LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are two of the greatest basketball players to ever live, Los Angeles Lakers superstars whose achievements will never be touched by the majority of people to ever dribble a basketball, but at one point they were just kids falling as in love with the game as the rest of us.
That relatable sentiment is at the soul of “Basketball: A Love Story,” a new book from legendary hoops writer Jackie Macmullan along with Rafe Bartholomew and Dan Klores, in which the three writers present an oral history not just of the game, but what the game means to those most attached to it.
James reveals in the book that the moment he fell in love with basketball was early:
“When I was four, five years old, I started playing on a crate. And I remember that joy — playing on the street, cars interrupting our game, the ball going into the woods. Playing basketball, it did something to me.”
Bryant tells a similar story:
“When I picked the ball up I literally could not stop. I was instantly attracted, almost like I was born to play.”
In the sense that anyone can relate to two of the most successful basketball players ever, this is the most relatable Bryant and James have ever been for true hoops junkies. We all probably have a similar story, a moment that we realized that this game was going to be a lifelong obsession.
And everyone at the highest levels of the game has stories like those, a reality reinforced as some of basketball’s brightest stars and most talented chroniclers share their recollections of the game’s history, memories that are expertly woven together by Macmullan, Bartholomew and Klores.
For those interested in more stories like James’, Bryant’s and plenty more tales of love for the game, “Basketball: A Love Story” is available for purchase today.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.