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Big Game, Small World

Chapter One Free Look
I’m 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 the road.

For a year—from September 1998 through August 1999—I 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 answers—and, ultimately, a kind of unified-field theory of the game. I hope you’ll enjoy retracing my steps on the page, and that you’ll keep in mind, as I did, the words of Cervantes: “The journey’s better than the inn.”