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Money Players Hardcover – May 1, 1997
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Fred Girard The Detroit News A densely detailed account of the marketing miracle that is the NBA. -- Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
The New NBA is the hottest game in town, a showcase for big men and bigger money. But the real games have always taken place off the court, hidden from public view -- until now. Three of America's top sports journalists have teamed up to produce the definitive work on the New NBA, exposing a sport threatened by crisis and scandal.
Picking up where David Halberstam's Breaks of the Game left off, Money Players combines meticulous reporting and superb writing to create a fascinating behind-the-scenes portrait of the NBA. While revealing the often troubling truth about the controversies that plague the league, the authors also take an unflinching look at David Stern, whose billion-dollar success story is now dangerously at odds with the increasingly reckless superstars it created.
Against the backdrop of the tumultuous 1995-96 season, the New NBA comes into focus through the innocent but typically myopic eyes of No. 1 draft pick Joe Smith. Follow him as he enters a world of engaging characters and oversized egos -- a world rife with racial conflict, drug abuse, and gambling. For the first time, Money Players tells the complete stories behind:
How Detroit Pistons superstar Isiah Thomas was said to be heavily in debt from dice games, raising questions about the depth of his ties to a sports betting ring involving organized crime figures
The murder of Michael Jordan's father, the superstar's retirement and triumphant return, and his high-stakes gambling with shady characters
The vulnerability of NBA players to the forces of organized crime
The entrenched racism in the NBA; the power of agents over players and entire franchises; a new generation of players on the edge; a much more.
At the core of it all is a riveting profile of Commissioner Stern, the master showman whose extraordinary vision and intellect turned a dying sport -- viewed in the early 1980s as too black and drug-infested -- into a case study worthy of Harvard Business School. But the authors reveal that what Stern has achieved through marketing genius is at risk because of the failure of the NBA to deal with its most serious problems.
Thoroughly documented and unflinchingly honest, Money Players ventures where NBA investigators dare not go. The result is both a myth-shattering exposé and a landmark in the chronicle of professional sports.
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Not sure why this book hasn't gotten more attention, really great glimpse on that late 90's era in the NBA
First of all, it is the sportswriters job to get both the good and bad about athletes. White sportswriters pick on athletes who do stupid things, color has nothing to do with it. Pete Rose got tossed out of baseball for allegedly gambling on baseball, but I recently saw an interview stating he did gamble, but he was tossed out for gambling on the Super Bowl, specifically the Super Bowl XXIII. Hey, I would rather them have them expose the truth than the kiss Michael's ass journalism that most of the media seem to employ. Sportswriters are supposed to report the facts, and that's it. They have no obligation to support or criticize any athlete or team, and if they do state an opinion, it should be for a column or where they are required to do so, anything else would reek of blatant bias. As for the writers without being sins and faults you're probably right, but how many people idolize sportswriters or buy their products? Hell, didn't the press get on the President of the USA, who in my view,has perhaps the most important job in the free world, and I'm not even American. They did their job and exposed him for being an adulterer. If the President of the United States can be held accountable for his actions, why can't sport stars? Just because they're rich and famous, it doesn't mean they shouldn't be held accountable for their actions. If you don't like it, read some shlock book like Return of a Champion by Joe Layden, or Rebound or Hang Time by Bob Greene.