This lengthy look at the NBA's most recent also-ran will prove of limited relevance to readers outside the Beehive State....

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"TO THE BRINK: Stockton, Malone, and the Utah Jazz's Climb to the Edge of Glory"

This lengthy look at the NBA's most recent also-ran will prove of limited relevance to readers outside the Beehive State. Born in the late '70s in New Orleans (where the name made sense), the Utah Jazz has enjoyed surprisingly little impact in the NBA--aside from finishing as bridesmaid in the last two NBA finals and drafting possibly the two best players never to win a championship, the redoubtable John Stockton and Karl ""The Mailman"" Malone. Nevertheless, Lewis, a writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, offers a detailed team history and chronicle of the Jazz's 1996-97 campaign. The best parts are about the Jazz's past: their shaggy-dog beginnings; anecdotes about the team's profane and civically loyal owner, auto dealer Larry Miller, and the eminently quotable former coach and general manager, Frank Layden; and the team's almost reluctant emergence into basketball respectability. All this, unfortunately, serves only as prelude to Lewis's dissection of the tumultuous last season. Moreover, most of what follows has already been the subject of countless television, newspaper, and magazine accounts. Simply put, there's little here that a regular viewer of ESPN wouldn't know by now. Besides, since the Jazz's season concluded yet again in failure, it's doubtful that even residents of Utah will rush out to buy the book. It's often said that history neglects those who finish second, and this volume demonstrates why that might be the case.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1998

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1998

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