Shoot Out the Lights: The Amazing, Improbable, Exhilarating Saga of the 1969-70 New York Knicks

Bob Spitz, Author
Bob Spitz, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-15-193116-3
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In this portrait of the World Champion 1969-70 New York Knicks, Spitz (Barefoot in Babylon) has reincarnated a basketball team that could shoot the ball, play defense and outsmart every club in the league. Coached by Red Holzman, the team was led by captain and center Willis Reed, a man with a passion to succeed and the fists to make it happen; ``Dollar'' Bill Bradley, the tenacious forward and future U.S. senator; Walt ``Clyde'' Frazier, the master of the steal; Dave DeBusschere, a rebounder and guzzler of beer supreme; and Dick Barnett, who always commanded his jump shot to ``fall back, baby.'' With the best won-loss record in the league, the Knicks advanced to the finals against the Los Angeles Lakers of Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain. They received a terrible blow when Reed went down with a hip injury in the fifth game. In the final game, however, Reed dragged his body onto the floor, hit his first two (and only) jump shots and the Lakers were history. This book is marred by the author's slangy writing style that conjures up the trash-talking of today's game. Nevertheless, Knick fans will enjoy the journey back to that championship season. Photos not seen by PW. (Mar.)
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