There aren’t many coaches more interesting than Phil Jackson, both in terms of career and personal life. In a trade where coaches are increasingly alike, Jackson’s the Zen Master, the imposing figure sitting on a throne-like seat. Mark Milner reviews Jackson’s latest autobiography.
It still boggles the mind to think about Lou Gehrig and his consecutive game streak. Sure, it was broken by Cal Ripken Jr. a few years back, but the 90s were a different time: Ripken played in a time of physical conditioning, specialized team doctors and better medicine. Gehrig played back when the trainer’s job was to rub players down.
All the rankings of teenage basketball players and callous attempts to sign the top-rated high schooler in the country starts at the grassroots level. Schools go out of their way to make these young boys comfortable from the very second they enter high school as a freshman. You’ve heard about it before; new houses, new cars, the best shoes, and promises that even the best coaches sometimes can’t fulfill. It starts even earlier in Play Their Hearts Out.
It’s hard to think of a sports medicine figure as well-known as Dr. James Andrews. In addition to handling some of the trickiest operations on big-name sports stars from Adrian Peterson to Brett Favre to Albert Pujols, Andrews is the official team doctor for the Washington Redskins, the Tampa Bay Rays and both Auburn University and the University of Alabama, possibly the only figure who could survive being associated with both of those fierce rivals at once. Andrew Bucholtz takes a good look at his new book.
We’ve seen the grainy footage, we’ve heard the myths, but not until the 2009 release of “Red and Me” have basketball fans taken a good long look at the relationship between Bill Russell and Red Auerbach. Although the book may leave those desperate for historical details wanting, it’s a pleasant summary of what goes down as one of the most successful coach-player dynamics in NBA history.