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Seven Seconds or Less: My Season on the Bench with the Runnin' and Gunnin' Phoenix Suns

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  2,761 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
Sports Illustrated's chief NBA writer, Jack McCallum, only planned to spend the preseason with the Phoenix Suns as an "assistant coach" -- and then write a story about his experiences. Instead, he stayed on with the Suns throughout their exciting and controversial 2005-2006 season. Gaining access to everything from locker-room chats with superstar point guard Steve Nash, t ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Touchstone (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30)
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Feb 16, 2011 Shivesh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ballin
There is one thing about the Phoenix Suns back the in the middle of the last decade that is undeniable: they were a lot of fun to watch. As a lifelong Lakers fan, it was a little hard to see them lose to the Suns in the first round of the 2006 playoffs. Man, I hated Raja Bell as much as I loved Kobe in that series. Eddie House and even Boris Diaw were also easy to hate. But what to feel about Steve Nash? A medium sized white guy from Canada became a two time MVP and the premier point guard in th ...more
Apr 26, 2015 Sandi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, read-2015
A well done season with a team book. The Phoenix Suns of nearly a decade ago were entertaining but seemed snake bit when it came to the playoffs. It was nice to remember how good Steve Nash was though his body was a bit creaky even back then.
Oct 05, 2009 Chi rated it really liked it
Charles Barkley is a punk.

Shawn Marion is a head case.

Amare' Stoudamire has huge issues.
Dec 05, 2008 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Participatory journalism will always get me going, whether it's George Plimpton playing quarterback for the Lions or AJ Jacobs reading the encyclopedia. I was excited, then, to read that Jack McCallum conceived of his project as one of participatory journalism. Unfortunately, McCallum appears to have either not read or completely missed the point of Plimpton's great work in this field, because this book is not participatory in the least. It's just a book about the Suns for which McCallum was giv ...more
Colin B
Feb 03, 2017 Colin B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you grew up watching the NBA in the late 90's/early 2000's, there are plenty of memorable names, games, and coaches in this book to bring back some serious nostalgia. A great read for any basketball fan looking for a glimpse into the locker room of an NBA team.
Jan 25, 2017 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very insightful book about the inner workings of an NBA team. Fun and interesting to learn about the players and coaches. Go Suns!
Feb 07, 2017 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was more like the playoffs, not the season but still interesting.
Joe K
Jan 28, 2017 Joe K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, non-fiction
Really enjoyable, but a more accurate subtitle would be "A postseason" not "a season".
Edward Horne
Jun 17, 2007 Edward Horne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: NBA / basketball fans
I read about this book on and was very intrigued about the possibilities about getting an insider's view of the 2005-06 Phoenix Suns. The preview posted on focused on Shawn Marion - who turns out to be quite a sensitive, self-conscious head case. The coaches spend an inordinate amount of time trying to cater to Marion's ego - compare that to the self-assurance of Steve Nash (ah Nash! How I long for the old Dallas Mavericks days with you and Dirk running the pick and pop... *sigh*)

Oct 19, 2008 Steven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: basketball
After finishing Paul Shirley’s memoir “Can I Keep My Jersey” in which he details his life bouncing around the NBA, ABA and Europe playing basketball, I was interested in reading more about the Phoenix Suns. Shirley was on the bench of the Suns during the 2004-2005 season and described a team that was playing basketball the “right way” and scoring tons of points en route to the Western Conference Finals.

This book chronicles the 2005-2006 Phoenix Suns season that also ended in the Western Conferen
Jul 27, 2009 Roy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Do you like basketball? Well I used to but now, not rea…
Ever wonder what it’s like to be an assistant coach in the NBA? I guess maybe once, but …
Are you a big time Pheonix Suns fan? Um, no…
Well I’ve got a book for you!

I picked up this book because one of the main characters, Mike D’Antoni recently became the coach of the team I used to love. I was looking for a reason to re-kindle my passion for basketball, and maybe if this book could show me the NBA, in the same way that Moneyball breaks down
Judd Vance
Jul 10, 2016 Judd Vance rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite type of hoops book involves a writer writing about a team for a year. If the writer is on the inside, it is even better.

McCallum's rep as a NBA writer was established a long time ago in Sport's Illustrated. This book started out as an article for S.I, then turned into a book. McCallum was allowed into coaches meetings and allowed to travel with the team.

The cast of characters is intriguing. There is 2-time MVP Steve Nash, 6th man of year Boris Diaw, insecure superstar Snawn Marion, d
Apr 03, 2008 Tommy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
:07 Seconds or Less is a book about the up and down postseason of the 05-06 Phoenix Suns. Jack Mcallum, a reporter, got an all-access pass to everything that the Phoenix Suns did. This is a non-fiction book. Though they have a high seed in the playoffs, The suns are faced with many conflicts including, toughness, ball distribution, Kobe Bryant, and knowing that if you lose your season is over. This biggest conflict of all is the Suns loses one of its star players in Amare Stoudemire right before ...more
Oliver Bateman
May 22, 2012 Oliver Bateman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As "year-in-the-life" books go, this one is okay...even if the emphasis in Seven Seconds or Less is almost exclusively on the '05-'06 Suns' playoff run. McCallum, as unobtrusive and self-effacing a narrator as one might hope to find, offers up good profiles of Suns coaches Mike D'Antoni (not exactly the most cerebral, Xs and Os-oriented coach, it turns out), Alvin Gentry (a thoughtful, competent sort), Marc Iavaroni (as close to an "intellectual" as one might find in the coaching profession), an ...more
Oct 23, 2015 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on the title I was a bit worried that McCallum was going to insert himself into too many of the situations and focus more on himself rather than the coaches and players. This happens, but it's rare. The Suns in the mid 2000's were probably the funnest team to watch as D'Antoni's take on the game was so fresh and original and really made for entertaining basketball. Especially cause my team, the Rockets, was so bad at the time. There seems to be a team every decade that you can't believe di ...more
Allison Hogue
Jun 21, 2014 Allison Hogue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-reading
A Season with the Underdog

Jack McCallum, a journalist for Sports Illustrated, decides to write a story for the Phoenix Suns. At first, he thinks he is just going to be in Phoenix for a few days just to do interviews and see what life is like as a player, but what he didn't expect was to get invited by the coach to stay with them on the bench for the entire season. From extreme upsets and tough losses to making a huge run into the 2006 NBA playoffs, this is a story that would get fans on their fe
Jun 06, 2012 Mighty_k24 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

In't kort: We volgen het basketbalteam Phoenix Suns tijdens het seizoen 2005-2006, voor en achter de schermen. De Phoenix Suns staan bekend om hun aanvallende speelstijl, en verbazen vriend en vijand met hun uitstekende resultaten. Sportschrijver Jack McCallum (senior basketball writer bij Sports Illustrated) kreeg het privilege om dit team gedurende het volledige seizoen van heel dichtbij te volgen, van de eerste training tot de laatste toespraak in de kleedkamer.

Mijn oordeel: McCallum is zich
Sep 21, 2011 Tedi31 rated it really liked it
Shelves: basketball
Over the last 17 years that I’ve been watching, reading, writing, and playing everything and anything that is related to the NBA, I’ve never come across a book which has truly captured the very essence of the league and the game of professional basketball until I read Jack McCallum’s “:07 Seconds or Less [My Season on the Bench with the Runnin’ and Gunnin’ Phoenix Suns]. “
Jack McCallum, Sports Illustrated chief NBA writer, had the unique privilege “come aboard” and take part as a member of the P
May 18, 2016 Pete rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, 2016
I just read this article about Zach Lowe:

In conjunction with Seven Seconds or Less, it made me think about how much smarter sports writing is now than 10 years ago. Seven Seconds or Less is, generally, a stupid book. There are few detailed descriptions of basketball. It is meant, I suppose, to be a kind of character study but, and this is possibly no fault of the author's, the characters all come across as being boring and one-dimensional. McCallum admit
Sammy Beatty
Nov 30, 2015 Sammy Beatty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me put out a quick disclaimer-- I'm a die hard Suns fan and the season chronicled in this book was my senior year of high school. So, undoubtedly I was going to love this book regardless (well, regardless of the heartbreaking result). But the sheer access and first hand accounts of players I thought I knew before this, but realize now I didn't know at all, was just fascinating. The chapters cut between the playoffs and pivotal times during the season leading up to the playoffs and that struc ...more
Amen Aguemon
Oct 08, 2012 Amen Aguemon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, I'm a die hard fan of the Phoenix Suns. I am an African and we mostly play football(soccer)where I come from. When I came to America the first sporting event I attended was a Suns game back in 1999. Over the years I have watched Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Penny Hardaway, Amare, and Steve Nash wear the orange and purple. I'm not much of a reader but I was intrigued by this book because it highlighted one of the most memorable years for the Suns. Nash was sensational that year. Of course ...more
Nov 22, 2009 Amanda rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
As someone who is the ultimate beginner in terms of basketball knowledge (having only extensively studied Dwight Howard's biceps), this book was a few different things:

1) a relatively easy to understand summary of the Sun's playoff run (with a few nods to the season before)
2) a basketball vocabulary lesson (I understood most of it?)
3) a fairly well-written journalistic piece (though not fantastic- I've read some sports journalism before, and this didn't exactly blow me away)
4) a better insight t
Jan 13, 2007 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sports fans, especially basketball
Very rarely, if ever, does a sports book or memoir provide both entertaining stories and insightful looks at strategy. Jack McCallum keeps a good balance between the off the court activity versus on court action. From an accomplished senior writer of venerable Sports Illustrated, a reader should expect nothing less.

Readers won't find stories of debauchery or hedonistic pursuits. Instead, everything is centered on basketball operations--ownership, public relations, travel, etc. What I especially
Apr 30, 2012 Jared rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
It was an entertaining read that gave some neat insights into how an NBA team functions. I didn't love the writing but it got the point across. Most of all I think it reinforces to me that we are all flawed people and it is so easy to forget that when you are looking at celebrities or famous people you don't know. When you see the flaws sometimes it turns you off people but other times it makes them more human and more intersting. Either way, good book about probably my favourite team ever. Its ...more
Oct 25, 2010 Neal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was more about the coaches than the players I felt like. Didn't give me the behind-the-scenes info I was craving, but did provide some insight. Really enjoyed the stories about Eddie House, and it made me really like him and think he's a funny guy. Gave me more respect for Raja Bell as well. However, I felt it was really dry and just trying to cram too much information into the book. It was a good read, but did not meet my admittedly high expectations.

Another classy and short review by themixtap
Aug 04, 2009 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is far from the greatest basketball book every written, contrary to what some will tell you. Of course Amare Stoudemire was immature, but Nash and (a personal favorite of mine) Edde House are made to be the heroes and Shawn Marion and Robert Sarver the villains. McCallum needs to take a page from the late, great David Halbertam.

Many reports suggest this was indeed the power structure, it comes off as too much of a rah-rah "story" than a true biographical season of a fun but flawed basketbal
Nov 25, 2012 Roman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, nonfiction
Great read, particularly for the insights on all of the Suns coaches and players. Even for a basketball fan, it's interesting to read about Steve Nash's personality, Shawn Marion's desire to be 'the man' and his fragile ego, Amare's lack of dedication to rehab and preparation, and assistant coach Alvin Gentry's candid acknowledgement that the team's defensive schemes are too complex that even he doesn't fully understand what's happening. Quick read, and an enjoyable one for a casual basketball f ...more
Jan 23, 2009 Optimism rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
Have to say I was somewhat let down by this book. I was expecting a full chronicle of the season, but it was 75% on the playoffs, and 25% of the season... problem is, for those that don't know, the playoffs are about 25% of the season. Other than him getting it backwards, it was an interesting look into the chemistry of a team and how delicate a job it is to massage the egos of people who are the best in the world.

Also, he started at the end of the playoffs. Disappointing.

Read it if you're a hug
Feb 08, 2008 Marc rated it liked it
Not a Suns fan, but I still enjoyed this book a lot. The author gives us a lot of inside on the team and coaching staff, while still keeping enough distance to not be confused as a fanboy most of the time (him kissing up to that digrace of an MVP Steve Nash being the exception). As a Lakers fan it is also interesting to note that even this book about the Suns can not avoid covering Kobe and the Lakers series for more than half the book (Kobe's name is probably mentioned more often than that of e ...more
Jan 25, 2008 Ryan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports, non-fiction
Loved this book as a big NBA fan. I watch and think about the game differently having read this.

I was unaware of Jack McCallum's work for SI over the years although I've probably read a bunch of his articles and never knew it. As a Lakers fan, it was interesting to see how the Suns viewed them, especially in the '05 Playoffs.

If you like/love/sort-of follow the NBA you should read this. It's well written and your perspective of the league, it's players, and the coaches especially will change in
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“They're talking about Kobe and how great it is that he's playing with the team. Well, isn't that what you're supposed to do? Now he's the savior because he's playing that way? He's no god. He does what he's supposed to be doing, which is what we learned in kindergarten. Share the ball and play. And that's what we do better than they do” 4 likes
“Gentry conjures up a story about meeting moon-walking astronaut Buzz Aldrin at a party at the Malibu home of Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling. “So it’s a full moon, beautiful night,” says Gentry, “and I’m trying to think of something to say to this famous guy, and finally I say, ‘Buzz, damn, you ever look up and see the moon and think to yourself how people stare at it all the time and write poems about it, and you walked on it? You walked on it.’ “And Buzz looks at me and shrugs and says, ‘No. Fuck no.’ ” Gentry shakes his head. “Damn, you can even be cynical if you walked on the moon,” he says. “Isn’t that something?” 0 likes
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