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In Seven Seconds or Less, Sports Illustrated's chief NBA writer, Jack McCallum, gets in the paint with the Phoenix Suns and takes a season-long look at the NBA's most exciting and controversial team. A few weeks before the 2005-2006 NBA training camps began, Jack McCallum called the Phoenix Suns ace director of public relations to propose a story idea for Sports IllustratIn Seven Seconds or Less, Sports Illustrated's chief NBA writer, Jack McCallum, gets in the paint with the Phoenix Suns and takes a season-long look at the NBA's most exciting and controversial team. A few weeks before the 2005-2006 NBA training camps began, Jack McCallum called the Phoenix Suns ace director of public relations to propose a story idea for Sports Illustrated. He would spend the preseason with the team as an "assistant coach" and then write a story about his experiences. He was quickly granted access, and while his role as "assistant coach" lasted only through the preseason, McCallum stayed on with the team throughout their amazing 2005-2006 season. McCallum was looking for real inside access and he certainly got it. He spent the season in the locker room and in the coaches' meetings, learning what makes this wildly popular, innovative, and international assemblage of talented players and brilliant coaches tick. For years, NBA basketball was marked by a plodding, dull-as-dishwater style of play -- that was until coach Mike D'Antoni, point guard Steve Nash, and the high-flying Phoenix Suns set the league on fire with their old-school, run-and-gun approach to offense. Along the way they won back legions of disillusioned fans and demonstrated the virtues of team play to a league preoccupied with one-on-one theatrics. In Seven Seconds or Less, McCallum describes his year trying to keep up with the fast-breaking Suns on and off the court. He takes readers inside the heads of Nash, the team's mercurial floor general; the maverick D'Antoni; and dozens of others who make up the close-knit Suns family. On the court, there's excitement as the Suns overcome a rash of injuries to once again battle for a conference title. Off the court, controversy rages as the team endures a major front-office change in midseason. Throughout it all, the team continues to bedevil opponents and challenge the status quo with their throwback style. In the spirit of Buzz Bissinger's Three Nights in August and John Feinstein's A Season on the Brink, Seven Seconds or Less is an in-depth look at one of the greatest shows in sports....

Title : Seven Seconds or Less: My Season on the Bench with the Runnin' and Gunnin' Phoenix Suns
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781416543534
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Seven Seconds or Less: My Season on the Bench with the Runnin' and Gunnin' Phoenix Suns Reviews

  • Shivesh
    2019-03-12 15:36

    There is one thing about the Phoenix Suns back the in the middle of the last decade that is undeniable: they were a lot of fun to watch. As a lifelong Lakers fan, it was a little hard to see them lose to the Suns in the first round of the 2006 playoffs. Man, I hated Raja Bell as much as I loved Kobe in that series. Eddie House and even Boris Diaw were also easy to hate. But what to feel about Steve Nash? A medium sized white guy from Canada became a two time MVP and the premier point guard in the game dominated by larger and quicker players, and was getting better with age. His wiliness was well matched with a consuming competitive drive that defined his success and his hardships. It was hard to dislike him. In fact, I wished the Lakers could have a PG like that.This book is the culmination of a sportswriter's season-long obsession with the Suns, with a major focus on personalities and philosophies rather than stats and strategies. In that vein, it is similar other basketball books I have loved, including Phil Jackson's memoirs. We all know what happened to this team: their run ended with a loss to the Dallas Mavericks in an epic seven game series. But their methodology was revolutionary: their head coach relied on a simple rule: seven seconds is all they needed to get the ball upcourt and get a shot up. The creativity, athleticism and sheer talent of the players working together would be the engine that drove this run-and-gun system, and man... was it fun to watch. Much like a playground game of hoops, the Suns from 2004-2007 were the most entertaining team in the conference.McCallum is a great writer, and I have mostly read his stuff in Sports Illustrated since I was a kid following Magic and Kareem. A whole book allows much more room for introspection, reflection and thought than a magazine article. He has a deeply analytical style that approaches sports as a direct function of the personalities that make up the game. In this case, it is the pillars of the team — Nash and Mike D'Antoni — that the whole team and coaching staff pivot around. In this constellation, there are even more stronger personalities around, like Shawn Marion, whose insecurities are probably the saddest and most surprising part of this book. For a freakishly talented athlete who was able to touch the *top* of the backboard, it is curious to see how his self worth were constantly threatened by the laurels heaped on Nash. I guess the millions of dollars flowing into his bank account every month weren't enough to assuage his bruised ego.There are a lot of great moments in this book, and the vision it grants us into each player and into each member of the support staff (no matter how insignificant) makes this a required read for any NBA fan. You may never have liked the Suns in the past, but after this book you will find yourself strangely attached to them as players and as normal guys just trying to win a game, or win precious playing time. I miss those days of seven seconds or less.

  • Sandi
    2019-03-14 16:17

    A well done season with a team book. The Phoenix Suns of nearly a decade ago were entertaining but seemed snake bit when it came to the playoffs. It was nice to remember how good Steve Nash was though his body was a bit creaky even back then.

  • Chi
    2019-02-25 21:39

    Charles Barkley is a punk.Shawn Marion is a head case.Amare' Stoudamire has huge issues.

  • Jason
    2019-03-18 20:20

    Participatory journalism will always get me going, whether it's George Plimpton playing quarterback for the Lions or AJ Jacobs reading the encyclopedia. I was excited, then, to read that Jack McCallum conceived of his project as one of participatory journalism. Unfortunately, McCallum appears to have either not read or completely missed the point of Plimpton's great work in this field, because this book is not participatory in the least. It's just a book about the Suns for which McCallum was given more access than a journalist usually gets.After that initial disappointment, though, I was ready for a good yarn: team, supposed to be on the verge of greatness, loses Amare Stoudemire but makes use of new additions Raja Bell and Boris Diaw to make a run through the regular season and then into the Western Conference finals before finally falling to Dallas. No such yarn emerged. To say that there's a narrative here would stretch the meaning of the word. It's a collection of anecdotes loosely tacked on to the playoff run, with "timeouts" so that McCallum can have flashbacks to anecdotes from the regular season that he thinks are appropriate at the time. This could have worked, but it didn't. The "timeouts" didn't really add flesh to the playoff story so much as provide secondary anecdotes marginally related to the ones he'd told in the chapter before.Now that I've lowered the expectations from "masterwork of participatory journalism" down to "collection of anecdotes about an interesting team", did the book work as the latter? Kind of. I don't think I have a lot more insight into Steve Nash or Mike D'Antoni, the two leaders of the Suns revolution. I didn't get anything new about Tim Thomas or the down-bench guys (Pat Burke, for instance).But it's not all bad. The role of the assistant coaches is illuminated effectively, as McCallum shows how each coach takes on a particular persona and has very specific responsibilities on the team, with some of them acting as the "personal coach" of particular players who the coaching staff thought needed individualized attention. Amare Stoudemire's slow comeback from knee surgery is revealed to be at least in part due to his lack of desire to do the work necessary to come back. (Although there is one infuriating moment when Stoudemire hurts his other knee and attributes it to "overcompensating". McCallum dismisses this out of hand as a "predictable layman's theory", which is absurd. Injury cascades due to changed mechanics from compensating for the pain or inability to move an injured joint the same way are well known. Dismissing Amare's theory out of hand in this way may have been correct in this case (the doctors said the two injuries were unrelated), but to dismiss the entire idea is silly. More on silly comments later.)The most fascinating character in the book ends up being Shawn Marion, the guy who thinks the coaches dump on him harder than anyone else, the guy about whom the coaches admit they might dump on him harder, the guy who can dominate a game or completely coast through it, the guy who wants desperately the attention and adoration given to Nash and D'Antoni. Bill Simmons took potshots at Marion for years, but having read the book, I'm not sure they were entirely warranted. Marion's more complex than "he wants his own team" and it's unfair to characterize him with simple aphorisms.Boris Diaw, meanwhile, has become my new hero because he is apparently the consummate Frenchman: diet, clothes, attitude. The best line: someone breaks wind and Diaw responds, "Someone has died but does not yet know it." Is that not brilliant coming out of a 6'9" basketball player? It is.Ok, now to my actual biggest complaint about the book: McCallum's horrible homerism. I understand that as you get close to a team, you start to root for them. You get to like the players and the coaches, you're watching all their games, it's only natural. But as a professional journalist, as someone who, as a Sports Illustrated writer, is supposedly at the top of his profession, I'd expect McCallum to be able to separate his personal feelings from his professional feelings a little bit better than this. The most egregious examples are when McCallum simply takes what a coach or player has (presumably) told him and repeats it as fact, not "D'Antoni says X" but simply "X". A brief catalog of infuriating instances:1. On pg. 142, Kwame Brown is quoted saying that the Suns "are not a fundamental team. They just go out and they just run a bunch of screen-and-rolls and have such good shooters." McCallum launches a mighty defense of the Suns: "In Brown's world, 'fundamental' equates not to movement and spontaneity but to isolation plays and set offense." No, Jack, that's not what Kwame said at all. He said that Phoenix doesn't run an offense, they just run around, set a few screens, and hope one of their shooters gets an open look. Kwame, as a guy who was trying to learn the triangle, understood very well that basketball was not about isolation plays -- the triangle is very motion-oriented, with backdoor cuts and interior passing being staples of the Lakers' repertoire. There's a reason that the Lakers, as an inferior team, almost won the series with the Suns: they were able to slow the game down and the Suns had no real answer in the half-court set because they don't have an offense to fall back on. How many times did the Suns offense actually devolve to isolation, with Nash or Barbosa breaking their man down? McCallum bought into the revolution a little bit too hard.2. On pg. 151, McCallum refers to the Lakers walking off the court without shaking hands as "poor sportsmanship." He notes that the Pistons did the same thing to the Bulls in 1991, "but at least the Pistons, who had won the previous two championships, were somebody." First, it's entirely unclear to me how that last thought is relevant. If you're "somebody" (whatever that means), you can get away with not shaking hands? But not if you're a struggling seventh or eighth seed? Second of all, poor sportsmanship! Raja Bell had clotheslined Kobe Bryant earlier in the series! Not even in the context of a play! Bell literally put the cheapest shot I've ever seen in my years as an NBA fan on Kobe, and the Lakers were supposed to shrug that off and shakes hands etc.? Fuck that.3. "[Avery] Johnson notwithstanding, there is something irritating about the Mavericks." He goes on to cite Jason Terry and Mark Cuban. Does Jason Terry really irritate anyone who's not a Suns fan? And come on, if you can't acknowledge that Mark Cuban is irritating precisely because he wants to be irritating, because he wants to be like the small-town mayor who bets a turkey against the other small-town mayor on the high-school football game, then you need to take a step back.4. Probably the most egregious and utterly irresponsible moment comes when he lauds Raja Bell's takedown of Bryant as a "big moment" for Bell. Not in a neutral way does he say this, but in a positive way, as one of his "three big moments" in the playoffs, the other two being a game-tying three pointer and his Willis Reed moment against the Mavs. I really couldn't believe when I read it that McCallum would applaud Bell's ugly thuggish move like this.5. On page 289, he refers to the Dallas PA announcer as "obnoxious." I don't know what planet McCallum is on where every PA announcer in the NBA isn't obnoxious. To call out Dallas's isn't really justified.Those aside, there was one place where he just said something dumb that I feel obligated to point out. On pg. 101-02, he writes "[H]ome teams generally get more favorable calls than visiting teams. ... [O]verall, a home team gets the majority of close ones." But does he back this point up in any way? I don't expect him to break his chapter down and start an empirical study, but come on, a footnote maybe? This kind of unattributed nonsense without any pretense of proving it's true is the worst of the journalistic world.One thing McCallum gets right: "If the [dress] code is not inherently racist, it is certainly racial." I like that he took two paragraphs to basically just give his thoughts on the dress code, and I like that he got it right.Finally, one other bit: Raja Bell's mom actually talked trash to Kobe after the series was over (pg. 153), proving that Raja Bell's mom has exactly the same amount of class as Raja Bell.

  • Anthony
    2019-02-26 16:20

    jack mccallum is a wonderful writer devoid of pretension but without annoying fake humility. this book is very good and i still love steve nash the same i did as i was 16 years old and got a swingman dallas mavericks steve nash jersey. i grew my hair out and patterned my game after him at the local ymca, where i'd dribble from the top of the key down the lane and then under the hoop, bypass the reverse layup then dribble back up to the foul line and shoot off the dribble swish, bang. anyways, yeah like i said. very good book.

  • Colin
    2019-02-28 19:23

    If you grew up watching the NBA in the late 90's/early 2000's, there are plenty of memorable names, games, and coaches in this book to bring back some serious nostalgia. A great read for any basketball fan looking for a glimpse into the locker room of an NBA team.

  • Jeff
    2019-02-22 21:28

    It was more like the playoffs, not the season but still interesting.

  • Edward Horne
    2019-03-08 23:29

    I read about this book on si.com and was very intrigued about the possibilities about getting an insider's view of the 2005-06 Phoenix Suns. The preview posted on si.com focused on Shawn Marion - who turns out to be quite a sensitive, self-conscious head case. The coaches spend an inordinate amount of time trying to cater to Marion's ego - compare that to the self-assurance of Steve Nash (ah Nash! How I long for the old Dallas Mavericks days with you and Dirk running the pick and pop... *sigh*)Lots of great anecdotes and insight presented in the book for the true NBA fan. The most shocking thing I found was the frank honesty exhibited by the coaches about the strengths and limitations of not only their own players, but their opponents as well. Being a die-hard Mavericks fan, it was also very interesting to see the "other" perspective, so to speak, about how Phoenix viewed the Mavericks players and fans (not very favorably I might add)My main quibble with this book is that it focuses almost exclusively on the playoffs with just little snippets from the regular season (usually constructed in the form of a time-out from a discussion about the current playoff series / game). So in that sense, the book is a little misleading - it's not really about the complete season of the 2005-06 Suns, but more of a detailed look at their playoff run.Now the cynical NBA fan would point out - "Yeah, but nobody cares about the NBA regular season anyway - it's all about the playoffs. The only purpose of the regular season is to determine the playoff seeding." And in a lot of ways they would be right - but when reading this book, I couldn't help but compare it to the infinitely more superior book "Next Man Up" by John Feinstein about the 2004 Baltimore Ravens. Now THAT book was a virtual day-by-day recap and insight into the inner workings of an NFL franchise - everything from an ownership change, the draft, weekly roster moves, and the game-by-game grind all the way to the playoffs. Admittedly, it's easier to focus on the NFL regular season since there are fewer games (hence, making each one extremely important), but Feinstein had to explore more situations and develop more characters due to the great disparity in roster size (12 vs 53 active). Now having said that, 7 Seconds or Less is still a very enjoyable (if short) read and I would highly recommend it to any NBA or basketball fan - whether you root for the Suns or not. Phoenix plays an exciting brand of basketball and their roster and coaching staff is filled with lots of dynamic personalities. This makes for a highly entertaining book to match their on-court style.

  • Steven
    2019-03-15 23:28

    After finishing Paul Shirley’s memoir “Can I Keep My Jersey” in which he details his life bouncing around the NBA, ABA and Europe playing basketball, I was interested in reading more about the Phoenix Suns. Shirley was on the bench of the Suns during the 2004-2005 season and described a team that was playing basketball the “right way” and scoring tons of points en route to the Western Conference Finals.This book chronicles the 2005-2006 Phoenix Suns season that also ended in the Western Conference Finals. Everyone knows that Phoenix is a team that is very likeable. They play basketball in a manner that does not make me want to claw my eyes out (like watching most NBA teams does). Led by league MVP Steve Nash, the Suns overcame injury to Amare Stoudemire and still managed to have a wildly successful season. The book title is an homage to the Suns offensive philosophy of desiring a shot every seven seconds or less – transition basketball at its finest.Nash, Barbosa, Diaw, Marion, Bell, etc. all orchestrated by Coach Mike D’Antoni, the Phoenix Suns were fun to watch. I use the past tense because it is my humble opinion that the Suns described here are no longer. Mike D’Antoni has since been replaced by Terry Porter and Robert Sarver (not my favorite guy in the world) has basically pushed the Colangelo’s (at least Bryan) out the door for the affable, though not yet as successful, Steve Kerr. Shawn Marion always felt like the third banana is Phoenix and he was traded during the 2007-2008 season to Miami (where he can again be the third banana behind Wade and Beasley) for Shaquille O’Neal. Obviously, the Suns never accomplished the ultimate goal of winning a NBA Championship, but I think all of us fans that really had no team (I guess I kind of unenthusiastically root for the Magic) enjoyed pulling for the Suns. (I especially pulled for them against the evil Lakers and Mavericks in the season described in this book.) Sadly, it seems that the Suns and the philosophy described here is no longer.

  • Roy
    2019-02-21 19:29

    Do you like basketball? Well I used to but now, not rea…Ever wonder what it’s like to be an assistant coach in the NBA? I guess maybe once, but …Are you a big time Pheonix Suns fan? Um, no…Well I’ve got a book for you!I picked up this book because one of the main characters, Mike D’Antoni recently became the coach of the team I used to love. I was looking for a reason to re-kindle my passion for basketball, and maybe if this book could show me the NBA, in the same way that Moneyball breaks down MLB, well than I would have a new foot-hold to get back into the game.I can’t say :07 Seconds did that for me. I can’t say any book could do that for me. I loved the early 90’s Knicks to an unhealthy degree, and it’s probably for the best that I am not a fan any more. What :07 Seconds could do for you, if you were already into the NBA, is give you a few more morsels to digest and mull over at a game, during a huddle, or to help unpack an obscure court-side interaction. For me, a lapsed NBA fan, this book didn’t change my impressions of the game. It didn’t even change my impressions of assistant coaches. These guys are all desperately hard workers, but it is unclear whether what they do actually pays off in the end. The play in the NBA is so free-flowing and talent driven, that all of the stats and video in the world doesn’t seem like it could really make or break a game. What the assistants do helps the team shave off or add that last little percentage that may turn a win into a loss, but not always – not nearly as much as an injury to a key player, a bad call by a referee, or a hot night by an opponent.This book does give you a good feeling for what life is like for an assistant coach, but it doesn’t answer the question, do assistant coaches really matter?

  • Judd Vance
    2019-03-12 17:34

    My favorite type of hoops book involves a writer writing about a team for a year. If the writer is on the inside, it is even better.McCallum's rep as a NBA writer was established a long time ago in Sport's Illustrated. This book started out as an article for S.I, then turned into a book. McCallum was allowed into coaches meetings and allowed to travel with the team.The cast of characters is intriguing. There is 2-time MVP Steve Nash, 6th man of year Boris Diaw, insecure superstar Snawn Marion, defensive ace Raja Bell, and injured superstar Amare' Stoudermire, among others. The coaches are the stars: head coach Mike D'antoni (architect of the fast-paced Phoenix offense that stresses putting up the shot within 7 seconds), his brother Dan, defensive coach Marc Iavaroni, well traveled Alvin Gentry, and the ever-optimistic Phil Weber. There planning, strategy sessions, personalities, and interactions shine through.Every game and almost every day of the playoffs are covered. A few regular season games are mentioned. The weaknesses of the book are that so little of the regular season is covered (numerous stories and insights were lost) and the players' histories could have been covered in more detail. The first may have been because the author did not travel with the team all season - perhaps because he was writing other articles for S.I. The last was because the book was more focused on the coaches. This is unfortunate, since the NBA is a player's league. That is why Stauth's book "The Franchise" is still my standard.However, the view from the coaches is unique and very well detailed.

  • Tommy
    2019-03-01 23:29

    :07 Seconds or Less is a book about the up and down postseason of the 05-06 Phoenix Suns. Jack Mcallum, a reporter, got an all-access pass to everything that the Phoenix Suns did. This is a non-fiction book. Though they have a high seed in the playoffs, The suns are faced with many conflicts including, toughness, ball distribution, Kobe Bryant, and knowing that if you lose your season is over. This biggest conflict of all is the Suns loses one of its star players in Amare Stoudemire right before playoffs. This is a physical conflict. The team is down and on its heels. With heart and determination the team fights back and makes it all the way to the Western Conference finals led by their other star player, starting Point Guard, Steve Nash. To me, it shows heart and courage when one of your star players is injured, and you have been criticized for your toughness, to make it all the way the Western Conference Finals, and lose putting up a courageous fight.I think this a beautifully written book by Jack Mcallum. He really gets to know all the players and coaches, and also finds out about their individual conflicts. He writes it in a way that makes you want to keep reading. He finds out about how the Suns do everything and how the players interact with each other. Even though I liked this book, some people may not. This would be pretty boring to somebody who is not really interested in sports, let alone basketball, but if you do like basketball than I recommend this book. (269)

  • Oliver Bateman
    2019-02-26 18:23

    As "year-in-the-life" books go, this one is okay...even if the emphasis in Seven Seconds or Less is almost exclusively on the '05-'06 Suns' playoff run. McCallum, as unobtrusive and self-effacing a narrator as one might hope to find, offers up good profiles of Suns coaches Mike D'Antoni (not exactly the most cerebral, Xs and Os-oriented coach, it turns out), Alvin Gentry (a thoughtful, competent sort), Marc Iavaroni (as close to an "intellectual" as one might find in the coaching profession), and Dan D'Antoni (Mike's brother, a former high school coach, Marshall star, and nepotism beneficiary). He doesn't really take sides or dig very deeply, and his focus on the coaching side of things prevents him from drawing back and examining issues of team chemistry (as in The Jordan Rules, although these Suns aren't nearly as compelling as those Bulls were) or roster construction (as in Cameron Stauth's The Franchise). This is also a very short book, something that can be finished in a few hours. Nonetheless, I've heard McCallum's book on the '90-91 Celtics (Unfinished Business) is better, his own claims about having less team access to the contrary, so I'll probably read my bargain copy of that in a few weeks. Time allowing, I may tackle his new book on the Dream Team later in the year. McCallum's a decent enough writer, but reading this in conjunction with much better examples of the genre such as Mark Bowden's Bringing the Heat and Stauth's The Franchise didn't do SSoL any favors.

  • Sean
    2019-02-26 15:18

    Based on the title I was a bit worried that McCallum was going to insert himself into too many of the situations and focus more on himself rather than the coaches and players. This happens, but it's rare. The Suns in the mid 2000's were probably the funnest team to watch as D'Antoni's take on the game was so fresh and original and really made for entertaining basketball. Especially cause my team, the Rockets, was so bad at the time. There seems to be a team every decade that you can't believe didn't win a title looking back. In the 80's it was the Rockets, the 90's the Magic, the Suns in the 00's and it will probably be the Thunder in the '10's (can't trade a top 5 player and not face the consequences). The book does a great job profiling every player and naturally you are going to be drawn to some personalities more than others. Eddie House and Amare Stoudemire are both hilarious, one intentional the other it's hard to tell cause he's so dumb. You can also see why Gentry has had a job in the NBA for so long, the guy knows his stuff and seems like a great guy. Probably a must read if you love basketball but everyone else can skip it. I'd give it 5 stars but it's tough when you already know how it ends. My favorite quote from the book: “I mean, you can look for your parents in the crowd and shit,” he continues, “but you can’t be looking for specific motherfuckers.”

  • Allison Hogue
    2019-03-15 22:33

    A Season with the UnderdogJack McCallum, a journalist for Sports Illustrated, decides to write a story for the Phoenix Suns. At first, he thinks he is just going to be in Phoenix for a few days just to do interviews and see what life is like as a player, but what he didn't expect was to get invited by the coach to stay with them on the bench for the entire season. From extreme upsets and tough losses to making a huge run into the 2006 NBA playoffs, this is a story that would get fans on their feet. Including some amazing talented players such as Steve Nash and Shawn Marion. This is a season that brings the Phoenix Sun to the point as one of the greatest in sports history. This is a story of a team that makes a runnin' and gunnin' to the 2005-2006 season shocking everybody that they would make it this far. Similar to the USA Hockey Team winning the gold medal at the Olympics in 1980. Reaching greatest moments occur as the teams takes on grueling challenges and learn how to become a better team. McCallum gives an outlook of his experience with the team especially on the character they show. Including a special character of the head coach Marc Iavorani. Who is not just about winning, but also learning challenges that will make players succeed in life on and off the court and get to a goal they would reach in a lifetime.

  • Mighty_k24
    2019-03-06 20:24

    In't kort: We volgen het basketbalteam Phoenix Suns tijdens het seizoen 2005-2006, voor en achter de schermen. De Phoenix Suns staan bekend om hun aanvallende speelstijl, en verbazen vriend en vijand met hun uitstekende resultaten. Sportschrijver Jack McCallum (senior basketball writer bij Sports Illustrated) kreeg het privilege om dit team gedurende het volledige seizoen van heel dichtbij te volgen, van de eerste training tot de laatste toespraak in de kleedkamer.Mijn oordeel: McCallum is zich ten zeerste bewust van zijn privilege en laat zijn lezers ten volle meegenieten. Het boek begint 'in medias res', bij de start van de playoffs, en we krijgen een gedetailleerd verslag van elke dag tijdens die playoffs: elke wedstrijd, elke training, elke conversatie, elke coaches-vergadering wordt gevolgd en besproken. Daartussen komen enkele flash-backs naar het begin van het seizoen. McCallum zet ook elke belangrijke pion even in de schijnwerpers: de eigenaar, de hoodcoach, de sterspelers, ze komen allemaal aan bod. Doordat McCallum dit genuanceerd maar gedetailleerd beschrijft, krijg je als lezer een mooi beeld van hoe het er in een professioneel topteam echt aan toe gaat. En da's soms erg verrassend.Eindoordeel: ****1/2

  • Tedi31
    2019-03-02 22:32

    Over the last 17 years that I’ve been watching, reading, writing, and playing everything and anything that is related to the NBA, I’ve never come across a book which has truly captured the very essence of the league and the game of professional basketball until I read Jack McCallum’s “:07 Seconds or Less [My Season on the Bench with the Runnin’ and Gunnin’ Phoenix Suns]. “Jack McCallum, Sports Illustrated chief NBA writer, had the unique privilege “come aboard” and take part as a member of the Phoenix Suns staff during the 2005-2006 NBA season. McCallum made the most of the opportunity and in the process penning an undaunted and realistic look at what goes on behind the closed doors of Phoenix Suns Basketball—from the coaches, players, trainers, broadcasting, management, and even the eccentric owner’s perspective to the colorful metaphors (profanity laced statements) that they use as a means of self-expression from time-to-time.For more, visit: http://www.hankpym.com1st Copy: Denmark c/o David2nd Copy: Bought: May 1, 2013Location: Booksale (Robinson's Bacolod)Price: P20

  • Pete
    2019-02-26 15:21

    I just read this article about Zach Lowe: http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/....In conjunction with Seven Seconds or Less, it made me think about how much smarter sports writing is now than 10 years ago. Seven Seconds or Less is, generally, a stupid book. There are few detailed descriptions of basketball. It is meant, I suppose, to be a kind of character study but, and this is possibly no fault of the author's, the characters all come across as being boring and one-dimensional. McCallum admits this, in a way, when he notes that Steve Nash, while reputed to have an interest in leftist politics, is actually a guy who might read a little, if he has time and energy, after playing sports for hours and hours. Professional athletes might be disproportionately boring, because they spend a disproportionate amount of time focusing on one, exceedingly esoteric thing. Better to watch a 10 minute highlight video of the Suns on Youtube.

  • Sammy Beatty
    2019-03-10 23:24

    Let me put out a quick disclaimer-- I'm a die hard Suns fan and the season chronicled in this book was my senior year of high school. So, undoubtedly I was going to love this book regardless (well, regardless of the heartbreaking result). But the sheer access and first hand accounts of players I thought I knew before this, but realize now I didn't know at all, was just fascinating. The chapters cut between the playoffs and pivotal times during the season leading up to the playoffs and that structure makes for a great read. I found myself reading the book hoping for a different ending, much like when you see a movie and know the main character is going to die-- yet you sit through the movie hoping you can will it not to happen. All in all, this book was great for any nba fan, especially a Phoenix Suns fan like me.

  • Amen Aguemon
    2019-03-12 18:37

    First off, I'm a die hard fan of the Phoenix Suns. I am an African and we mostly play football(soccer)where I come from. When I came to America the first sporting event I attended was a Suns game back in 1999. Over the years I have watched Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Penny Hardaway, Amare, and Steve Nash wear the orange and purple. I'm not much of a reader but I was intrigued by this book because it highlighted one of the most memorable years for the Suns. Nash was sensational that year. Of course they had their ups and downs but they made it to the playoffs and tried to go far until they ran into the freaking Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks. I enjoyed every second reading this book because it brought back some good old memories.

  • Amanda
    2019-02-25 19:34

    As someone who is the ultimate beginner in terms of basketball knowledge (having only extensively studied Dwight Howard's biceps), this book was a few different things:1) a relatively easy to understand summary of the Sun's playoff run (with a few nods to the season before)2) a basketball vocabulary lesson (I understood most of it?)3) a fairly well-written journalistic piece (though not fantastic- I've read some sports journalism before, and this didn't exactly blow me away)4) a better insight to the way players' personalities work on and off the court Coming from a limited knowledge of the sport and the team, I'd give the book 3stars- though I can see how it would easily go up or down in rating for someone more familiar with the NBA.

  • Patrick
    2019-02-22 16:24

    Very rarely, if ever, does a sports book or memoir provide both entertaining stories and insightful looks at strategy. Jack McCallum keeps a good balance between the off the court activity versus on court action. From an accomplished senior writer of venerable Sports Illustrated, a reader should expect nothing less. Readers won't find stories of debauchery or hedonistic pursuits. Instead, everything is centered on basketball operations--ownership, public relations, travel, etc. What I especially enjoyed was the dynamic between the coaches and how they strategized for each opponent. Good read for any sports enthusiast that would like to learn what happens behind the scenes.

  • Jared
    2019-03-11 19:33

    It was an entertaining read that gave some neat insights into how an NBA team functions. I didn't love the writing but it got the point across. Most of all I think it reinforces to me that we are all flawed people and it is so easy to forget that when you are looking at celebrities or famous people you don't know. When you see the flaws sometimes it turns you off people but other times it makes them more human and more intersting. Either way, good book about probably my favourite team ever. Its too bad D'antoni and Nash are in LA.

  • Neal
    2019-02-21 18:38

    Was more about the coaches than the players I felt like. Didn't give me the behind-the-scenes info I was craving, but did provide some insight. Really enjoyed the stories about Eddie House, and it made me really like him and think he's a funny guy. Gave me more respect for Raja Bell as well. However, I felt it was really dry and just trying to cram too much information into the book. It was a good read, but did not meet my admittedly high expectations.Another classy and short review by themixtapemonster.com!

  • Mike
    2019-03-15 21:27

    This is far from the greatest basketball book every written, contrary to what some will tell you. Of course Amare Stoudemire was immature, but Nash and (a personal favorite of mine) Edde House are made to be the heroes and Shawn Marion and Robert Sarver the villains. McCallum needs to take a page from the late, great David Halbertam.Many reports suggest this was indeed the power structure, it comes off as too much of a rah-rah "story" than a true biographical season of a fun but flawed basketball team.

  • Roman
    2019-03-04 22:29

    Great read, particularly for the insights on all of the Suns coaches and players. Even for a basketball fan, it's interesting to read about Steve Nash's personality, Shawn Marion's desire to be 'the man' and his fragile ego, Amare's lack of dedication to rehab and preparation, and assistant coach Alvin Gentry's candid acknowledgement that the team's defensive schemes are too complex that even he doesn't fully understand what's happening. Quick read, and an enjoyable one for a casual basketball fan.

  • Optimism
    2019-02-27 16:34

    Have to say I was somewhat let down by this book. I was expecting a full chronicle of the season, but it was 75% on the playoffs, and 25% of the season... problem is, for those that don't know, the playoffs are about 25% of the season. Other than him getting it backwards, it was an interesting look into the chemistry of a team and how delicate a job it is to massage the egos of people who are the best in the world.Also, he started at the end of the playoffs. Disappointing.Read it if you're a huge Suns fan; otherwise, skip it.

  • Marc
    2019-02-23 17:18

    Not a Suns fan, but I still enjoyed this book a lot. The author gives us a lot of inside on the team and coaching staff, while still keeping enough distance to not be confused as a fanboy most of the time (him kissing up to that digrace of an MVP Steve Nash being the exception). As a Lakers fan it is also interesting to note that even this book about the Suns can not avoid covering Kobe and the Lakers series for more than half the book (Kobe's name is probably mentioned more often than that of every Suns player besides Nash, Marion and Stoudamire.)

  • Ryan
    2019-03-10 18:34

    Loved this book as a big NBA fan. I watch and think about the game differently having read this. I was unaware of Jack McCallum's work for SI over the years although I've probably read a bunch of his articles and never knew it. As a Lakers fan, it was interesting to see how the Suns viewed them, especially in the '05 Playoffs. If you like/love/sort-of follow the NBA you should read this. It's well written and your perspective of the league, it's players, and the coaches especially will change in a positive way.

  • Jamey
    2019-03-07 18:20

    These are the Phoenix Suns that made basketball fun to watch, a form of entertainment, & not just sports. Sports fans say it's all about the championship; however, it is a business & on the flip side is all about the money. So the debate continues. Can a runnin', gunnin', poor defense team win a championship, or will they just win 55-60 games every regular season, maintain a huge fan base & play to sell out crowds? And the bottom line? How much are the fans willing to sacrifice in an effort to have a championship team?