THE ESSENCE OF THE GAME IS DECEPTION: Thinking About Basketball by Leonard Koppett

THE ESSENCE OF THE GAME IS DECEPTION: Thinking About Basketball

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Leonard Koppett, the intellectual's sportswriter, looks beyond the easy shibboleths, past the fashionable wisdom, in search of the motivating force -- the essence. As the title here indicates, he's pinpointed deception as the key to basketball -- ""the game boils down to getting good shots, and getting good shots boils down to deceiving the defense""; or put another way, ""style,"" more important in basketball than other team games, ""is deception, made visible."" Koppett has much else to say about this ""frustrating,"" ""exhilarating,"" ""artificial,"" and ""imperfect"" sport, from analyzing the homecourt advantage (he proves it exists with statistics) and the foul shot (the ""equalizer"" between the big and little men) to the players who have revolutionized, the game (first Hank Luisetti with his one-handed jump shot, later Bill Russell and his concept of defense) and the increasing domination of the sport by blacks (he postulates three reasons: ""the pattern of urban life, the nature of basketball, and heredity"" -- the latter admittedly a ""dangerous"" word). The basketball fan is off to his best season in years.

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 1973
Publisher: Little, Brown