Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rivalry” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  163 ratings  ·  20 reviews
In the mid-1950s, the NBA was a mere barnstorming circuit, with outposts in such cities asRochester, New York, and Fort Wayne, Indiana. Most of the best players were white; the set shot and layup were the sport's chief offensive weapons. But by the 1970s, the league ruled America'
ebook, 0 pages
Published October 11th 2005 by Random House Publishing Group (first published 2005)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rivalry, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Rivalry

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 296)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Kale Gardner
In the the story "The Rivalry" written by John Taylor the main person is Wilt Chamberlain who had a very prideful and cocky attitude towards others and basketball. For example, Wilt thinks that he is the best player ever in the history of basketball and said things like, "I'm the only important one on the team, the others don't matter at all (Taylor 107)." Wilt Chamberlain was the top pick in the 1959 draft from Kansas. He stood 7 feet tall and he was so athletic that every single team so despar ...more
Great sports book! Definitely glad I didn't add Chamberlain to my All-NBA team.
Connor Winn
A great biography and early history of the league.
A must read for anyone interested in the history of the NBA. This book is more than an account of the epic on-court battles between Russell and Chamberlain, although those battles do get plenty of ink. The best chapters and passages are devoted to conversations, developments, and events that took place off the court. Taylor adeptly places the growth of the NBA in 1950s and 1960s in the greater historical context of the time, describing Russell's role in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and ...more
I really wish I could give this book a 3.5 or a 3.75 under GoodReads' system - It's better than a 3, but not in the league of books I've read that have an average rating of 4 or higher like Moneyball or Breaks of the Game. Overall the books is a well-written, very readable narrative of the rivalry between the game's two icons of the 1960's, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell and its impact in the culture at large, but Taylor provides far less narrative on their impact on the culture and the civil ...more
Chamberlain was deceased when this was written, and Russell refused to be interviewed. He's therefore limited to third parties, which doesn't help much with issues such as why Russell and Chamberlain didn't speak to each other for a couple of decades after their careers ended. Stronger on topics such as Russell's resentment of racism in Boston, on which there's an extensive paper trail (Sports Illustrated articles he wrote, etc.).

The author had not been a basketball writer or expert, so his game
A very detailed history of the first successful peak in NBA history, Taylor provides a warts and all view of some early NBA legends and the circumstances behind their successes and failures. He has a careful eye for the early coaches and the sweeping social change that impacted the game positively and there are a dozen or more crystal clear vignettes that will help any fan of the game appreciate the unique circumstances of the 50's and 60's NBA.
Mar 27, 2007 Mikey rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: basketball fans
Shelves: nonfiction
The Rivalry is a good, all-encompassing account of the NBA's growth from the barnstorming league of the late 50s to the emerging major league of the late 60s, focusing in particular on the individual rivalry between Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, and on the contrast between the two men. The book is a bit simplistic, and is a bit too hard on Chamberlain sometimes for my tastes - he was, without question, the better player - but this is a really good starting point for people who are looking t ...more
Dick Hamilton
Growing up, Wilt was my favorite basketball player and beyond that just an incredible athlete. This is a good book really focusing in on Russell and Chamberlain and the real golden age of basketball (sorry Michael, Larry, Magic, etc. but you are not it). Most interesting, there are no pictures in the book and I think this adds to the story. Two thumbs up.
This book was an honest, well written account of the birth of basketsball as a major league sport. It chronicled the development of the league itself through the rivalry between 2 of its best players. It also addressed the hypocrisy these players faced playing to white crowds, in white cities during the 50s and 60s. I truly enjoyed it.
Really well-written history of the era. I didn't think a basketball book could be so readable...set against the backdrop of Boston and Philadelphia in the early 1960s. Fascinating, page-turning stuff.
I really liked this book - makes you realize how overrated Wilt is and how dedicated Bill Russell was to winning and be educated within the game!

Gotta read it if you are a fan of basketball.
David Barney
A good read. Once again, Wilt Chamberlain is portrayed as a loser. The book does good job of explaining the rivalry.
One of the best basketball books I have ever read. Having been a fan during this era, enjoyed this volume immensely.
Great book about the golden age of basketball - unbelievable what these guys put themselves through for the game.
Robert Morrow
Best book on basketball I've ever read.
Excellent!!! Loved it
Great book about old school NBA.
Eric Walker
Eric Walker marked it as to-read
May 25, 2015
James marked it as to-read
May 15, 2015
Amanda marked it as to-read
May 14, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Let Me Tell You a Story: A Lifetime in the Game
  • Wilt, 1962: The Night of 100 Points and the Dawn of a New Era
  • Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association
  • Life on the Run
  • Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s
  • Everything They Had: Sports Writing
  • Second Wind
  • Unfinished Business: On and Off the Court With the 1990-91 Boston Celtics
  • The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball's Most Improbable Dynasty
  • America's Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation
  • Blue Blood: Duke-Carolina: Inside the Most Storied Rivalry in College Hoops
  • FreeDarko Presents: The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac: Styles, Stats, and Stars in Today's Game
  • West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life
  • Drive: The Story of My Life
  • Glory Road: My Story of the 1966 NCAA Basketball Championship and How One Team Triumphed Against the Odds and Changed America Forever
  • Tip Off: How the 1984 NBA Draft Changed Basketball Forever
  • Only the Strong Survive: The Odyssey of Allen Iverson
  • Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power, and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball
John Taylor is the author of Paths to Contemporary French Literature (Volumes 1-3) and Into the Heart of European Poetry. He has written numerous books of stories, short prose, and poetry, including The Apocalypse Tapestries. He writes the “Poetry Today” column in the Antioch Review and has long been a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement. He has lived in France since 1977. In 2010 ...more
More about John Taylor...
Sherlock Holmes: The Rediscovered Railway and Other Stories Pocket Oxford Classical Greek Dictionary Storming The Magic Kingdom: Wall Street, The Raiders And The Battle For Disney The Count and the Confession: A True Murder Mystery The Unopened Casebook of Sherlock Homes: 6 Extraordinary Adventures

Share This Book