Tuesday, April 24, 2007

David Halberstam

One of my favorite writers, David Halberstam, died in a car crash at 73 yesterday. Tributes to his work are all over the internet but I wanted to add my own brief appreciation. Halberstam wrote important books about everything from the Vietnam War (The Best and the Brightest) to the news media (The Powers That Be). But I knew him from his sports books, especially The Breaks of the Game, his chronicle of the 1979-1980 Portland Trail Blazers. This book had everything that fascinated me about basketball when I was a teenager - psychology, competition, culture, race, and, of course, basketball. The fact that all of these things still fascinate me is at least a partial testament to The Breaks of the Game. I read it mostly on a trip to Europe with my family in 1981 . It was kind of funny... me carrying this huge hardcover book across the world. He wrote many other books (some of which I hope to read) and was working on another one when he died in a car crash in northern California. He'll be missed.

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