A journalist's look at the history of the sport, with emphasis on major players and teams; companion to the author's Story of Football. Anderson divides his tour into five chronological chunks, takes readers past the mid-80's, then considers skills: passing, defense, coaching, etc. The famous names roll smoothly by: Naismith, Mikan, Auerbach, Russell, Adbul-Jabbar. All gleam with talent and desire; few show any sort of individuality, aside from a spectacular shot or style of play. Meanwhile, the quotes are the sort of bland, upbeat comments that cautious athletes learn to make to the press; the black-and-white photos are nearly all dramatic, well-placed action shots. Aside from NCAA play, amateur basketball (even in the Olympics) gets barely a mention, and women, after a slighting comment, token coverage. Since the author presumes some appreciation for the game's dynamics, this will appeal most to readers who are already fans or players. Though not as engrossing as Ritter's Story of Baseball, this is a readable, needed update for such older histories as Devaney's Story of Basketball.