Not until he was in his mid-50s did former New York Times Magazine editor Gerald Marzorati decide to take tennis seriously. Very seriously. Marzorati hired a coach and spent hours practicing. He chronicles his quest in his new book, “Late to the Ball.”
In his new book “Players,” Matthew Futterman details how Nike changed the sports landscape by turning athletes — starting with Michael Jordan — into larger-than-life figures. Futterman joined Bill Littlefield to discuss this phenomenon and its dangers.
Former Yale star Onaje X.O. Woodbine quit basketball at the top of his game to pursue “the higher aims of divine purpose and truth.” As it turns out, that journey took him back to basketball. He tells Bill Littlefield his story.
Until the advent of the Open Era in 1968, professional tennis players were excluded from the sport’s top tournaments. So instead of competing at Wimbledon or the US Open, tennis pros toured the world, often playing in unusual — and unfavorable — conditions. Tennis Hall of Famer Rod Laver joins Bill Littlefield to talk about his experiences.
X-Files star David Duchovny, a Yankees fan, first knew Bucky Dent as the guy whose home run sent New York to the 1978 ALCS over Boston. He later discovered from some guys on a New England roof that there was a different side to the story. Duchovny explores that side in a new novel.
Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton’s long list of accomplishments includes two NCAA championships, two NBA titles and an MVP trophy. But the cost was chronic physical pain that led to despair. Walton tells Bill Littlefield the story of his struggles and his journey back to health.
Fifteen years ago, Lenny Cooke seemed to be a player of infinite promise, poised to enter the NBA Draft out of high school. But unlike his contemporary LeBron James, Cooke went undrafted and faded into obscurity. Bill speaks to author and basketball writer Jonathan Abrams about Cooke’s story and the NBA’s age limit.
Joe Nocera has spent the past four years collecting stories about the NCAA and how it treats its players for his new book, “Indentured.” Nocera joins Bill Littlefield to talk about the book.
The 2012-13 Hope High School boys’ basketball team faced challenges — perhaps the least of which was the squad’s 2-7 start. Some players dealt with hunger and homelessness. Still, Hope advanced far in the state tournament. Bill Littlefield catches up with some of the that team’s star players — and finds that the ups and downs have continued.
Why do sports fans do and say the things they do? Tufts professor Sam Sommers and Sports Illustrated editor L. Jon Wertheim attempt to find out in their new book, “This is Your Brain on Sports.” The pair shared some of their findings with Bill Littlefield.