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Values of the Game Hardcover – October 1, 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Forget for a moment the hype, the overmarketing, the exorbitant ticket prices and salaries, the bad behavior, and the greed. Instead, return to the simple basics of basketball: a court, a hoop, a ball, and a young shooter, sweating to make certain that no one is ever more prepared or confident when the game is on the line. Strip all else away, and you come to the core of the game. It's something of a sacred place for Bill Bradley, and after a decade in the NBA and three terms in the United States Senate, it's a place he revisits with real ardor and reverence in 10 gracefully illustrated essays that cohere into a marvelous reflection on essentials and values.

"The game is still full of joy and the lessons learned from it stay with you," he insists, "even though the game has changed, the old values still flow through it." The values he writes about may indeed seem antique beside the frenzied glitz of the NBA, but antiques like passion, discipline, selflessness, and responsibility continue to form the basis of character on and off the court. Of course, Bradley, with possible eyes on the White House, is writing about much more than basketball here. In some ways, this is a clear statement of his political philosophy: a country that can understand, instill, and pursue the values he's praising is a country that can work together. It's in these values that he finds the antidote to the tawdriness and partisanship that's managed to sully the level of the national debate. --Jeff Silverman

From Library Journal

Former U.S. senator and New York Knick Bradley has written often and quite eruditely about the two things he knows best: basketball and politics (e.g., Time Present, Time Past, LJ 1/96). This latest (and handsomely illustrated) book addresses both areas. On the first level, it views basketball from a nearly metaphysical height, as he describes what he sees as the basic values of the game: passion, discipline, selflessness, respect, perspective, courage, leadership, responsibility, resilience, and imagination. For each of these values, he describes illustrative incidents from his career and the game's history, and through each there is also a veiled criticism of pro basketball as it exists today. On the second level, the reader can project these virtues onto life itself, and this is perhaps the book's greatest value: as a map of conduct. In his introduction, Bradley rightly recommends that this fine book be shared by parents and children. Highly recommended for school and public libraries.?William O. Scheeren, Hempfield Area H.S. Lib., Greensburg, PA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Artisan (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157965116X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579651169
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.7 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #871,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In this inspiring book, Bradley demonstrates the values that have helped shape him as a person, and enabled him to achieve excellence. The book is a colorful and creative collection of eye-catching basketball photos interlaced with chapters on values of the game.
In describing ideals that have helped him and other champions to succeed both on and off the court, he encourages us all to pursue excellence in our own lives- whatever our life circumstances may be.
He names ten core values that he has found meaningful in his development as a player and a person. They are: passion, discipline, selflessness, respect, perspective, courage, leadership, responsibility, resilience and imagination.
Bill Bradley has demonstrated here that he is truly a man of the people. He wants to encourage every American to celebrate the gifts, abilities and values that give them meaning and hope in their lives.
I highly recommend this book to everyone with the courage to reach beyond their grasp and strive for excellence in their lives. The pictures and stories are great, and the essays are even better. Pick it up today, and also, be sure to make your vote count in November- your opinion matters and deserves to be heard!
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Format: Hardcover
When I was 10, my father gave me a thin book written by John McPhee called, "A Sense of Where You Are," which was based on his New Yorker feature articles about college basketball's player of the year, Bill Bradley of Princeton. McPhee's title was based on Bradley's observation that an experienced and perceptive player should know where he is on the court at all times, and be able to know where his teammates are, and anticipate Where They Will Be, at all times. McPhee described teammates disappointed in themselves because Bradley would find them with a pass when they were just getting open, and before the teammate was even aware he had beaten his man and was ready for the ball. McPhee observed an exceptional young man, not just a ball player, who had a remarkable sense of where he was in life and where he was going. Bradley has never lost this quality.
Later, with the Knicks, Bradley sacrificed his individual game completely within the Knicks system. His specialties were instantaneous touch passes to teammates breaking to the basket, and moving without the ball to disrupt the opponent's defense and create an open shot.
Bradley is still "moving without the ball." He could have been senator for life from New Jersey, but gave up his seat voluntarily to study and prepare himself more (for the Presidency?) His new book provides basketball fans (and anyone else who appreciates physical excellence, mental discipline, and high moral character, beautifully illustrated and described) with a portrait of what the sport can be at its best, and a lesson about what success takes (and costs).
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Format: Hardcover
There is complete silence in Madison Square Garden; suddenly "swish" Bradley leads the Knicks to another victory and the crowd is in complete pandemonium. Bill Bradley is no longer portrayed simply as a basketball player and a US Senator, he is now seen as a prolific writer. In his most recent book, Values of the Game, Bradley returns to the scene of his first career and is first great passion, basketball. Values of the Game is a wonderfully written book that is filled with some of Bradley's most intense personal reflections. Bradley revisits the basketball court with the fire of a competitor but, with the mind of a writer. Of course things have changed since Bradley's playing days, the shorts are longer and the salaries are higher but, what separates the winners form the losers remains very much the same. No collection of players no matter how good, can win unless a team is formed. No team can succeed unless they share certain values. Among these values that are displayed throughout the book are courage, resilience, discipline, respect and the most notable the pure love for the game. Bradley also discusses other qualities of the game such as the individual courage to risk the last-second shot, to face a hostile crowd, to say "I blew it." The responsibility to teammates, coaches and the fans in honoring the game. Values of the Games is also illustrated with dramatic photographs of players, coaches and archetypal games. Pictures range from legends such as Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, and Bob Cousy; through the brilliant Magic Johnson and Larry Bird years and the greatest player ever, Michael Jordan. Even if you are not a NBA or college basketball fan the book has references associated with other aspects of life.
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Format: Hardcover
Whether you work primarily with individuals or with organizations, Bill Bradley's new book can be a great source of inspiration and enlightenment. Ostensibly this book is merely a set of ten essays on the values the former US Senator and Rhodes Scholar lived by when he was a star professional basketball player for the New York Knicks. However, Values of the Game can be read on another level: as an allegory on how one can balance ethics and the desire for achievement.
Bradley's ten values are the following: Passion, Discipline, Selflessness, Respect, Perspective, Courage, Leadership, Responsibility, Resilience, and Imagination. Each of these is presented through a series of personal anecdotes from Bradley's career on the court, surrounded by terrific photos of the sport's many legendary super-stars, both male and female.
One of the most moving photos is in the "Courage" essay, in which Michael Jordan is pictured at the end of the fifth game of the 1997 NBA Finals, when he led his team to victory despite playing with a high fever. Bradley weaves his text around this theme by telling stories of how players--including himself--learned perseverance and inner calm in the face of tremendous pressure and challenge.
Just having completed a year of study and reflection at Stanford's prestigious think tank, the Hoover Institute, Bradley's comments on leadership are eloquent and quotable: "Leadership means getting people to think, believe, see, and do what they might not have without you. It means possessing the vision to set the right goal and the decisiveness to pursue it single-mindedly. It means being aware of the fears and anxieties felt by those you lead even as you urge them to overcome those fears.
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