Hoops: The Complete Guide to Basketball and the NBA


155 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations
ISBN 0-394-22454-X
DDC j796.323




Reviewed by Kelly L. Green

Kelly L. Green is editor of the Canadian Book Review Annual’s
Children’s Literature edition.


In my 30-some years of following basketball, a number of questions have
cropped up in my mind. Why are basketball players called cagers? Why
hasn’t anybody thrown free throws underhanded since Rick Barry? Why is
the hoop still 10 feet off the ground when the players are so tall now?
This entertaining, well-written book answered most, if not all, of my
questions. Godfrey Jordan has researched the history of the game, and of
the National Basketball Association (and its predecessors), in
considerable detail; his book includes arcane but fascinating facts that
will surprise even the most ardent fan.

Written ostensibly to honor the return of professional basketball to
Canada (the first NBA game was played in 1946 at Maple Leaf Gardens,
where the Toronto Huskies lost to the New York Knicks), Hoops explains
the game clearly to the novice while managing to hold the interest of
the aficionado. The book is very well organized, but the shades-of-grey
basketball graphics layered over some pages of text occasionally make
for difficult reading. I also wish that Jordan had been more consistent
about including the players’ team names in lists (such as “Point
Guard Stars,” “Power Forward Stars,” etc.) and other discussions.
But by and large this book is what its subtitle says—a complete guide
to basketball and the NBA. Highly recommended.


Jordan, Godfrey P., “Hoops: The Complete Guide to Basketball and the NBA,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 9, 2023, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/18793.