Dunks, drugs, and disappointment: an oral history of the 1980s Houston Rockets.
On the eve of the 1992 Summer Olympics, the Dream Team scrimmaged during a closed-door practice in Monaco. Michael Jordan led one team, Magic Johnson the other. Two decades later, a game report.
The playground, the Ivy League, the triangle offense, and how we dreamed up a “black basketball” and “white basketball.”
An ode to professional basketball players and why pro ball is the best ball of all.
On conspiracy theories in sports, from the ‘85 NBA draft lottery to Michael Phelps’ gold medal performance in the 100-meter butterfly.
On the lost pickup basketball games in D.C. between Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor, then both still in college, during the summer of 1957.
An investigation into the true identity of a high school basketball player.
The story of a high school star who died minutes after hitting a game-winner to end an undefeated season, and the family and friends he left behind.
On Clifton “Pop” Herring, the then-26-year-old high school basketball coach who famously left Jordan off the varsity squad as a sophomore.
Bill Russell, race, and the NBA of the 1960s.
On the death of a high school basketball star in New York City.
Rick Barry has a problem. He would like people to regard him with love and affection, as they do Jerry West and John Havlicek. They do not.
On the battle between Shaquille O’Neal and his former IT guy, who’s in control of much of O’Neal’s archived (and often damning) correspondence.
What happens to 7-footers when they step off the basketball court?
On witnessing an incredible junior college basketball game 23 years ago in North Dakota.
On being – and playing for - Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt.
On recommitting to the Knicks after “a decade of dysfunction and delusion.”
The author came late to basketball. A profile of his favorite player:
He creates a sense of danger in the arena and yet has enough wit in his style to bring off funny ideas when he wants to.
Basketball is considered one of the most difficult sports to effectively bet on, therefore gamblers like Haralabos Voulgaris who make a handsome living on NBA lines are a rare breed, whose knowledge of the game and personal statistical databases rival most of the league’s front-offices’.
On former Knicks savior Stephon Marbury and his post-NBA life playing in China.
A profile of Carmelo Anthony, newly anointed savior of the New York Knicks.
The inner workings of a high school basketball team stacked with international talent.
The story of the 2010 NCAA championship game between Duke and Butler, and what would have been greatest shot in college basketball history.
On Baylor’s freshman basketball star Perry Jones and how the new era of one-season careers has changed the landscape of college basketball.
A profile of the highest paid coach in college basketball. A pioneer of one-and-done recruiting, Calipari is also the only coach in NCAA history to have two runs to the Final Four removed from the record books for rules violations.
The pecking order of All-Star Weekend sex-with-basketball-player-or-rapper hopefuls.
The story of Nate Fleming—walk-on point guard at Oklahoma State, fan favorite, golden child—and the 2001 plane crash that took his life.
A reporter heads to Istanbul, where Iverson is playing minor league hoops in a 3,200-seat arena and hanging out at T.G.I. Friday’s.
A profile of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, written at the midpoint of his career.
A profile of the Los Angeles Clippers owner, an oft-sued real estate baron with a racist streak and a penchant for heckling his own players. Since Sterling bought the franchise in 1981, the Clippers have by far the worst record of any major pro team.
A profile of Yao Ming published during his second season in the NBA.
Brian Windhorst was one of the first reporters to cover LeBron James. He was there in high school. There at the draft. There in Cleveland. And now he’s there in Miami, though the relationship is far from what it used to be.
Or, the perils of promoting a middle schooler’s basketball skills. An excerpt from Play Their Hearts Out.
Just before his first NBA game, an 18-year-old LeBron James was asked about the pressure of controlling the combined fortunes of a city, major corporations, and the league. “I can handle it,” he said.
Mykal Riley’s last-second three-pointer kept thousands of fans out of the path of tornado. Just as remarkable? That Riley was there to shoot the three in the first place.
In the 1980s, Billy Ray Bates, once dubbed “the Legend,” drank himself out of the NBA and ended up playing in the Philippines. For a few wild years, his legend grew–both on the court and in the bars.
A 1998 profile of Kobe Bryant, then a 19-year-old second year player in the NBA. Bryant lived with his parents, worked out 5 hours a day, and didn’t shy away from comparisons to Michael Jordan.
A 1995 profile of Kevin Garnett, then a 19-year-old high school senior about to be picked fifth in the NBA draft. Garnett was considered emotionally soft and hoped to play for Isiah Thomas.