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The Book of Isiah: The Rise of a Basketball Legend Hardcover – March 1, 1997

5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Challen is a freelance sportswriter living in Dundas, AUTHOR: Challen, Paul
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (March 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550223003
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550223002
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,507,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Judd Vance on May 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I knew it was a bad sign when in chapter one, I was wishing I was through with the book. I always want to finish books, for the sense of accomplishment and to acquire knowledge, but this was different: I wanted to be done because I wanted to move on to a good book.

I picked up the book because I enjoy reading the late 80s Pistons. Thomas is indisputably one of the 5 greatest point guards in history (along with Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Bob Cousy, and John Stockton). He won a NCAA championship, and 2 NBA championships, and was named to the 1980 Olympic team. That alone makes his life interesting. Toss in the amazing performances (16 points in 91 seconds, 1990 Finals MVP, etc), controversy (Larry Bird was only good because he's white), and the jobs (NBA legend on the court, GM of the Raptors), and I was looking forward to jumping in. So what went wrong?

First, this is not a biography, it is an homage, practically a love sonnet. It is written by a guy who sees no fault in Thomas. I believe the author is a Toronto journalist, and obviously a Raptors fan. The book was written right before the Raptors' 2nd season. In jocking the Raptors, Challen has to jock the man who runs the team. Look at the book's subtitle: "The Rise of a Basketball Legend." At the time the book was published, Thomas already was a basketball legend. Challen is trying to paint him to be the next Jerry West and Red Auerbach of the front office after a mediocre season on the job.

The first problem is that the book is incomplete. Challen lightly glosses over Thomas' first 7 NBA seasons, and really only spends significant time on the 1989 season. After a little more glossing, he jumps to Thomas' tenure with the Raptors.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dustin on June 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of Isiah and the Pistons for a long time now. This was the first biography of Isiah that I have read and I enjoyed it very much. I knew a lot about Isiahs childhood but also found out a lot more reading this book. The writer seems to spend a lot of time discussing Isiahs time with the Raptors, I would have liked to read more about his time with the Pistons. I also would have liked to see a mention of the 70+ students that Isiah put through college out of his own pocket. Overall I really enjoyed this book, if your an Isiah fan you need to pick this one up.
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Format: Hardcover
I thought the book was very well written. It allowed the reader to see that Isiah is a superstar that pulled himself up out of poverty and despair, but he is also a human being (which we sometimes forget about star atheletes) with human failings, fears, and needs. I is the best 20 bucks I have spent in a long time. I would suggest to anyone who has ever looked at athletes in a negative light to read this book it details the life of growing up poor and not allowing it to rule your life. Isiah, like so many of our black males in America grew up poor and without his father, but he did not allow himself to wallow in it, and that is a lesson that many of young people need to adhere to.
Tamara Randolph, Rich, Va.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I found the book very realistic and accurate display of Isiah Thomas. It chronicles the life of Isiah Thomas, documenting the good and the bad of Isiah Thomas. I'm a Detroit Pistons fan, and was glad to see the author and the publisher didn't present a sugar-coated version of his life, which isn't what I can't say sadly for Bob Greene's Rebound, which is a biography on Michael Jordan. This biography covers the part of Jordan's life when he was away from basketball and in baseball. I felt I should mention the Jordan book, since they were rivals for a long time, but it appears they have buried the hatchet. It should be interesting to read now, considering that he is no longer the Raptors' GM, and is currently works for NBC as a color commentator. Thanks to Paul Challen and ECW Press for taking the high road and presenting something that is actually worthy of reading from cover to cover, unlike the Greene schlock book on Jordan, which never criticizes him at any point from what I can see. I hope ECW Press continues to present sports biographies like this in a realistic portrayal. The Greene biography looked at Jordan's problems always with a positive light on Jordan, and don't talk about his gambling. I found the reading about how Isiah's brothers could have been NBA stars interesting reading, especially the one brother, Henry Lord, who was supposed to possess outstanding ability. It was interesting to see how Isiah overcame many odds to get to where he was, and it perhaps it helps understand why he is the person he is today.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MAXIMILLIAN MUHAMMAD HALL OF FAME on July 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have always dug Isiah Thomas.The Brother overcame alot of Obstacles&still does to this day.he doesn't always get the Credit&Love he so deserves.He was a Great Player.I Loved it when He&The Pistons Beat The Over-Inflated Bulls.ZEKE was always the man.He Played with So Much Heart&Determanation.Now as Coach of The Pacers it will be Interesting to see where the Next Journey Takes Him.I Really Dig the Fact that he is about Black Ownership.it's Time to have a Say on&Off The Court.He has had his Ups&Downs but has still Remained a Class Act.this Book Reflects so Much About this Man.
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