Recommended reading during basketball’s hiatus due to COVID-19 pandemic

Since there are no NBA or NCAA games — and the overwhelming majority of pro leagues around the world aren’t playing, — now and for the foreseeable future, let me recommend a few basketball books to help pass the time.

Ira Berkow – “Autumns In The Garden: The Coach Of Camelot And Other Knicks Stories” (Remember a time before the epic failures of the James Dolan era? Memorable tales from the 1960s and beyond fill the pages of this excellent tome.)

Phil Jackson – “Eleven Rings” (We can also use some uplifting stories, tales of success and knowledge about teamwork, commitment and much more gleaned from a lifetime in the game.)

John McPhee – “A Sense of Where You Are” (Princeton standout and future Knick, U.S. Senator and U.S. Presidential candidate Bill Bradley’s rise to stardom in basketball captured brilliantly by the longtime New Yorker wordsmith.)

Rick Telander – “Heaven Is A Playground” (New York City street ball chronicles from the mid-1970s vividly told.)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – “A Season on the Reservation: My Sojourn with the White Mountain Apaches” (The NBA’s all-time leading scorer looks back on his work as coach for a high school team in Arizona.)

Jerry West – “West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life” (The brilliant NBA executive and Lakers great, aka The Logo, looks back on the many ups and downs in his life.)

Terry Pluto – “Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association” (The definitive history of the ABA; almost every embarrassing, enlightening and unbelievable story about the league made it into print. More than 430 pages, this provides a tremendous rundown on the legacy of the red, white and blue league. Savor the details.)

Mark Kriegel – “Pistol” (Weaving together family history with intertwined stories of a basketball prodigy and his overbearing father, combined with extraordinary success and disappointments in Pete Maravich’s life.)