PositiveThe Wall Street JournalDon’t get the idea that The Speed Game is infatuated repetitiously with a scheme for winning basketball games. Mr. Westhead gives us a lot more. It may be a surprise to readers to learn how graceful and interesting a writer he is. In four years at St. Joseph’s in his hometown of Philadelphia, his 3.4 grade average topped his basketball scoring average of 2.4 points per game. And he spent two years at Villanova studying Shakespeare and teaching college English. In his memoir, he writes especially well about coaching the Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA championship in 1980 and the Phoenix Mercury, led by the great Diana Taurasi, to the 2007 women’s title. He also describes how, in the late 1980s, he transformed Loyola Marymount into a powerhouse, and he does so without diminishing the role of Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble in the team’s success ... Mr. Westhead’s core argument in The Speed Game, though persuasively advanced, may feel like a lost cause. As exciting as the speed game is, and as successful as it can be, most coaches and fans are fine with the slower game and think it’s exciting enough.
Ethan Sherwood Strauss
PositiveThe Wall Street JournalIn The Victory Machine, Ethan Sherwood Strauss lauds the Warriors ... Kevin Durant is another story. Mr. Strauss describes him as the most talented scorer in basketball but a difficult dude to deal with. Nearly a quarter of his excellent book focuses on his own relationship with Durant...
RaveThe Wall Street JournalThe author’s analysis is convincing and his reporting thorough. Tanking to the Top is the best basketball book in years.
PositiveThe Wall Street JournalThe battle between FanDuel and DraftKings to dominate the sports betting market is not a complicated story. The two startups have done essentially the same things over the past decade to stay alive, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising and making deals with sports leagues ... And now, as the National Football League season begins, they’re fighting again, which is what rivals are supposed to do ... There’s a bit more to the story, of course, conveyed with vividness and reportorial precision by Albert Chen, a Sports Illustrated writer and editor, in Billion Dollar Fantasy.