Dropping the ball

by

Rudy Gayby

Today, my girlfriend gifted me - FreeDarko Presents: The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History (2010).

According to the biographies section, “FreeDarko is a collective of like-minded NBA writers and artists whose blog has become a staple of basketball fandom on the Internet."

FreeDarko writers include (among others): Bethlehem Shoals (founding member of FreeDarko and regular contributor to NBA FanHouse), Eric Freeman (contributor to Yahoo!’s Ball Don’t Lie basketball blog), Lang Whitaker (Executive Editor of SLAM magazine), and Dr. Lawyer Indianchief or Dr. L.I.C. (Obviously, not his real name, but contributor to ESPN the Magazine.)

The back of FreeDarko Presents: The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History doesn’t lie when it says in bold letters, above the book’s description, “A History of Pro Basketball Unlike Any Other.”

Initially, I believed that claim, and maybe I was just in awe of the book’s packaging, colorful animations and humorous observations. Sports Illustrated wasn’t wrong to say the book is “Stunning.”

The interesting dilemma of billing itself as a history unlike any other is that one can also stake that claim without any marriage to truth and/or accuracy.

In the book’s second-to-last essay, “In Plain Sight - The Black-and-Silver Dynasty,” Dr. L.I.C. discusses the Spurs’ quiet dominance over the last decade.

Referencing the hotly-contested 2007 Western Conference Semifinals Spurs v. Suns, Dr. L.I.C. writes:

The Suns’ 2007 loss was marred by an incident in which Bruce Bowen - already accused of dirty plays such as karate kicking Wally Szczerbiak and sticking a sneaker out under the foot of a jump shooter as he came down — casually threw a flailing Steve Nash into the scorer’s table.

Umm...what?

I am not a member of any basketball collectives, but I do know it was ROBERT HORRY that checked Steve Nash. NOT Bruce Bowen.

Sure, I can chalk this up to an error in proofing, but how did such a glaring mistake make it all the way to the book’s printing?

Only an hour into owning FreeDarko Presents: The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History and there’s already something to dispute.

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