Bill Simmons Book of Basketball Review

Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons

In 2009, professional basketball player, and ESPN columnist Bill Simmons wrote a book that covers everything from the beginning of the NBA all the way up to today. Of course, this is the second book written by Simmons, but the first in a series of basketball. The new Book of Basketball 2.0 of course, is a podcast, but in this guide, we’re going to look at the humongous 700-page masterpiece that has become a best seller about one of America’s (and Simmons’s) favorite sports – basketball. So what is this book about? Keep reading and find out for yourself!

The Purpose of the Book of Basketball

One thing is key to remember – Simmons is not only a famous basketball player himself, but he actually writes the book as if he were a fan (because he is one as well). Simmons was a sports writer popularly known as “The Sports Guy” with his column that he was popular from in’s blog section. As a fan himself, he treats the interviews and everything that he’s learned as someone who is a normal guy. After writing for a decade, the book of basketball does one thing not only for the NBA-made fan and sports writer, but also for the rest of the world. In the Book of Basketball, you get to learn about all of the good things (and bad too) about basketball and the genre of basketball over the years. 

The book itself has a lot of different good things in it, including a stat sheet as well as a large amount of information that was sparked from the passion and knowledge over the years that Simmons has gained. Many basketball-related columnists write about the game in general, but they don’t have the sharp eye that Simmons has been able to create for himself in terms of figuring out some of the hottest topics on the roster. Of course, the book itself doesn’t just include knowledge of the game. The reason why the book is so popular, is because it also provides true entertainment to readers because it literally shows more than just a star-struck fan-based element to it. 

So the Purpose Was To Know Basketball?

While this was an emphasis in Simmons’s career over the years and through the book, the book itself was also because Simmons wanted to figure out why some people who played basketball, or the teams they played for, actually seemed to matter more, or do a better job. Many sports fans thinks that it’s the individual players alone, or the coaches, or the team as a whole when it comes to success in basketball. The book seems to reveal that while each of these factors play a part, the overall synergy of the elements is the key to winning the games and the championship.

The Book of Basketball itself goes into great detail in regards to statistics of various planes and playing fields in the mindset of basketball. The coolest thing about it though is that if you’re wanting information on certain players or teams, this is the definite go-to book to find out. Most of the pages in the book (actually about half of them) are actually Hall of Fame-related pieces of information. For more in-depth things, there are interviews in there as well as information about famous stars like Larry Bird, recounting his childhood history when he went to his first game, and so much more.

What About Revisions?

The book itself was written in 2009, and then it was re-released in 2010 again, in which there were some minor changes. Mostly cutting out around 30 pages from the original text, analyzing and fixing errors that he made to make the book more factual, adding more footnotes, and even updating the Hall of Fame Pyramid (according to Simmons’ beliefs himself).

Is it As Good as the New Podcast?

Some of the younger generation who listen to Simmons’s podcasts believe that there is nothing better – although it is no surprise that many of the people who are wanting the most analytical data about basketball lean towards the book for many reasons. For starters, having the book itself is because it is indeed on a paper form, which allows the reader to have a bit more control over the information. At least that’s why the older people seem to love it. 

Can This Book Help My Basketball Game?

This is a controversial issue in many cases, but many players actually believe that with enough analytical data that this book has to offer, even the accounts of mistakes that players make, as well as their successes, can help a person improve their basketball game. While this is a big debate among professionals and amateurs at even the high school level alike, there are a lot of facts that may very well help you in achieving success by using the “teaching others by examples” method. Depending on how you apply yourself, and whether or not you really want to succeed, you may want this book in your arsenal of tools to help you improve – although it’s definitely not a jump training course or basketball handling course.

There Are Some Redundant Information Though

While the book shares a lot of analytical detail in depth insights into the wonderful world of basketball in general, some people do think that the book itself has some amazing things in it, but also some information that is actually pointless, like analogies between some popular stars like Kobe Bryant and the famous Michael J. Fox Movie called “Teen Wolf”. Things like this shouldn’t take three pages, but with creative writing skills, he ends up making things like this take longer than it should to truly explain the analogies – which has been known to get on the nerves of some readers. For the most part though, it helps to bring the information that he’s sharing to a fun-filled entertainment genre that allows him to “dumb it down” so readers can comprehend what he’s saying more.

Is the Book Worth the Price?

Out of all of the books out there that provide data analysis and entertainment to basketball fanatics and athletes alike, this book is definitely one of the best in almost everyone’s opinion who reads it. It’s also listed on numerous websites in the top ranks, such as the popular Basketball Headquarters website (it’s one of the top 25 basketball books of all time on the site’s top 25 list for example).


Some people do question whether any opinionated book like this is worth the price, but to boast anything over a 4-star rating on a site like Good Reads, it is totally worth it. You can buy copies of it online on numerous websites and enjoy a great read!

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