why fans of all levels should clear shelf space for this instant classic.  --Dave Callanan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Simmons, aka “the Sports Guy,” is a regular columnist on He writes about all sports, with a particular affection for his hometown Boston teams. Stylistically, there’s no one quite like him writing about sports. Sardonic, both irreverent and reverent, silly, self-deprecating, and melancholy are all adjectives that can be used to describe his work. The NBA seems to bring out his best stuff, perhaps because of its unique mix of personalities and cultures and the mysteries of its team dynamics. This monster of a book (more than 700 pages) is equal parts history and analysis. Simmons summarizes the history of the league, discusses his personal fandom, includes a great “what if?” chapter (what if Michael Jordan had been drafted second by Portland instead of third by Chicago?), analyzes Most Valuable Player choices through the years, and dissects the careers of the league’s all-time best players. The true NBA fan will dive into this hefty volume and won’t resurface for about a week, emerging from the man cave unshaven, smelling of beer and pizza, grinning, and armed with NBA history, insight, anecdotes, statistics, and a dozen new examples of Simmons’ Unintentional Comedy Scale. This is just plain fun. Expect significant demand from hoops junkies. --Wes Lukowsky --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: ESPN; Upd Rep edition (December 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345520106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345520104
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (408 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Related Media

More About the Author

Bill Simmons writes "The Sports Guy" column for's Page 2 and ESPN: The Magazine. He is the author of Now I Can Die In Peace, founded the award-winning website, and was a writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live. He commutes between his home in Los Angeles and Fenway Park.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

137 of 153 people found the following review helpful By Charbel Eid on October 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I need to preface this by saying that I've been reading Bill Simmons for over 8 years now, before the fame, before the podcasts and almost frightening fan following.I've seen him mature from the old Boston Sports Guy to this all-media presence now, and in the process, his writing has greatly improved. The culmination of such an improvement is this wonderful book, "The Book of Basketball".

I managed to get an early copy of this book, and spent the next 48 hours plowing through it as fast as I could. It's very clear that Simmons put everything he had into the book. There aren't a lot of loose words around. Even the genitalia jokes are well-constructed. Yes, it's pretty good.

The basis of this book is determining who mattered in the NBA. Which teams, players, coaches, etc. played the biggest role in getting us to where we are today, in shaping our perception of what it takes to win in the NBA, and how we remember different players and events. It's very interesting to see him go back into the 60s and 70s and try to write about Walton, Russell, and Chamberlain and how they were perceived then, and try to get to see what forces created and changed that perception. This is ultimately what the book is all about. It reads almost like a history of the NBA, in a very easy-to-read style.

My personal favorites are his ABA pieces. Not nearly enough has been written about this crazy league, and Simmons did a very good job looking at just how things broke down, at what could have been, and how the ABA led to many fundamental changes in the NBA itself.

Finally, this is definitely a book for the NBA junkie. It's comic style and easy-to-read writing style does make it accessible to those with only mild-to-intermediate interest in the NBA, but at its core, it's for the junkies who want to fill up with as much NBA knowledge as possible. It's a great book, and for its price (as of October 27, 2009), a great deal.
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
95 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Pellerito on October 28, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
(10/28) Still working my way through it, but here are my impressions so far:

(1) Buy the dead tree version even if you have a Kindle. Simmons buries an absurd amount of information in the footnotes, a lot more than just citations. They're set up as endnotes at the end of each chapter, which is awkward for Kindle users. The footnotes are almost like one of those extra audio tracks in a DVD where the director provides running commentary on a film; for better or worse, you're missing out on a lot if you skip the footnotes. Why he thought this was a good way to write a book is beyond me. But you're going to want to read the footnotes.

(2) if you bet "under 1.5" as the first chapter in which an NBA moment is compared to a scene in Shawshank Redemption, you covered.

(3) if this book had an MPAA rating, it would be rated R. He says things that he could never get away with in his ESPN columns. For example, he refers to going off birth control as "pulling the goalie" and calls the Hawks' selection of Marvin Williams in the 2005 draft (instead of Chris Paul or Deron Williams) "an Aretha Franklin sized mistake."

(4) I've probably read half a dozen different "Wilt or Russell?" articles over the years, and Simmons' handling of the debate is probably the best one.

Will update in coming days.

Update (11/3): Man Reads Entire Book of Basketball -- And Lives!

If the Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract is the '86 Celtics of sports history books -- a timeless classic that could succeed in any era -- then TBOB is the '79 Sonics: a championship team but not one that will be remembered forever, and one that could probably only have won a championship in its own time. Why does TBOB fall short of the absolute pinnacle?
Read more ›
10 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
79 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Hubcap on November 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you know who the Sports Guy is, then you know what this book is like. I enjoyed it well enough, but by the end it got a bit tiresome. I've got no problem with 700-page books, but I can do without a 700-page book that recycles the same gags over and over and over (and over) again.

The positive side is that it's a fun ride and an easy read; there's a ton of info about the NBA and players who should be remembered; and Simmons' love of the game leaps off of the page.

The negative side is that there's a lot of padding, a lot of opinion presented as fact, and a whole lot of pseudo-statistics that are less convincing the more you think about them.* Editors are your friends, Simmons. You don't use the verb "sauntered" twice in three pages. The game is Bid Whist, not Bid Wist. You can't use your own "Trade Value" columns as independent evidence to support your own opinions. And "infinitely better" does not mean the same thing as "a lot better."

If Simmons had taken his best 400 pages this would have been a really great book. But he didn't. But if you like Simmons you'll like this. Buy it and read it like he recommends: dip into it for 50 pages, then walk away for a while. Because it's kind of like eating Halloween candy - enjoyable at the moment, but if you do it for too long you get sick of it.

*(My favorite is the table comparing performances for two guards from ages 22 through 24. Except for Allen Iverson he makes the "executive decision" to show ages 23-25 because AI "spent five months in jail and missed his senior year in high school." Yeah...that's not really how stats work. You can't just toss the numbers you don't like and pick the ones that support your argument. Well, obviously you CAN, but that's cherry-picking, not statistics.)
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy
This item: The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy
Price: $14.65
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: nba online store, anything malcolm gladwell, greatest players in nba history, books about basketball, boston rob