Walt Frazier, one of the greatest guards ever to play the game, writes about "old school ball" and his ideas for reinvigorating the sport
In The Game Within the Game, basketball legend Walt Frazier looks at basketball from both a historical and personal viewpoint. When Frazier first started playing the game, discipline and strategy were more highly valued than in today's game, which he describes as having devolved into "a playground fest of dunks and threes." The old-school style of Frazier's past emphasized substance over style, contrary to the current state of the game, where celebrity and flashy moves dominate.
In lively and accessible language, Frazier writes about how important "the game within the game" really is. He emphasizes timing and mental skill, far more than dazzling moves, as the strengths that today's players need to hone in order to achieve success. Frazier makes some controversial points, aimed at new basketball players.
"The game within the game starts with players respecting their coaches, their teammates, and the opposing team. The Indiana Pacers had a good chance of winning the NBA championship last year before Artest erupted. They had a record of 16 wins and only 8 losses at the time the brawl occurred and were touted as the team with the best chance of dethroning the Pistons in the East.
Artest had been out of control for a long time. The Pacers tried to rein him in by suspending him earlier in the season, but Artest didn't learn his lesson. He is a product of his times. Basketball is a microcosm of life. Walking down the street today, guys want their props. If you bump into a young guy, he might go off. It's carried over into the NBA. The guys in the league today are young and they often have a similar mindset."