Elgin Baylor has long deserved a book like this highlighting his exceptional career that startled the basketball world when it sprang to life in the late 1950s. He was more than a pioneer with a game that was immune to the future. It was a nasty, racist age, and he reigned supreme with great dignity. They could play the game for a thousand years, and Elgin would still be relevant. Basketball owes him much, as does society in general. Kudos to Bijan C. Bayne for bringing Baylor’s story back to life for future generations.
— Roland Lazenby, author of Michael Jordan: The Life
Bijan Bayne has demonstrated he is a wise student of basketball with his elegant, richly-detailed biography of the often overlooked hoops innovator, Elgin Baylor. Bayne’s absorbing book will make you want to dig up old videotape of Baylor’s greatest aerial moments. It will certainly give you a better appreciation of Elgin Baylor the man.
— Kevin Merida, managing editor of The Washington Post and co-author of Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas
Bijan Bayne has written one of the best basketball biographies in the history of the genre about one of the greatest players the game has ever known. A marvelous narrative that reads like a novel. Do yourself a favor and read this book.
— Kyle Keiderling, award-winning sports biographer and author of Heart of a Lion
Elgin Baylor was difficult to guard on the basketball floor and even harder to write about. He was the elusive superstar. Bijan Bayne, with his exhaustive research, makes a huge breakthrough here: He tells the most complete story of one of America’s greatest sports icons.
— Dan Raley, former Seattle Post-Intelligencer sportswriter
Here is early praise for the first biography of Lakers legend Elgin Baylor (see “Reviews”):
I will be signing 100 free galleys of <em>Elgin Baylor: The Man Who Changed Basketball</em> during Book Expo America, at NYC’s Javits Center, in PW’s Librarian’s Lounge, from 12:35-1:45 p.m., on Wednesday, May 27th. It is located at 656 W. 34th St.
Here’s the first review of Martha’s Vineyard Basketball (from the current edition of SLAM magazine):
Martha’s Vineyard may not be commonly regarded as a basketball mecca. But Bijan Bayne’s new book Martha’s Vineyard Basketball: How a Resort League Defied the Notions of Race and Class puts it on the map.
Basketball started on the Vineyard not long after James Naismith vacationed there, mere months before he invented the sport in Springfield in 1891. Long known as a summer refuge for the wealthy, the Oak Bluffs summer basketball league didn’t begin until a year after the notorious Chappaquiddick incident when Senator Edward Kennedy drove his car off the Dike Bridge. Bigwigs like President Obama, Dr. J and Ray Allen have all played at Niantic Park, but local legends like coach Jay Schofield and Johnny Rogers made it the heartbeat of the island. Jaws was shot on the island in 1974, and most of the minor roles were played by locals like Chris Rebello, a summer leaguer cast as Chief Brody’s older son.
Bayne, a Vineyard lifer, never played in the league because his family usually arrived in August when the season was in full swing. The award-winning author incorporates recollections of his family with anecdotes and eyewitness impressions from other longtime residents. Martha’s Vineyard Basketball is a homespun narrative of the storied lore of Massachusetts roundball that reinforces the notion that no man is an island.—SHERMAN JOHNSON
Check out the review of the book “Martha’s Vineyard Basketball: How a Resort League Defied Notions of Race & Class” in the April edition of “SLAM” magazine (issue #188) on newstands now:
Read how a rising freshman basketball prospect at suburban Maryland’s DeMatha High School, moved to Martha’s Vineyard after the assassination of the Reverent Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Come hear about the book at the Barnes and Noble Catholic University, Thursday May 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Teaching For Change bookstores, in Washington, DC’s Busboys & Poets, offers the first biography of Elgin Baylor: