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February 13 , 2009

How Sweet It Was


The National Basketball Association used to be a unifi ed league featuring high powered teams with great players who put on explosive shows night after night to the delight of their admiring fans. The league featured great stars like Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Elgin Baylor, and Jerry West who consistently displayed offensive versatility as well as defensive prowess. The NBA of some 50 years ago had no more than six or eight teams, but all of them were highly skilled and explosive. But today the NBA has fallen on hard times—at least in the artistic sense. In his new book How Sweet It Was: And How the NBA Can Return to Greatness, writer Joe Delmore outlines what made the league great and how it has fallen from those graces. He pays particular attention to the overpaid athletes, coaches with no authority, and selfi sh players with poorly developed basketball skills. The media, particularly cable television, shines a constant spotlight on these overcompensated athletes. In his new book, the author outlines several concrete steps that should return professional basketball to a semblance of its former glory. Players will receive better training and more classroom exposure, and contracts will be limited by their very nature. The author also outlines steps on how to improve the coaching profession. If these measures are undertaken, a revitalized NBA will take shape, and fans will gain a new appreciation of the game.
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