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FreeDarko Presents: The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History Hardcover – October 26, 2010
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A Look Inside FreeDarko Presents: The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History
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"Loud, Fat, and Gifted:
The Irrepressible Charles Barkley"
"The Hair Up There"
"The Nuclear Option:
Wilt Chamberlain, The Man Who Went Too Far"
“Baseball has its numbers and football has its hard hits, but basketball, more than those sports, has style. And no one has done more to try to capture that than the collection of bloggers known as Freedarko.” ―New York Times
“To say that they've written one of the most enlightening books on the game's evolution (which they have) is to miss the point. The book isn't intended solely to educate; it's also meant to entertain, and to that end it succeeds wildly.” ―Sports Illustrated
“FreeDarko isn't standing outside the mainstream of basketball discussion: It's driving it ... This is a history of basketball told straight, but smartly, with wit and detail and undeniable affection....Any NBA fan can read this: It's not for grad students and stoners and revisionists; it's for everyone ... We are now living in a FreeDarko world. Hail, hail.” ―New York Magazine
“This is a history of basketball written with a degree of conceptual complexity that's just about unique in the canon of the sport. But it's also an inviting, accessible narrative that doesn't have to be praised in terms of baroque sociology... It's also, and by some distance, the prettiest sports book I've ever seen... It's like a McSweeney's you don't have to pet.” ―The Run of Play
“The book is an essential guide to the NBA as seen through the eyes of brilliant outsiders--writers, statisticians, and illustrators--unwilling to describe the contents of the game in the typical language of the sports section. If you are watching basketball without the guidance of FreeDarko, you are simply doing it wrong.” ―The Portland Mercury
“A highly graphic look at both well-and lesser-known moments in the pro game's past, written by the sport's most entertaining bloggers. Get infotained with illustrated awesomeness.” ―Maxim
Top Customer Reviews
That being said this is not so much a review of "The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History," as it is a thank you. This book approaches basketball the same way, and I couldn't help but be reminded of my childhood. Each story and illustration is utterly perfect in showing such great enthusiasm for the sport. Reading each story brought the basketball games and players, I didn't live through, to life as much as my dad's energetic stories did. Receiving it today I've read the book from cover to cover with a smile on my face the whole time.
Last year, for Christmas, I got my dad "The Breaks of the Game," and this year I have no doubt that he'll be receiving "The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History," from me.
This book does exactly what FreeDarko set out to do: tell the history of the NBA in a riveting, entertaining and bring-the-past-to-life way, rather than simply regurgitating stats and facts as so many other history books have done.
FreeDarko's previous book: "The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac" portrayed current players in a different light, and brought the personalities within game to the forefront. It wasn't just about players and stats, but about how these players fit within the game itself. This book takes the same approach with players and teams of the past. FD's Almanac used to be my favorite basketball book, but I can safely bet that "The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History" will edge it out as my personal favorite.
"...I prefer to think of it as Sun Ra making peace with an unfamiliar life form, one that tries to strangle him twice, then eats the Saltines he offers, then radiates orange light and [defecates] sundaes."
Its the verbal equivalent of playground ball, where the informal nature of the session leads to greater risk taking and more stunning displays of athletic ability.
To write a full scale book however, requires a whole other set of skills. It takes the fundamental game that too many playground legends unfortunately lack, which spells their doom in the NBA. In short, it requires structure. Form to allow a topic like history to be developed in a meaningful sense.
In this book, I'm happy to state that the writerly flair he applies to his shorter work is reworked directly into the structure of this book. The same creative skills set up frameworks that don't just show off his skill but actually help present the information at hand in a more informative manner. George Mikan isn't just the first superstar of the NBA, he is related to the same questions of "Time and Space" that led to a standardization of basketball rules.
At the end of a 2 or 3 page essay, several issues have been presented clearly, efficiently, coherently and with an enjoyable aesthetic style.
The entire book is similarly structured.Read more ›
The fabulously detailed illustrations (some are for sale as prints and, indeed, rise to the level of great pop art) go toe-to-toe with some of the best writing this side of Papa, which is saying something, because the collective brings a lot of ability to the party. Michael Jordan, while looming large (as he must) over the enterprise doesn't dominate the proceedings, which is to the opus' advantage. This one does the collective's previous effort, "The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac," (a great piece in its own right) several ones better. Readers are in for a treat.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Terribly written. Don't bother with this book. Lot's of better offerings. The author is terrible. Skip it.Published 1 month ago by Alex
Here's the best example of why "The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History" has an undisputed place as a unique book in the sports world. Read morePublished 8 months ago by WDX2BB
FreeDarko Presents: The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History is a great Basketball book and the humor is the icing on the cake for all the neat analytics and theories!Published on March 2, 2014 by Jamarcus
This was a Christmas gift, and when I took it out of the box to wrap it, noticed some dents in the edges of the book. Read morePublished on December 27, 2011 by kristen
"The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History" is a fine read. This book breaks professional basketball into eras as they relate to particular players and events, not just by... Read morePublished on December 25, 2011 by dl5335
I don't know that it's THE undisputed guide. But it is AN undisputed guide. This falls somewhere between David Halberstam's "Breaks of the Game," the gold standard, and Bill... Read morePublished on July 2, 2011 by Kevin Wilson
I enjoyed reading this book for the most part. It was entertaining, especially the sidebar tidbits/factoids. However, there were a few errors that I noticed. Read morePublished on June 28, 2011 by CT
This is the first pro basketball history book with real style and a real feel for the game. The illustrations are tremendous and add to the overall hip coolness to the... Read morePublished on April 18, 2011 by Brian Maitland
Early in the book, the reader is struck with a great illustration of Red Auerbach's Celtic Machine ... and we're off. Read morePublished on March 1, 2011 by Timothy R. Sullivan