The City Game: Basketball from the Garden to the Playgrounds

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Open Road Media, Jun 28, 2011 - Sports & Recreation - 210 pages
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A fascinating chronicle of New York basketball, from the concrete courts of the city’s parks to the bright lights of Madison Square GardenThe New York Knickerbockers, one of the NBA’s charter franchises, played professionally for twenty-four years before winning their first championship in 1970, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in a thrilling seven-game series. Those Knicks, who won again in 1973, became legends, and captivated a city that has basketball in its blood. But this book is more than a history of the championship Knicks. It is an exploration of what basketball means to New York—not just to the stars who compete nightly in the garden, but to the young men who spend their nights and weekends perfecting their skills on the concrete courts of the city’s parks. Basketball is a city game, and New York is the king of cities.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ConalO - LibraryThing

Been awhile since I read this but memory tells me I enjoyed the stories of the playground legends (Earl "the Goat" Manigault, Herman "the Helicopter" Rawlings and several others) more than the back story of the Knicks championship season. A good read if you can find a copy... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wfzimmerman - LibraryThing

No rings on the playground ... maybe this doesn't fit my collection strategy. Read full review


The Knick Phenomenon
The Challenge of Basketball
The Game as It Should Be Played
At Last a Winner for New York
Winning Streak
The Cast of Characters
Willis Reed
Dave DeBusschere the Catalyst Red Holzman the Coach
Playground Profiles
The Stars Who Never Made
The Harlem Tragedy of Earl Manigault
The Comeback of Duane Smith
An Athlete Called Funny
The Giant Killers
Approaching the Playoffs

Walt Frazier Dick Barnett and LesserKnown Stars
Cazzie Russell and Bill Bradley
Mike Riordan Dave Stallworth Nate Bowman
The Baltimore Scare
Holding Off the Future

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About the author (2011)

For three decades Pete Axthelm (1943–1991) was one of the dominant voices in New York sportswriting. He wrote his first book, The Modern Confessional Novel, while he was a student at Yale, and succeeded in having it published at the age of twenty-four. Upon graduating, he went on to work for the New York Herald Tribune, where he covered sports in all their forms. He graduated to the national stage in the 1970s, writing for Newsweek and Sports Illustrated, and then moved on to television. In the 1980s he reported on football for NBC and horse racing for a young ESPN. Axthelm died in Pittsburgh in 1991.

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