Dean Smith

By Will Blythe From To Hate Like This is to Be Happy Forever 2007 Soon after I returned to Chapel Hill , I had arranged to visit with Dean Smith, the former North Carolina head coach. I dressed up for the occasion, although these days the journalist in me had become...

The Stacks Chat: Alex Wolff

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader April 2018 The Library of America’s newest sports anthology, Basketball: Great Writing About America’s Game, is out and deserves a place on the shelf of any self-respecting hoops fan. We recently sat down with the book’s editor,...

Surrogate Family

By J. Anthony Lukas From Birth of a Fan 1993 When I was four years old, my mother took me to my first evening at the theater—The Bumblebee Prince, an operetta by Rimsky-Korsakov, based on a story by Pushkin. By all reports, I was utterly entranced and, when the...

Requiem For A Forgotten Globetrotter

By Peter Goldman Sport November 1977 “You get what your hand called for.” —The Sayings of Leon Hillard Somebody showed me in the papers a while ago where Leon got what his hand didn’t call for. The headline jumped out at me first—EX-GLOBETROTTER IS KILLED BY WIFE—and...

Just Another “Fight of the Century”

By Joe Flaherty The New York Times September 20, 1981 It seems the designation of “Fight of the Century” (this has been the third in the last two years) is a masked monicker to disguise the fact they are affairs of violence. Perhaps things will improve when we move on...

Pearl

By Charles P. Pierce The National Sports Daily February 8, 1990 It is a second-generation nickname. So many of them are these days. Young Glenn Rivers once wore a Julius Erving T-shirt to a basketball camp, for instance, and Rivers has been “Doc” all the way from...

Amen to Sonny

By Joe Flaherty The Village Voice January 14, 1971 Will no one say amen? After reading and listening to the New York press, it seems that Charles “Sonny” Liston’s soul will be politely consigned to damnation. Milton Gross of the Post, the Eleanor Roosevelt of the...

Dark Times at Glen Ridge High

By John Marchese 7 Days June 28, 1989 The horrible days in May, as they came to be called in Glen Ridge, actually began on the first day of March on a baseball diamond owned by the borough, a New Jersey bedroom community 15 miles west of Manhattan. It was still a few...

The Summer in the City Game

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader 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....

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 the...

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...