Basketball (and Other Things)
Author: Shea Serrano
Translator: Wei Zhi
Publisher: Business Weekly Publications
The 2019 NBA playoffs have already reached a critical stage, and the NBA Finals will be underway by the time this article is published. While this year’s winner will soon be unveiled, we can be sure that there will be no repeat of the championship showdown between Cavaliers and Warriors we saw in the past four years.
In retrospect, I was attracted most by the NBA dynasty of the Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan more than 20 years ago. I also watched NBA games from time to time when Kobe Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers. I might be subjective, but I think Jordan’s glamour was always unrivalled. The only NBA players who have interested me in recent years are LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
What rekindled my passion for watching NBA games was a book that I read recently, titled Basketball (and Other Things): A Collection of Questions Asked, Answered, Illustrated. The book discusses the NBA from an interesting angle and is actually a good read for people like me who haven’t paid attention to the game for such a long time. Even former U.S. President Barack Obama, who is a well-known basketball fan, recommended it as one of the best books in 2017.
In the table of contents, you are presented with a set of intriguing questions raised by the author, including: ‘Who’s the greatest dunker in NBA History?’, ‘How many points should [SHOT] actually be worth?’, and ‘If 1997 Karl Malone and a bear swapped places for a season, who would be more successful?’ These questions may sound ridiculous, but the author did treat them seriously. For example, to explain Karl Malone’s performance on and off the court, he gathered a wealth of information about bears and studied which type of bears are best suited to playing in the NBA. How can that not put a smile on your face?
This book essentially recreated and brought to life many key figures and classic moments of the NBA for readers. As an NBA super fan, the author was in the best position to raise those hilarious yet enlightening questions and then answer them one by one with his unique wit and wisdom.