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Sports (Updated 8/23/22)
Blood in the Garden by
Publication Date: 2022-01-18
The definitive history of the 1990s New York Knicks, illustrating how Pat Riley, Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Charles Oakley, and Anthony Mason resurrected the iconic franchise through oppressive physicality and unmatched grit. For nearly an entire generation, the New York Knicks have been a laughingstock franchise. Since 2001, they've spent more money, lost more games, and won fewer playoff series than any other NBA team. But during the preceding era, the Big Apple had a club it was madly in love with--one that earned respect not only by winning, but through brute force. The Knicks were always looking for fights, often at the encouragement of Pat Riley. They fought opposing players. They fought each other. Hell, they even occasionally fought their own coaches. The NBA didn't take kindly to their fighting spirit. Within two years, league officials moved to alter several rules to stop New York from turning its basketball games into bloody mudwrestling matches. Nevertheless, as the 1990s progressed, the Knicks endeared themselves to millions of fans; not for how much they won, but for their colorful cast of characters and their hardworking mentality. Now, through his original reporting and interviews with more than two hundred people, author Chris Herring delves into the origin, evolution, and eventual demise of the iconic club. He takes us inside the locker room, executive boardrooms, and onto the court for the key moments that lifted the club to new heights, and the ones that threatened to send everything crashing down in spectacular fashion. Blood in the Garden is a portrait filled with eye-opening details that have never been shared before, revealing the full story of the franchise in the midst of the NBA's golden era. And rest assured, no punches will be pulled. Which is just how those rough-and-tumble Knicks would like it.
Crossing the Line by
Publication Date: 2022-02-01
An inspiring memoir of defying the odds from Kareem Rosser, captain of the first all-black squad to win the National Interscholastic Polo championship. "Crossing the Line will not just leave you with hope, but also ideas on how to make that hope transferable" (New York Times bestselling author Wes Moore). Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Kareem thought he and his siblings would always be stuck in "The Bottom", a community and neighborhood devastated by poverty and violence. Riding their bicycles through Philly's Fairmount Park, Kareem's brothers discover a barn full of horses. Noticing the brothers' fascination with her misfit animals, Lezlie Hiner, founder of The Work to Ride stables, offers them their escape: an after school job in exchange for riding lessons. What starts as an accidental discovery turns into a love for horseback riding that leads the Rossers to discovering their passion for polo. Pursuing the sport with determination and discipline, Kareem earns his place among the typically exclusive players in college, becoming part of the first all-Black national interscholastic polo championship team--all while struggling to keep his family together. Crossing the Line: A Fearless Team of Brothers and the Sport That Changed Their Lives Forever is a story of the bonds of brotherhood, family loyalty, the transformative connection between man and horse, and forging a better future from impossible odds.
Essential Tennis by
Publication Date: 2022-05-31
What's the number one thing stopping you from playing your best tennis?Ian Westermann, founder of the world's #1 online tennis instruction portal, Essentialtennis.com, will confidently say it's an obstacle you probably never thought of: The ball. You might think this sounds ridiculous. The whole point of tennis is to hit the ball over the net and in, so how can the ball be the thing that's standing in the way? In fact, this is why the ball is such an impediment: your desire to hit a good shot, with the right mix of power and spin, to a specific spot on the court, prevents you from striking the ball the way you should. In Essential Tennis, readers - players and coaches, alike -- will learn how improving at tennis actually happens and how to easily implement these lessons and integrate them into better play on the court. Players will hit stronger shots, make fewer errors, and beat players who are currently beating them. Coaches will look differently at what it means to provide a student with a holistic learning experience. Essential Tennis contains technique-based instruction for executing groundstrokes, volleys, and serves, as well as progressions, drills, and mindsets players should incorporate. Westermann illuminates strokes, movement, strategy, and mental toughness - all proven to be successful over 20 years with clients of all ages and skill levels.
Hometown Victory by
Publication Date: 2022-05-10
The Blindside meets Friday Night Lights in Keanon Lowe's Hometown Victory when an NFL coach returns home after losing a friend to coach a team of struggling high school kids on a 23-game losing streak. Keanon Lowe was working as an offensive analyst for the San Francisco 49ers when his childhood friend and former high school teammate suddenly died from an opioid overdose. Keanon dropped everything--including the plum NFL job he had been working towards since childhood--leading him to a position as football coach at a struggling high school back in his hometown. At the time, Parkrose High School was in the middle of a 23-game losing streak--they were the ultimate underdogs. In many ways, the road to Parkrose was paved by Keanon's life-defining experiences--from a childhood spent dodging racist bullies and finding the support and mentorship he craved on the football team, to an NFL season where he worked closely with Colin Kaepernick as he evolved his sideline protest. Keanon was drawn to the young men on the Parkrose team, and to the school itself. After two years, he pushed them to become conference champions, mentoring countless players along the way. But still, there was that nagging sense that his calling wasn't meant to stop there. He was at that school for a reason. In May 2019, he got his answer when a 19-year-old student entered a Parkrose classroom with a trench coat and shotgun. Keanon disarmed him and pulled the boy into a hug, telling him he cared. In the boy, Keanon saw himself, and the young men he grew up with or mentored along the way--and weren't so many of them just looking for acceptance, for comfort, for love? With the heart of favorite football classics--The Blindside, Friday Night Lights, Remember the Titans--Keanon's journey at Parkrose is the true account of a life spent striving forward, even when faced with the unimaginable. Hometown Victory is a story about gratitude, service, and most of all, hope.
Publication Date: 2022-05-17
Phil Mickelson is one of the most compelling figures in sports. For more than three decades he has been among the best golfers in the world, and his unmatched longevity was exemplified at the 2021 PGA Championship, when Mickelson, on the cusp of turning fifty-one, became the oldest player in history to win a major championship. In this raw, uncensored, and unauthorized biography, Alan Shipnuck captures a singular life defined by thrilling victories, crushing defeats, and countless controversies. Mickelson is a multifaceted character, and all his warring impulses are on display in these pages: He is a smart-ass who built an empire on being the consummate professional; a loving husband dogged by salacious rumors; a high-stakes gambler who knows the house always wins but can't tear himself away. Mickelson's career and public image have been defined by the contrast with his lifelong rival, Tiger Woods. Where Woods is robotic and reticent, Mickelson is affable and extroverted, an incorrigible showman whom many fans love and some abhor because of the overwhelming size of his personality. In their early years together on Tour, Mickelson lacked Tiger's laser focus and discipline, leading Tida Woods to call her son's rival "the fat boy," among other put-downs. Yet as Tiger's career has been curtailed by scandal, addiction, and a broken body, Phil sails on, still relevant on the golf course and in the marketplace. Phil is the perfect marriage of subject and author. Shipnuck has long been known as the most fearless writer on the golf beat, and he delivers numerous revelations, from the true scale of Mickelson's massive gambling losses; to the inside story of the acrimonious breakup between Phil and his longtime caddie, Jim "Bones" Mackay; to the secretive backstory of the Saudi golf league that Mickelson championed to wield as leverage against the PGA Tour. But Phil also celebrates Mickelson's random acts of kindness and generosity of spirit, to which friends and strangers alike can attest. Shipnuck has covered Mickelson for his entire career and has been on the ground at Mickelson's most memorable triumphs and crack-ups, allowing him to take readers inside the ropes with a thrilling immediacy and intimacy. The result is the juiciest and liveliest golf book in years--full of heart, humor, and unexpected turns.
The Rise: Kobe Bryant and the Pursuit of Immortality by
Publication Date: 2022-01-11
The inside look at one of the most captivating and consequential figures in our culture--with never-before-heard interviews. Kobe Bryant's death in January 2020 did more than rattle the worlds of sports and celebrity. The tragedy of that helicopter crash, which also took the life of his daughter Gianna, unveiled the full breadth and depth of his influence on our culture, and by tracing and telling the oft-forgotten and lesser-known story of his early life, The Rise promises to provide an insight into Kobe that no other analysis has. In The Rise, readers will travel from the neighborhood streets of Southwest Philadelphia--where Kobe's father, Joe, became a local basketball standout--to the Bryant family's isolation in Italy, where Kobe spent his formative years, to the leafy suburbs of Lower Merion, where Kobe's legend was born. The story will trace his career and life at Lower Merion--he led the Aces to the 1995-96 Pennsylvania state championship, a dramatic underdog run for a team with just one star player--and the run-up to the 1996 NBA draft, where Kobe's dream of playing pro basketball culminated in his acquisition by the Los Angeles Lakers. In researching and writing The Rise, Mike Sielski had a terrific advantage over other writers who have attempted to chronicle Kobe's life: access to a series of never-before-released interviews with him during his senior season and early days in the NBA. For a quarter century, these tapes and transcripts preserved Kobe's thoughts, dreams, and goals from his teenage years, and they contained insights into and told stories about him that have never been revealed before. This is more than a basketball book. This is an exploration of the identity and making of an icon and the effect of his development on those around him--the essence of the man before he truly became a man.
So Help Me Golf by
Publication Date: 2022-05-10
Beloved bestselling author and golf aficionado Rick Reilly channels his insatiable curiosity, trademark sense of humor, and vast knowledge of the game in a treasure trove of original pieces about what the game has meant to him and to others. This is the book Rick Reilly has been writing in the back of his head since he fell in love with the game of golf at eleven years old. He unpacks and explores all of the wonderful, maddening, heart-melting, heart-breaking, cool, and captivating things about golf that make the game so utterly addictive. We meet the PGA Tour player who robbed banks by night to pay his motel bills, the golf club maker who takes weekly psychedelic trips, and the caddy who kept his loop even after an 11-year prison stint. We learn how a man on his third heart nearly won the U.S. Open, how a Vietnam POW saved his life playing 18 holes a day in his tiny cell, and about the course that's absolutely free. Reilly mines all of the game's quirky traditions--from the shot of bourbon you take before you tee off at Peyton Manning's course, to the way the starter at St. Andrews announces to your group (and the hundreds of tourists watching), "You're on the first tee, gentlemen." He means that quite literally: St. Andrews has the first tee ever invented. We'll visit the eighteen most unforgettable holes around the world (Reilly has played them all), including the hole in Indonesia where the biggest hazard is monkeys, the one in the Caribbean that's underwater, and the one in South Africa that requires a shot over a pit of alligators; not to mention Reilly's attempt to play the most mini-golf holes in one day. Reilly expounds on all the great figures in the game, from Phil Mickelson to Bobby Jones to the simple reason Jack Nicklaus is better than Tiger Woods. He explains why we should stop hating Bryson DeChambeau unless we hate genius, the greatest upset in women's golf history, and why Ernie Els throws away every ball that makes a birdie. Plus all the Greg Norman stories Reilly has never been able to tell before, and the great fun of being Jim Nantz. Connecting it all will be the story of Reilly's own personal journey through the game, especially as it connects to his tumultuous relationship with his father, and how the two eventually reconciled through golf. This is Reilly's valentine to golf, a cornucopia of stories that no golfer will want to be without.
Publication Date: 2022-04-12
For players, fans, managers, and executives, Jackie Robinson remains baseball's singular figure, the person who most profoundly extended, and continues to extend, the reach of the game. Beyond Ruth. Beyond Clemente. Beyond Aaron. Beyond the heroes of today. Now, a half-century since Robinson's death, letters come to his widow, Rachel, by the score. But Robinson's impact extended far beyond baseball: he opened the door for Black Americans to participate in other sports, and was a national figure who spoke and wrote eloquently about inequality.True: The Four Seasons of Jackie Robinson by Kostya Kennedy is an unconventional biography, focusing on four transformative years in Robinson's athletic and public life: 1946, his first year playing in the essentially all-white minor leagues for the Montreal Royals; 1949, when he won the Most Valuable Player Award in his third season as a Brooklyn Dodger; 1956, his final season in major league baseball, when he played valiantly despite his increasing health struggles; and 1972, the year of his untimely death. Through it all, Robinson remained true to the effort and the mission, true to his convictions and contradictions.Kennedy examines each of these years through details not reported in previous biographies, bringing them to life in vivid prose and through interviews with fans and players who witnessed his impact, as well as with Robinson's surviving family. These four crucial years offer a unique vision of Robinson as a player, a father and husband, and a civil rights hero--a new window on a complex man, tied to the 50th anniversary of his passing and the 75th anniversary of his professional baseball debut.
Whispers of the Gods by
Publication Date: 2022-03-15
In Whispers of the Gods, bestselling author Peter Golenbock brings to life baseball greats from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s through timeless stories told straight from the players themselves. Like the enduring classic The Glory of Their Times, this book features the reminiscences of baseball legends, pulled from hundreds of hours of taped interviews with the author. Roy Campanella talks about life in the Negro Leagues before coming up to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Ted Williams recounts why he believes Shoeless Joe Jackson belongs in the Hall of Fame. Tom Sturdivant provides vivid memories of Casey Stengel, Mickey Mantle, and other Yankee icons. Other voices include Phil Rizzuto, Jim Bouton, Monte Irvin, Stan Musial, Ron Santo, Rex Barney, Ellis Clary, Roger Maris, Ed Froelich, Marty Marion, Jim Brosnan, Gene Conley, and Kirby Higbe. The players interviewed were All-Stars, Hall of Famers, and heroes to many, and their impact on the national pastime is still seen to this day. Baseball history comes alive through the stories shared in Whispers of the Gods, offering a fascinating account of the golden age of baseball.