GIVE 'EM THE HOOK by Tommy & Joe Fitzgerald Heinsohn


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Basketball primer and autobiography-of-an-iconoclast, by the former Boston Celtics player and coach, now a network-TV basketball commentator. Heinsohn had it rough as a child--he was the only German kid on the block when the US entered WW II. His years as Jersey City's resident ""Nazi""--so he was taunted--turned him into a scared, furious, violent loner. Almost 50 years later, the anger has melted but the independence remains: again and again, Heinsohn explains the principles of winning basketball in terms of being oneself, of doing one's own thing. He fell in love with the sport, he tells us, because he could practice it alone. And, of course, because he was good at it--the best college player in the East and one of the scrappiest pros in the NBA. It didn't hurt to play for the awesome Celtics, ""the leathernecks of the NBA, charging up Pork Chop Hill every night."" Heinsohn raves about Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, and others who wore the Celtic Green. He also delivers the basics of good basketball; recalls his own playing and coaching career--which began with the Rookie of the Year Award, ended in the Hall of Fame, and encompassed multiple world championships; takes swipes at ex-Knicks coach Hubie Brown (""a Prussian general"") and some pesky reporters, and evaluates the current health of the NBA. When Heinsohn speaks about basketball, it pays to listen. Why, then, the witless last chapters, where he sounds off about drags, marriage, sex, even movies--who cares that ""MASH was the worst movie I ever saw ""? On sports he's splendid, but a John Madden (his fellow Miller Lite co-star) he isn't.

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 1988
Publisher: Prentice Hall Press