The Summer in the City Game

With all due respect to the national pastime, summer is also time for hoops, especially of the pick-up variety. Of course, in the realm of basketball literature there is a whole rich subsection of writing devoted to the street game. We’ve got a couple few gems for...

The Brotherhood of Selmon

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports, September 1980 Their people were farmers who had come to eastern Oklahoma from Texas, and they grew up in the black dirt and still skies there and hired out as field hands after their own work was done. And it was not in them to resent...

Lips Get Smacked

By Bruce Buschel Philadelphia Magazine, January 1993 You don’t often see a contortionist wearing a black leather Red skins cap in the baccarat pit playing around with $20,000 at 1 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. You stop and watch. Though seated, his body is arced like a...

The Almighty Bob Baffert

By William Nack GQ, May 2003 By the late morning of last year’s Kentucky Derby, after watching War Emblem go through his final stretching exercises at Churchill Downs—his black coat looking sleek as mink as he jogged off the racetrack in the silver light—Robert...

Dubai’s Dream Team

By William Nack GQ, October 2002 It was a moment that joined two worlds, one in which the very old really began to understand the very new. It was 5:40 P.M. on Saturday, May 1, 1999, ten minutes after a horse named Charismatic—yet another male-line descendant of the...

The Old Man and the Mule

Here is a good story from Second Wind: Memoirs of an Opinonated Man by Bill Russell with the historian Taylor Branch (1979, Random House; currently out-of-print). It’s about Russell’s grandfather and his mule, Kate. Russell’s family was from Monroe, La., and he lived...

Big Shot

By Peter Richmond GQ, August 2002 He steers the van over the rolling folds of county Route 579, a two-lane road flanked by fields once neatly tilled and sown, now increasingly given over to development. But the landscape still carries the flavor of open country in the...

No Tresspassing

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports, September 1981 “The old lion is still a bad mother,” he said. “He just wants to roam. Leave him alone. He’s fading, but he’s still a lion.” St. Simons Island lies four miles off the coast of southern Georgia, connected to the mainland by...