Basketball (and Other Things) by Shea Serrano

The more you enjoy basketball, the more you will enjoy this book. The book picks up in 1980 (Larry Bird and Magic Johnson’s first year in the NBA) as the beginning of the modern NBA and runs through the 2016 finals. Each chapter is in a Question and Answer format where Serrano explores interesting topics like who are the best fictional basketball players – I cracked up when he was breaking down Air Bud. This format allows you to pick it up and put it down at will as the chapters are mostly unrelated.

I have a decent grasp of basketball’s last 20 -25 years so I got most of the references, though the 1980s were a little hit or miss. Most of the book relies on callbacks to famous plays, players, and teams, so having at least some idea of basketball history (or ample time to YouTube basketball history) is required to get something out of it. I did find the book a fun read – or rather listen. I listened to the audiobook which was still enjoyable, but “illustrated” is in the subtitle, so I’d probably recommend reading the physical book if you can.

If you don’t like basketball, you probably won’t get much out of it though, but it’s a great book if you like basketball and a good gift for the person in your life that likes basketball.