Friday, February 22, 2013

the last book I ever read (David George Surdam's The Rise of the National Basketball Association, excerpt twelve)

from The Rise of the National Basketball Association by David George Surdam:

Between the territorial picks and regular drafts, a team could aspire to improve its record pretty quickly if it acquired a top-flight rookie. While baseball rookies rarely led the American or National League in major statistical categories such as home runs, batting average, wins, or earned run average, professional basketball rookies sometimes vaulted to the top of statistical categories. Wilt Chamberlain led the NBA in scoring and rebounding during his rookie season while Oscar Robertson led the league in assists as a rookie.

Although George Mikan’s retirement heralded a shift in the league’s balance of power, talented rookies such as Pettit, Russell, Baylor, Chamberlain, Robertson, and West became the league stars who remain in the public’s consciousness. (Really, how many modern fans know of George Mikan, Bob Cousy, Dolph Schayes, Bob Davies, and a host of other early NBA stars?)

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