Friday, October 22, 2010

Book Review: "Tip Off" By Filip Bondy

The 1984 NBA Draft is considered by many basketball fans to be the best draft in NBA history. It was littered with high-profile players coming out of college like Phi Slamma Jamma's Akeem Olajuwon, Kentucky's Sam Bowie and North Carolina's Michael Jordan and Sam Perkins. The draft also featured future Hall of Famers John Stockton and "Sir" Charles Barkley. There were also some great roll players that came out of the '84 draft too like Kevin Willis, Otis Thorpe, Michael Cage, Alvin Robertson and Jerome Kersey. Any NBA GM would drool over the opportunity to put a roster together just from the prospects that were in the '84 draft class.

Filip Bondy captures the headlines as well as the back stories that helped shape this iconic draft through his book, Tip Off. The book is a basketball fan's guide to the collegiate events and player personnel moves that led up to the draft and eventually shaped the landscape of the late 80's and 90's NBA. Bondy does a great job of making the reader feel as if he/she is in the "war rooms" with the NBA GM's as they forever changed the paths of their franchises.

The author goes into great detail with the decision making process of players, scouts, GM's and Owners. Although the outcomes from that draft are already history, I still found myself on the edge of my seat wondering which teams were going to draft which players. One can't help but scream out, "No Portland, don't do it!". Obviously referring to the Trailblazers selecting Sam Bowie with the second over-all pick just ahead of Michael Jordan, but why did Portland pick Bowie over Jordan? That might be one of the biggest draft blunders ever looking back at their careers, but there were a number of logical circumstances that led to that fateful decision. Bondy gets into the heart of that decision and so much more.

The Blazer's predicament with the second overall pick is just the tip of the iceberg in Tip Off. Whether you're a fan of collegiate or professional basketball, you'll get something out of this informative and entertaining book. I encourage anyone looking for a little NBA history lesson to pick this book up (click here). It's a fun, fast and easy read. Anyone who has read the book or has any thoughts on the 1984 NBA Draft, I would love to hear your thoughts.

- Filip Bondy is currently a sports columnist for the NY Daily News and has a blog called, The Daily Blahg

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