When the Garden Was Eden: Clyde, the Captain, Dollar Bill, and the Glory Days of the New York Knicks
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Paperback, Harperluxe, 2011, ISBN13 9780062088789, ISBN10 0062088785
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Publishers Weekly,Long before he was a sports columnist for the New York Times, native New Yorker Araton grew up loving the Knicks during their championship heyday. Personal significance aside, according to Araton, the teams of the late 1960s and early 1970s "were the city's first true basketball love, consummated in the years before the romance of sport became complicated by money and the constructed divide between athlete and fan." Their share-the-wealth success spurred countless books and created several heroes, such as Walt "Clyde" Frazier, who was smooth on and off the court, and inspirational leader Willis Reed, whose dramatic return from a painful knee injury in game seven of the 1970s NBA finals cemented his legend. Araton profiles the team's construction, its players (some of whom have seen better days since retirement), and the high profile fans ( Woody Allen, Elliot Gould) who may have helped turn pro basketball into a media-savvy, worldwide business. The author's attempts to tie the era's political tumult and his own personal experiences to the larger story feel arbitrary and forced, but this thoroughly reported examination of the "Old Knicks" and their connection to the city is still an essential read for basketball history buffs. 8 pages of b&w photo. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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