"What David Halberstam did for the NBA fan of the late 70s and 80s in The Breaks Of The Game, Thomsen does for contemporary NBA buffs.”
“If you think the NBA is strictly about talent, mixed in with some Xs and Os, and, oh, yes, the dreaded `A-word’ — Analytics — guess again. Master reporter and dream writer Ian Thomsen reminds us the game is played with fascinating people, who bring both human greatness and vulnerability. Beginning with the folly of The Decision, Thomsen traces LeBron’s evolution from somewhat confused superstar to the multi-time champion he has become. In addition, he probes the psyches of Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Pat Riley and Doc Rivers, among others. What David Halberstam did for the NBA fan of the late 70s and 80s in The Breaks Of The Game, Thomsen does for contemporary NBA buffs.”
Bob Ryan, author of Scribe: My Life in Sport
"Bravo! About time! Ian Thomsen provides an antidote to the fast-food, twitter feed of instant information consumption. Travel back to the 2010 NBA season, when LeBron and his two amigos arrived in Miami, when Dirk asserted himself in Dallas, when the league went through an economic and social convulsion. Marinate to see all the repercussions. Tell the tale with deft prose and snappy anecdotes and bring us all up to speed on what might come next. Great, great stuff."
"Thomsen brings us the NBA like we've never seen it before."
Who better than Ian Thomsen – NBA writer extraordinaire, graceful storyteller, wired reporter – to tell the tale of the league’s transformation back to the top of the sports heap? The Soul of Basketball is a perfectly-timed narrative that takes you deep inside the minds of the game’s greatest players, coaches and executives to reveal the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that not only saved the NBA but elevated it around the world.’’
Mark Fainaru-Wada, coauthor of Game of Shadows and League of Denial
"In his groundbreaking book The Soul of Basketball, Ian Thomsen has crafted fascinating and revealing insights into a pivotal time in the NBA involving the game's biggest stars. This is a must read for all basketball junkies."
Jackie MacMullan, bestselling author of When the Game was Ours (with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson) and Shaq Uncut (with Shaquille O’Neal)
"Ian Thomsen provides an antidote to the fast-food, twitter feed of instant information consumption."
“Ian Thomsen is the perfect writer to show us The Soul of Basketball. While baseball grew old, and the NFL dealt with multiple crises, the NBA has emerged as America's game of the present and future. Riding sidecar with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Gregg Popovich, Ian was there for all of it and tells us how the NBA became our national pastime.”
Dan Shaughnessy, bestselling author of Francona (with Terry Francona)
“Ian Thomsen brings us the NBA like we’ve never seen it before: Gregg Popovich, anonymous, brilliant and alone, drinking a $160 bottle of wine at New York City bar to forget the season; the German trainer who built the exact specifications of Dirk Nowitzki’s jump shot on his computer; LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, finding their own paths as the successors to Michael Jordan. Intimate, lyrical and consistently revelatory, The Soul of Basketball is the story of a glossy multi-billion dollar league stripped to its essence.”
Steve Fainaru, Pulitzer Prize winner and coauthor of League of Denial
"Riding sidecar with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Gregg Popovich, Ian was there for all of it and tells us how the NBA became our national pastime."
A Distinguished Career
From Evanston to Europe, Ian's career has taken him around the world. Learn more about Ian's life and read through his greatest works.