The Epic Showdown Between LeBron, Kobe, Doc and Dirk That Saved the NBA
The Soul of Basketball tells the story of an NBA prodigy, his league and their sport in the throes of crisis during the pivotal 2010-11 season. It began with The Decision, that infamous televised moment when uber-star LeBron James revealed that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers – thereby distancing himself from his role model Michael Jordan – to pursue his first championship with his former opponents on the Miami Heat.
To the great fortune of LeBron, the NBA and basketball itself, the mission didn’t work out as planned. In the cultural tradition of Moneyball and Friday Night Lights, veteran NBA writer Ian Thomsen portrays the NBA as a self-correcting society in which young LeBron is forced to absorb hard truths inflicted by his rivals Kobe Bryant, Doc Rivers and Dirk Nowitzki, in addition to lessons set forth by Pat Riley, Gregg Popovich, Larry Bird, David Stern, Joey Crawford and many more.
This is about the making of a champion. Brimming with inside access, The Soul of Basketball tells the inspiring story of LeBron’s loneliest year, insecure and uncertain, when his ultimate foe was an unlikely immigrant who renewed the American game’s ideals. From Miami to Boston, Los Angeles to Dallas, Germany to the NBA’s Manhattan headquarters, the biggest names in basketball are driven by something more valuable than money and fame – a quest that will pave the way for Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and future generations to thrive.
NBA Writer, The Boston Globe
Author, Scribe: My Life in Sports
“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.”
NBA Columnist, ESPN
“Ian Thomsen has crafted fascinating and revealing insights into a pivotal time in the NBA involving the game's biggest stars. A must read for all basketball junkies.
Author, Game of Shadows and League of Denial
“This is a perfectly-timed narrative that reveals the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that not only saved the NBA but elevated it around the world.”
Columnist, The Boston Globe
“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.”
New York Times Bestselling Author
Sting Like A Bee, The Big Bam
“Thomsen tells the tale with deft prose and snappy anecdotes and brings us all up to speed on what might come next. ”
Pulitzer-Prize Winning Journalist
Author, League of Denial and Big Boy Rules
"Intimate, lyrical and consistently revelatory, The Soul of Basketball is the story of a glossy multi-billion dollar league stripped to its essence."