Read Second Wind by Bill Russell Taylor Branch Online


Autobiography and commentary by pro basketball player Bill Russell....

Title : Second Wind
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345288974
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 303 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Second Wind Reviews

  • Matt
    2018-11-17 02:10

    I grew up a Celtics fan in the 1980s because my dad went to law school in Boston in the early 1960s. It was cheaper for he and his friends to go watch the Celtics play than most other things they could do, so frequently they did, winning a championship every year he was there in large part because Bill Russell was there too. As Russell was considered the leader of those Celtics, he has always occupied a spot in in sports imagination. Of all the athletes I've never seen play, Russell is the one I would most like to see play in his prime. (Between college and pro, he played for 17 seasons, winning a championship in 13! His last three seasons with the Celtics he was player-coach!!) So I was thrilled to track down a copy of his memoir co-written with Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize winning biographer of MLK, Jr. It was a mixed success. The opening chapter about his family and upbringing in Louisiana was great, as were the other accounts of his youth in Oakland, his mother's passing, and figuring out how to really play basketball after graduating high school. He doesn't talk about basketball much, but I loved hearing about his relationships with the other Celtics, particularly K.C. Jones and Sam Jones. The story about his grandfather breaking down in tears when visiting the Celtics' locker room and realized the white and black players showered together, were genuinely friends, and all had to do what "William" told them to was my favorite moment. The latter chapters on women and post basketball life dropped this from a four star book to a three. The chapter on women made me uncomfortable and the post playing days portion conveyed the sense of drift most professional athletes of his caliber must experience; necessary for his life story but it did not make for the most interesting reading.All and all, I'm glad to have read it, and I appreciate Russell's gifts on the court and as an deeply independent and opinionated man.

  • Kevin Stoltz
    2018-11-23 00:36

    This book is hardly about basketball, and that fact actually strengthens it's appeal. Russell doesn't spend too much time rehashing stories of old glory on the court, in fact some of the best basketball stories are about the Celtic team culture and the way the players kept things light during stressful stretches of the season. Where the book really flies is when Russell talks about his innovative approach to the game. He was a pioneer who changed basketball at a time when the sport was still young enough to be molded. You might consider him the Steve Jobs of basketball for the impact he had on the game's formative years. But the majority of the book is spent on details of Russell's life off the court and his musings on several topics of interest; race relations, athletes using their profile to speak out about social justice, the NCAA and the problem of "amateur" sports, women. Sometimes he meanders from subject to subject, almost in a stream of conscious sort of way. I actually wish the book had been a little longer. Meandering as he may have been, Russell's takes were always rivetting. If I ever got the chance, I would have a beer with him and just sit and listen to his thoughts on whatever topic he chose to talk about.

  • David Lucander
    2018-11-17 21:29

    This memoir/autobiography/scattered reminiscences is definatly a worthwhile read, especially for Celtics of New England sports enthusiasts. I grew up watching the end of Bird/McHale/Parish, and the Pierce/Garnett/Allen team brought me back into basketball, but Russell remains my all-time GOAT -> I'm biased to like this book...and I do like this book - a lot. My favorite sections were Family Heroes (ch. 1) about the rich family life he had while growing up in Jim Crow era Louisiana and the disjointed by imminently quotable Freedom (ch. 6). Just this past week (Jan. 2017) Boston sports writers and radio hosts have had hours of work provided them in finding ways to denounce Jae Crowder's "allegation" that the city might be kind of sort of immeasurably but definatly racist. Read what Bill Russell got to say. He only gives a few sporadic concrete examples, but there's certainly reasons why old no. 15 (1) didn't bother making his uniform number retirement a ceremony before a game, it was done privately and against his wishes and (2) strongly writes about why he played for the Celtics, not Boston - and yes, that's a big difference. The team was the first in NBA to have a Black player (Chuck Cooper, 1950), first to have an all-Black five man on the court, first to have a Black head coach (Russell himself). As for Boston, the city has a more sordid racial climate than the liberty-loving, Paul Revere-riding, freedom-fighting William Lloyd Garrison abolitionist legacy than Ye Olde Towne wants to reconcile itself with.

  • Yofish
    2018-11-15 02:10

    Bill Russell's sort-of biography. But it's not completely organized like a biography. The first chapter is about his childhood in Mississippi, and his father and grandfather. But he spent almost half his childhood in Oakland, and there's not too much about that, and there's not much about his college years, except as spread throughout the book regarding his basketball education. He's awfully candid (but neither explicit nor braggardly) about his sleeping around on his wife, and similar acts by pro teammates (though he is discreet enough not to mention names there). In fact, he hardly mentions his wife, as she apparently wasn't a very large part of his life. He's pretty philosophical, and mostly aware that his opinions are just that, and out of the mainstream, and that he's not always consistent. Refreshing, that. Didn't want to be inducted into the Hall of Fame (the first Black to be so) because he knew a lot of the folks who had been and thought that they weren't very worthy (mostly because of racism)--including Abe Saperstien, founder of Harlem Globetrotters, whom he claimed fought against integration of MLB and NBA, as that would subtract from his bottom line. But does a good job of explaining his out-of-the-mainstream ideas, mostly. The one disappointment is that it was written in 1979, shortly after he finished his first coaching stint, and only ten years after he retired as a player. So there's less perspective. But also the kind of things he says about "athletes these days" has less resonance.

  • David Ball
    2018-12-01 02:26

    For some reason I like reading books about basketball, I think this is my third one in the past year. I don't read books about football or hockey or soccer - all sports I follow to a degree. Just basketball. I'm fascinated by the history of the game and about the greats - both players and coaches. I like to understand why teams win and how they sustain success. Ironically, basketball games are normally won by the team with the strongest players, upsets are rare, but strategy and philosophy seems to make a difference (hence Phil Jackson's abnormal success). So reading the memoir of another repeat winner, Bill Russell, appealed to me. I knew he was famous for his defence and his curmudgeonly personality, but otherwise I knew very little about the man. Well, I got more than I bargained for: rather than the life of a basketball great, this is a very critical self examination of a life of a great man, warts and all. He spends as much time talking about his grandfather, the women in his life, or freedom, as he does about the Celtics. The three characteristics of his personality that stuck out, which I believe helped to explain his greatness both on and off the court, were the depth of his analytical abilities, his self awareness, and his independent thought. Bill Russell was an original thinker, always curious, and never afraid to express his opinion. His honesty and candour deserve five stars, but his writing style (this sometimes reads like it was written in the wee hours by a solipsistic teenager) deserves barely three.

  • Tom
    2018-12-07 02:10

    Bill Russell really has a gift with stories. Especially when relating the stories of his family and early childhood in Louisiana, the way the family yarns spin one into the other makes for a wonderfully fun start to the book. For a book by a sports figure, Russell does not dwell too much on his successes. Considering he won two NCAA titles and 11 NBA titles as a player or player-coach, it is admirable restraint on his part. While he gives accounts of Red Auerbach, Bob Cousy, Sam Jones, and K.C Jones, it never becomes a panegyric for Russell or the Celtics. Bill Russell was strong advocate for civil rights, and it is understandable why. Racism played a large role in his and his family's life, motivating them to move to Oakland. This provides the launch point for his discursions into African colonies (where he is rather critical of Liberia among others) and American imperialism in Vietnam. Russell's perspective is interesting and informed (or at least I thought so, agreeing with him on most points). It's not too surprising considering how Russell has always wished to be seen as a human being first, and one who just happens to play basketball well. He has never wanted sports to be his whole identity. While most people will remember his for his athletic feats, this book shows how that is just one facet of his life.

  • Alex
    2018-12-11 02:20

    One of the best sports books I've ever read, which isn't saying much because I don't really read sports books. In a few places, Russell - a five-time MVP and the first black NBA coach - breaks down a, say, ten-second span of action in a basketball game to the millisecond: "I can see he knows I'm going to fade away and try a shot, and I know my teammate will be about three feet behind me to the left, so I fake the shot and pass behind me instead, but he's guessed I'll do that and is ready on that side..." it's kindof mind-blowing, the amount of thinking pro NBA players do. I still don't love basketball, but that's not Bill Russell's fault. This is a really cool book.Popped into my head last night while watching the Lakers totally embarrass the Celtics.

  • James
    2018-12-02 01:22

    Russell's memoirs stand-out from the standard thrown-together money-making fare that normally constitutes a sports autobiography. This book is insightful; at once both proud and humble, and encapsulates both the great feats and painful imperfections that are so much a part of human nature. Russell is a thinker and a philosopher, though he never comes across as condescending. This book is not a gripping, page-turning read, but it is a valuable one. It engages the reader to think about and consider life; both in the context of Russell's time and society and their own.

  • Brian
    2018-12-08 22:39

    Fabulous read. Many memorable thoughts, quotes and passages. Could be my favorite sports book, probably because it only partially is about sports. Bill Russell is a shrewd social philosopher and a harsh self-critic. Loved his ideas about tean basketball, his approach to the game, of ourse, but also his ideas on race, religion, freedom, and his own strengths and shortcomings. His intelligence, talent and sense of humor shine throughout .

  • Wes Hazard
    2018-11-24 01:29

    Came for the insights on victory, excellence, dedication, and commitment to mastery in your chosen field. Stayed for the reflections on race, relationships, and the lifetime challenge of becoming a full person. Fantastic read.

  • Robert Pacilio
    2018-11-22 22:27

    The type makes it hard to read but long ago I read it and as a Russell fan I am amazed at what he has been through

  • Shin
    2018-11-15 00:37

    People will argue forever who was better- Wilt or Bill Russell. But when it comes to sports autobiographies, it's not contest. Russell's book was much better than Wilt's two autobiographies.

  • R.K. Byers
    2018-11-23 19:10

    this was a good read.

  • Tedi31
    2018-12-08 19:23

    Bought:Location: Booksale ()Price: P