Hello, my 4AM basketball books report is on Red and Me, by Bill Russell, and Man in the Middle, by John Amaechi.
Bill Russell is tall, a player/coach and was/is really awesome. Alan Steinberg helped him write a cool book. I read it.
John Amaechi is tall, British sounding, and gay. Unfortunately he wrote a book and even worse I read parts of it.
The first 40 pages of Man in the Middle seem to be about Amaechi's mother. There's some stuff about emotions and a recipe or something? I'm not sure. Then he does the opposite of condensing what should be an intensely interesting life in the NBA into a murderously uninteresting read, like what you're reading now. Amaechi despises Jerry Sloan and so is a good person and would be welcome in my home, where I would offer him Steven Smith (Teamaker) Earl Grey tea and we could discuss Jerry Sloan and not Amaechi's terrible writing. I created a fan page for fans of not-liking Jerry Sloan and the Utah Jazz and Utah in general but he hasn't joined it yet, so in light of this I withdraw the invitation to my home.
In conclusion I wish this 290 page book had instead been a 150 page book I'd still wish I hadn't read.
Red and Me is about an awesome Jewish coach and an awesome Black player who enjoyed cigars and won championships for a city that enjoyed championships but not Jews or Blacks. There weren't a lot of pictures, and none were in color so that must have been embarrassing for the photographer.
Bill Russell had Boston raccoons that tipped over his garbage cans when he was on road trips but they stopped when he told the police he was getting a gun permit which makes them really smart raccoons. My friend Geoff got bit by a raccoon once, he had to get 30ish shots over several weeks and it cost him a lot of money. After his last shot he had a barbeque to celebrate and I wore a coonskin cap to it. I thought it was funny but he likes me less now. Also I think the smart raccoons in Red and Me were actually racist Boston humans because how would the raccoons have heard about the gun permit? They're raccoons and those little banditos don't talk to cops.
So about Red. Red Auerbach was a master tactician. He devised team strategy around the strengths of his players, not dogmatic NBA truisms. He taught them to be accountable to themselves. He allowed his young players to make mistakes in games without yanking them immediately. He gave veterans time to rest when they were worn down. He pulled his starters from the final minutes of unwinnable games to rest and focus them on the next game. Red's players always knew he'd back them vigorously against opposing teams and marauding refs.
I know what you're thinking so I'll just say it. I should have written "just like Nate McMillan" at the end of each of those sentences because Red Auerbach is EXACTLY like Nate McMillan except wildly successful and dead.
In conclusion Nate McMillan is Red Auerbach.