a writer with Sports Illustrated magazine. After covering basketball
for nearly 20 years, I decided one day to discover it. I finagled
a leave from my editors, redeemed a stash of frequent-flyer miles, and hit
For a yearfrom September 1998 through August 1999I chased the game wherever I could. I rummaged through the writings of Dr. James Naismith, the Canadian-born divinity student who invented basketball in 1891, and enlisted his spirit to ride shotgun. Then I lit out for places both remote and familiar.
On the road I tried never to lose sight of two questions: What can basketball tell us about the world? And what can the world tell us about basketball?
The result, Big Game, Small World: A Basketball Adventure, offers some answersand, ultimately, a kind of unified-field theory of the game. I hope youll enjoy retracing my steps on the page, and that youll keep in mind, as I did, the words of Cervantes: “The journeys better than the inn.”