Inspired by a forthcoming major ESPN film series, this is an extraordinary oral history of basketball—its eye-opening untold history, its profound deeper meaning, its transformative influence on the world—as told through an unprecedented series of candid conversations with the game’s ultimate icons.
This is the greatest love story never told. It has passion and heartbreak, triumph and betrayal. It is deeply intimate yet crosses oceans, upends lives and changes nations. This is the true story of basketball.
It is the story of a Canadian invention that took over America and the world. Of a supposed “white man’s sport” that became a way for people of color, women, and immigrants to claim a new place in society. Of a game that demands everything of those who love it, yet gives so much back in return.
To tell this story, acclaimed journalists Jackie MacMullan, Rafe Bartholomew and Dan Klores embarked on a groundbreaking mission to interview a staggering lineup of basketball trailblazers. For the first time hundreds of legends, from Kobe, Lebron and Steph Curry to Magic Johnson, Dr. J, and Jerry West, spoke movingly about their greatest passion. Iconic coaches like Phil Jackson and Coach K opened up like never before. Those who shattered glass ceilings, from Bill Russell and Yao Ming to Cheryl Miller and Lisa Leslie, explained what it really took to lay claim to their place in the game.
At once a definitive oral history and something far more revelatory and life-affirming, Basketball: A Love Story is the defining untold oral history of how basketball came to be, and what it means to those who love it.