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Values of the Game (RosettaBooks Sports Classics Book 5) (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Bill Bradley

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Descriptions du produit


Forget for a moment the hype, the overmarketing, the exorbitant ticket prices and salaries, the bad behavior, and the greed. Instead, return to the simple basics of basketball: a court, a hoop, a ball, and a young shooter, sweating to make certain that no one is ever more prepared or confident when the game is on the line. Strip all else away, and you come to the core of the game. It's something of a sacred place for Bill Bradley, and after a decade in the NBA and three terms in the United States Senate, it's a place he revisits with real ardor and reverence in 10 gracefully illustrated essays that cohere into a marvelous reflection on essentials and values.

"The game is still full of joy and the lessons learned from it stay with you," he insists, "even though the game has changed, the old values still flow through it." The values he writes about may indeed seem antique beside the frenzied glitz of the NBA, but antiques like passion, discipline, selflessness, and responsibility continue to form the basis of character on and off the court. Of course, Bradley, with possible eyes on the White House, is writing about much more than basketball here. In some ways, this is a clear statement of his political philosophy: a country that can understand, instill, and pursue the values he's praising is a country that can work together. It's in these values that he finds the antidote to the tawdriness and partisanship that's managed to sully the level of the national debate. --Jeff Silverman


You begin by bouncing a ball--in the house, on the driveway, along the sidewalk, at the playground. Then you start shooting: legs bent, eyes on the rim, elbow under the ball. You shoot and follow through. Let it fly, up, up and in. No equipment is needed beyond a ball, a rim, and imagination. How simple the basic act is. I'm not sure exactly when my interest turned to passion, but I was very young, and it has never diminished.

When I was a teenager, alone in the high school gym for hours, the repetition of shooting, shot after shot, became a kind of ritual for me. The seams and the grain of the leather ball had to feel a certain way. My fingertips went right to the grooves and told me if it felt right. The key to the fingertips was keeping them clean. I would rub my right hand to my sweaty brow, then against my T-shirt at chest level, and then I would cradle the ball. By the end of shooting practice, the grime had made its way from the floor to the ball to my fingertips to my shirt. After thousands of shots, my shirts were permanently stained.

The gymnasium itself was a part of my solitary joy. I took in every nuance of the place. It was a state-of-the-art facility, with retractable fan-shaped glass backboards. The floor was polished and shining; when I moved, it glistened as if I were playing on a mirror. The only daylight streamed in from windows high along the sloping ceiling. The smell was not of locker room mildew but of pungent varnish and slightly oiled mops, the guarantors of floor quality throughout the years. The gym's janitor insisted on one absolute rule: no street shoes allowed on the floor. It was sacred terrain, traversable only by the soft soles of Converse or Keds.

Then there were the sounds. Thwat, thwat! The ball hit the floor and the popping sound echoed from the steel beams of the ceiling and the collapsed wooden stands that stacked up twenty feet high. Thwat, thwat, squeak--the squeal of your sneakers against the floor, followed by the jump and then the shot. The swish of the ball through the net, a sound sweeter than the roar of the crowd. Swish. Thwat, thwat, squeak, swish!

I couldn't get enough. If I hit ten in a row, I wanted fifteen. If I hit fifteen, I wanted twenty-five. Driven to excel by some deep, unsurveyed urge, I stayed out on that floor hour after hour, day after day, year after year. I played until my muscles stiffened and my arms ached. I persevered through blisters, contusions, and strained joints. When I got home I had to take a nap before I could muster the energy to eat the dinner that sat in the oven. After one Friday night high school game, which we lost to our arch rival, I was back in the gym at nine on Saturday morning, with the bleachers still deployed and the popcorn boxes scattered beneath them, soaking my defeat by shooting. Others had been in this place last night, I thought, but now I was here by myself, and I was home.

When I practiced alone, I often conjured up the wider world of basketball. Maybe I had just seen the Los Angeles Lakers play on TV the day before; I'd try to remember a particular move that Laker forward Elgin Baylor had made, then imitate it. I would simulate the whole game in my mind, including the spiel of the announcer. "Five seconds left, four seconds, three, Bradley dribbles right in heavy traffic, jumps, shoots--good at the buzzer!" I dreamed that someday I'd experience that moment for real, maybe even take the clutch shot in the state finals. In my dream, of course, I'd hit it and we'd be state champions.

The passion of solitary practice was matched by the joy of playing team ball. The constant kaleidoscope of team play was infinitely interesting to me. For every challenge thrown up by the defense, there was an offensive counter. Having the court sense to recognize this in the flow of the game produced a real high. The notion that someday I could be paid to play a game I loved never occurred to me.

You could always tell that Magic Johnson loved to play. He smiled, grimaced, and pushed himself and his teammates. His gusto honored the game. Some players these days seem more angry than joyful, yet the great ones still have a zest. Grant Hill's pleasure comes from his game's completeness and his own unflappable composure. Hakeem Olajuwon exudes a delighted confidence when the ball goes into him at the low post. Clyde Drexler, like Dr. J in earlier years, conveys an effortless joy when he has the ball in open court and heads for the basket.

Even the controversial Dennis Rodman evinces a love of the game despite his antics. His game within the game is rebounding. He studies films to see which way a shooter's shot usually bounces. He keeps his body in top shape. He uses his body only after he uses his brain and his eyes, and then he makes a second, third, and fourth effort. When he gets the ball, he smiles the smile of someone dedicated to something well beyond himself.

The women's game in particular is full of a kind of beautiful enthusiasm. On many teams each player seems deeply involved in her teammates' spirits as well as their play. I used to love to watch Kate Starbird spark her Stanford team with her tenacity, intensity, and 3-point-shooting skill, but the epitome, for me, is Chamique Holdsclaw of Tennessee, the female Michael Jordan. She has a winning combination of zeal and ability that allows her to generate excitement in the crowd, dedication among her teammates, and fear in the minds of her opponents. Her sheer love of the game becomes infectious.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 208 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 100 pages
  • Editeur : RosettaBooks (15 février 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B003XREM74
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°658.689 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  26 commentaires
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Bradley's book reminds us how we can all be champions 26 août 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
In this inspiring book, Bradley demonstrates the values that have helped shape him as a person, and enabled him to achieve excellence. The book is a colorful and creative collection of eye-catching basketball photos interlaced with chapters on values of the game.
In describing ideals that have helped him and other champions to succeed both on and off the court, he encourages us all to pursue excellence in our own lives- whatever our life circumstances may be.
He names ten core values that he has found meaningful in his development as a player and a person. They are: passion, discipline, selflessness, respect, perspective, courage, leadership, responsibility, resilience and imagination.
Bill Bradley has demonstrated here that he is truly a man of the people. He wants to encourage every American to celebrate the gifts, abilities and values that give them meaning and hope in their lives.
I highly recommend this book to everyone with the courage to reach beyond their grasp and strive for excellence in their lives. The pictures and stories are great, and the essays are even better. Pick it up today, and also, be sure to make your vote count in November- your opinion matters and deserves to be heard!
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Moving Without the Ball 24 décembre 1998
Par Eastman - Publié sur Amazon.com
When I was 10, my father gave me a thin book written by John McPhee called, "A Sense of Where You Are," which was based on his New Yorker feature articles about college basketball's player of the year, Bill Bradley of Princeton. McPhee's title was based on Bradley's observation that an experienced and perceptive player should know where he is on the court at all times, and be able to know where his teammates are, and anticipate Where They Will Be, at all times. McPhee described teammates disappointed in themselves because Bradley would find them with a pass when they were just getting open, and before the teammate was even aware he had beaten his man and was ready for the ball. McPhee observed an exceptional young man, not just a ball player, who had a remarkable sense of where he was in life and where he was going. Bradley has never lost this quality.
Later, with the Knicks, Bradley sacrificed his individual game completely within the Knicks system. His specialties were instantaneous touch passes to teammates breaking to the basket, and moving without the ball to disrupt the opponent's defense and create an open shot.
Bradley is still "moving without the ball." He could have been senator for life from New Jersey, but gave up his seat voluntarily to study and prepare himself more (for the Presidency?) His new book provides basketball fans (and anyone else who appreciates physical excellence, mental discipline, and high moral character, beautifully illustrated and described) with a portrait of what the sport can be at its best, and a lesson about what success takes (and costs). His message connects on all levels, the visual, because of the magnificent collection of photographs, the intellectual, because of the powerful and effective prose (even the photo captions are eloquent), and emotional (especially for the basketball fans reliving the great achievements).
As in the book I received as a child, Bradley quotes the lesson he learned at youth camp from "Easy" Ed McCauley, otherwise famous as the answer to the trivia question, "Who did the Celtics trade to get Bill Russell?" McCauley, a great teacher who obviously worked hard to make it look so "easy," told the young Bradley to always practice, because someday he'll meet someone in competition with roughly equal abilities, and the better prepared will win.
I have a feeling Bradley is practicing right now for the year 2000. With the mess we have in Washington (as well as the NBA) right now, the values he describes are refreshing. I put down the book (a cover to cover read in less than 2 hours) full of hope.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Values of the Game extend life beyond the hardwood. 8 juin 1999
Par htlib1@holytrinityhs.org - Publié sur Amazon.com
There is complete silence in Madison Square Garden; suddenly "swish" Bradley leads the Knicks to another victory and the crowd is in complete pandemonium. Bill Bradley is no longer portrayed simply as a basketball player and a US Senator, he is now seen as a prolific writer. In his most recent book, Values of the Game, Bradley returns to the scene of his first career and is first great passion, basketball. Values of the Game is a wonderfully written book that is filled with some of Bradley's most intense personal reflections. Bradley revisits the basketball court with the fire of a competitor but, with the mind of a writer. Of course things have changed since Bradley's playing days, the shorts are longer and the salaries are higher but, what separates the winners form the losers remains very much the same. No collection of players no matter how good, can win unless a team is formed. No team can succeed unless they share certain values. Among these values that are displayed throughout the book are courage, resilience, discipline, respect and the most notable the pure love for the game. Bradley also discusses other qualities of the game such as the individual courage to risk the last-second shot, to face a hostile crowd, to say "I blew it." The responsibility to teammates, coaches and the fans in honoring the game. Values of the Games is also illustrated with dramatic photographs of players, coaches and archetypal games. Pictures range from legends such as Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, and Bob Cousy; through the brilliant Magic Johnson and Larry Bird years and the greatest player ever, Michael Jordan. Even if you are not a NBA or college basketball fan the book has references associated with other aspects of life. It is filled with life long lessons that doesn't necessarily deal with professional athletes but, things that mundane people can identify with. The quote "Fame, you learn, is like a rainstorm-it come-on fast and then goes just as quickly, often leaving behind a certain amount of destruction" refers to how one should have the right perspective on themselves. One must realize that in life sometimes you will be the hero but, other times you will be the scapegoat. Bradley lets the reader in on basketball's secrets, which turns out, extend to life beyond the hardwood court.
Joe Reed
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Balancing Ethics & the Desire to Win 9 novembre 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Whether you work primarily with individuals or with organizations, Bill Bradley's new book can be a great source of inspiration and enlightenment. Ostensibly this book is merely a set of ten essays on the values the former US Senator and Rhodes Scholar lived by when he was a star professional basketball player for the New York Knicks. However, Values of the Game can be read on another level: as an allegory on how one can balance ethics and the desire for achievement.
Bradley's ten values are the following: Passion, Discipline, Selflessness, Respect, Perspective, Courage, Leadership, Responsibility, Resilience, and Imagination. Each of these is presented through a series of personal anecdotes from Bradley's career on the court, surrounded by terrific photos of the sport's many legendary super-stars, both male and female.
One of the most moving photos is in the "Courage" essay, in which Michael Jordan is pictured at the end of the fifth game of the 1997 NBA Finals, when he led his team to victory despite playing with a high fever. Bradley weaves his text around this theme by telling stories of how players--including himself--learned perseverance and inner calm in the face of tremendous pressure and challenge.
Just having completed a year of study and reflection at Stanford's prestigious think tank, the Hoover Institute, Bradley's comments on leadership are eloquent and quotable: "Leadership means getting people to think, believe, see, and do what they might not have without you. It means possessing the vision to set the right goal and the decisiveness to pursue it single-mindedly. It means being aware of the fears and anxieties felt by those you lead even as you urge them to overcome those fears. It can appear in a speech before hundreds of people or in a dialogue with one other person--or simply by example."
Although Bradley has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in the 2000 election, he steers clear of partisanship and political grandstanding. Instead, we find a book that delivers a calm, consistent message on values through the lenses of an assertive, convincing and sensitive man. As such it can be valuable tool for one's self-development as well as for coaching others. Positive but not overly idealistic, packaged in a beautiful format, Values of the Game provides practical tools for right living.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Values of the Game 28 mars 2000
Par Kenny Chang - Publié sur Amazon.com
I think this book is very good for people or children who like to play basketball. The book is written by Bill Bradley, who is one of the most famous players and is forwarded by Phil Jackson, who is one of the best choaches in the NBA today. The book does not only cover the surface of the game of basketball; the book also breaks down into few critical attitudes toward the game of basketball. The book starts by letting the readers know how passion is required in a player in order to play a good game of basketball. Then bhe book covers discipline, selflessness, respect, perspective, courage, leadership, responsibility, resilience, and imagination, which are all very important factors and attitudes that a player requires. Another good thing about this book is that, in each one of th ecritical attitudes that the book covers, it provides the readers a few well-known NBA players as examples, both current players and legends. And the author also puts in his own experience, so that the readers can understand deep down the meaning of the point the book points out. Overall, I think the book is very good for people who really likes to play basketball. It tells the reader that the game of basketball is not only scoring, there're a few very important factors which affect whom or which team gets the victory.
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