Cover image for Court vision : unexpected views on the lure of basketball
Court vision : unexpected views on the lure of basketball
Berkow, Ira.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Morrow, [2000]

Physical Description:
xviii, 266 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV885.7 .B45 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Nobel laureats on the fast break? Symphony orchestra conductors on the alley-oop? Astronauts on the free throw?

Bestselling New York Times writer Ira Berkow presents a unique look at America's premier sport--and its fans--thorugh interviews with a remarkable cross section of widly known and extraordinarily accomplished individuals in a variety of fields, who explain what the lure of basketball is for them. Berkow talked with Chris Rock, Woody Allen, Tom Brokaw, Saul Bellow, Johnnie Cochran Jr., Walter Matthau, Nikki Giovanni, Donald Trump, Julia Child, Frank Stella, Erica Jong, Grover Washington Jr., Seiji Ozawa, and Sharon Stone, among others, to uncover fresh, funny, controversial, and often surprising opinions about the teams and players who make the game intriguing.

"My height was insufficient for a serious career. But to this day, if I play in a game with kids eight years old and under, I'm a tremendously effective shot blocker."--Woody Allen"A basketball game is a two-hour version of life, and that's the beauty of it. You have a start, you have a middle, you have a finish. The nice part is that you don't have to go eighty years."--Donald Trump"I always say that the most dangerous play in basketball is the open white man. It's because there is nothing more surefire. . . . A white guy open behind the arc is frightening." --Chris Rock

The interviews also offer compelling insight not only into what makes basketball transcendent, but these luminaries view the world of basketball how their own particular expertise and learn from it.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Berkow, the Pulitzer-nominated sports columnist for the New York Times, interviews individuals notable in their chosen professions to see what the game of basketball means to them. Seiji Ozawa, the conductor of the Boston Symphony since 1973 and a longtime Boston Celtic fan, presents some intriguing parallels between the disciplines of conducting and coaching. Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo is articulate--as always--in comparing the teamwork necessary to succeed in basketball to the political teamwork introduced by President Roosevelt in the New Deal. Among the others interviewed are William Goldman, Woody Allen, and the late Grover Washington Jr. Julia Child may be the most interesting subject. She played and enjoyed the game as a youngster but was ultimately shunned because of her six-foot height by teammates who preferred shooting from the perimeter rather than passing it inside to her. Who'd have thought Julia and Shaquille O'Neal would ever share the same sporting crisis? Wonderful reading. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

True basketball lovers will use any opportunity to expound on the meaning of the game. In this light-hearted collection of interviews with popular personalities, Berkow, New York Times sports columnist and author of To the Hoop: The Seasons of a Basketball Life, revels in the chance to make as many connections as possible between the life of the game and the game of life. He talks to an amazing array of cultural forces, from some obvious fans of the game, like Woody Allen and Mario Cuomo, to some surprising sources of hoops wisdom, such as writer William Goldman and conductor Seiji Ozawa. At their most philosophical, the conversations reveal how basketball models creativity and can mirror society and life. The banter hits the zone when the talk turns to players, coaches and opportunities taken and lost. Berkow misses a few opportunities of his own here. In particular, his conversations with women (only three of 27 subjects) feel perfunctory; his focus on the NBA cuts out the ripe women's game; and the seemingly verbatim and repetitious q&a format gets tiresome and doesn't allow for thematic synthesis. He turns to the same topics too often, especially when he repeatedly brings up Sprewell's nasty temper, Rodman's general badness and Jordan's perfection. Still, this is an entertaining gathering of strong, interesting opinions--and real fans of the game will love the give and go. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

A sports columnist for the New York Times and a noted author (e.g., Red: A Biography of Red Smith), Berkow has interviewed people notable in various fields who share an abiding love for basketball. Those interviewed run the gamut from movie stars to astronauts, from government officials to novelists, and each of the contributors gives a different, nuanced, and intriguing look at the game. Readers do not have to be rabid fans to enjoy this work, as many of the interviewees see the game as more than just wins and losses. This reviewer found Woody Allen's comments the most interesting. Long known as a New York Knicks fan, Allen recalls the teams of the 1960s and 1970s, featuring Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Bill Bradley, and, in particular, Earl "The Pearl" Monroe. He is less complimentary of today's Knicks but still appreciative of their skills. A great many of the other interviews are equally perceptive. Of interest to all basketball fans, this book is highly recommended.DWilliam O. Scheeren, Hempfield Area High Sch., Greensburg, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.