A brilliant, entertaining deconstruction of basketball, drawing on the expertise of board-game creators, magicians, therapists, and more
Basketball is the second-most popular sport in the world—an insanely complicated game built on a combination of athleticism, craftiness, rules, intangibles, and superstardom. However, while it’s enjoyable to watch, the real reason it works is because it’s a game of culture, art, and all the things that make us human. How to Watch Basketball Like a Genius deconstructs the sport from top to bottom and then puts it back together again, detailing its intricacies through reporting and dozens of interviews with experts. These experts, however, are a diverse group: wine critics weighing in on LeBron’s ability to delegate on the fly, magicians analyzing Chris Paul’s mystifying dribbling techniques, cartographers breaking down Steph Curry’s deadeye three-point shooting. Every chapter treats basketball to a multi-disciplined study that adventures far beyond the lines of the court, examining key elements of the sport from some surprising and revealing angles. There’s a reason it has conquered the world, and every game is a chance to learn about pop culture, fashion, history, science, art, and anything else that bounces our way.