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The Rivalry: Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and the Golden Age of Basketball Paperback – September 26, 2006
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
As I'm a huge basketball fan (and a huge Chamberlain fan), I saw many of those games when they were televised during that era. Up to and beyond his playing days, Chamberlain has usually been depicted as a statistics-dominated loser whose teams lost because Wilt was a selfish player. The fact is, the Celtics for the first six years of the rivalry were just a better team. But after going over the different seasons and series where the Celtics invariably emerged as champions, it became very apparent to me that although I don't believe in luck, there's no way that era could be repeated with the same players and the Celtics winning that many titles. If repeated, the Celtics probably would have won only six or seven times, which would still be an incredible statistic.Read more ›
Here are some examples that came to mind as I read The Rivalry:
* Taylor's depiction of one of the most celebrated shots in NBA history, Don Nelson's desperation foul-line set shot that bounced freakishly high off the rim before falling through the net just as the Lakers were making their Game 7 comeback in 1969, is available from many film sources, and yet Taylor gets it all wrong. He say Keith Erickson "blocked a shot" and Nelson "recovered" the ball, when in fact, Erickson clearly reached from behind Havlicek in an attempt to steal the ball and poked it loose. The ball went directly to Nelson's hands some 10 feet away as if it were a pass (yet another freakish twist to the play) -- Nelson didn't "recover" the ball, he had it plop into his open hands like a gift from the basketball gods.
* Taylor correctly depicts Sam Jones' rattling game-winner triple-pick jumper on the "Ohio" play that pulled out Game 4 for the Celtics in the first telling, but later in the book refers to it as having happened in Game 5. Did anyone edit the book or even proof it? This is basic stuff, folks, and if you can't trust the simple things to be accurate, can you trust Taylor's accuracy on the more sophisticated events described in the book?Read more ›
On top of that, you get enough biographcal information on Russell and Chamberlain, but also on Cousy, Auerbach and many others.
The book is very well written and starts right with information, no tedious introduction to plough through.
The bottom line is that the NBA was dominated from the late 1950's through the early 1970's by these two giants. In the history of the game, only Magic v Bird compares.
Wilt and Russell played against each other 142 times in 10 years. Russell's team won 88, Wilt's teams won 54.
In those games Wilt averaged 28.7 ppg and 28.7 rpg, Russell averaged 14.5ppg and 23.7rpg
Wilt's high game vs. Russell was 62, and he had six other 50+ point games against Russell. Russell's high game against Wilt was 37, and he had only two other 30+ point games against Wilt.
Wilt's record 55 rebound game was against Russell, and he had six other 40+ rebound games vs. Bill. Russell only had one 40+ rebound night against Wilt.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A well written yarn about the NBA when it was new and exciting.Published 2 months ago by Wayne Lutz
It has been my experience that books of this type are seldom objective and almost never well written. This is a wonderful exception. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Dennis L. Morgan
The Russell and Chamberlain matchup was fun and Taylor does a good job of looking back at it.
You learn some interesting things that made up the rivalry..
Basketball is a sport that doesn't really celebrate its past - you'd think that Magic and Larry invented the game. Read morePublished on June 12, 2014 by Howard Fear
Cant find a better book to talk about this rivalry !! the book tells the story of the two players season after season....great one !!!Published on January 6, 2014 by JPE
Old enough to have heard the stories about Chamberlain and Rusell, but not old enough to have seen them play firsthand, I thouroughly enjoyed hearing the story retold. Read morePublished on June 25, 2013 by Bama Kayaker