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Seven Seconds or Less: A must read

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The dog days of summer call for a nice book to be in hand, and boy do I have the perfect book for you.

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Like most NBA junkies, I listen to an assortment of NBA-centric podcasts, whisk hours away watching Dawkins highlights on YouTube, and may even occasionally find myself hooked on a book. A big part of elite fandom is devouring all of the content about your favorite/sport or team that you can, and boasting to your peers that you know more than they do.

Oh, did you not listen to the most recent Dunc'd On podcast where they did a retrospective look at the Suns offseason? Bummer.

I was listening to the Lowe Post with Jack McCallum on my drive home the other day -- I highly recommend it -- and Zach Lowe was peppering him with questions about the Dream Team from 1992. This was expected, as McCallum is the highly respected author of the book Dream Team, and may have more insight on that spectacle than most of the players themselves.

The conversation was free-flowing and fascinating, with Lowe's voice practically gushing through my car's speakers. Some people could find the gushiness annoying, but at least with Lowe you know it is completely genuine, and in all honesty, we would all most likely act in the same fashion if we were given the opportunity to sit five feet from McCallum and ask him loaded questions about late-night escapades with Charles Barkley.

As the conversation about the Dream Team simmered, Lowe transitioned to a discussion about another book that McCallum scribed about the 2005-06 Phoenix Suns. The book's title, Seven Seconds or Less, is of course an ode to the team's offensive mantra, and by the sounds of the interview with McCallum, full of all sorts of juicy anecdotes that would make any Suns fan from that era giddy.

I had always been aware of Seven Seconds or Less because I have been sitting on a $200 Amazon gift card for about three months or so now. Every other week or so I will embark on a deep search to seek out NBA books that I could read during the summer, only to chicken out once I get to check out and think to myself: Do I really want to spend $20 on this?

No slight to McCallum and the book, but it is becoming increasingly more difficult to talk yourself into spending such a hefty sum (before you laugh at me calling $20 hefty, please realize that I am a college kid), for a book because of the rapid growth of the Internet. Why would I spend $20 on a story from 2006 when I already have all of the content I could ever want to read just from scrolling through my Twitter feed?

Well, it turns out that I was very wrong. Once the podcast came to an end, I finally decided to just bite the bullet and buy the damn book.

For those of you that have not been given the pleasure of rifling through the pages of Seven Seconds or Less, here is some of what you can expect:

  • An inside look to how the coaching staff interacts with one another and operates throughout the week and up to game day. McCallum somehow worked his way into being a part of every coach's meeting throughout the season, and it shows with the accounts he rehashes throughout the book. All of the coaches come off pretty well, with Alvin Gentry especially showing out by way of a witty sense of humor.
  • Eddie House isn't a fixture of the story, but every appearance he makes is certainly memorable.
  • Robert Sarver going through the growing pains of new owner syndrome.
  • The slow demise of Shawn Marion's ego beneath the shadow of Steve Nash and the (at the time) injured Amar'e Stoudemire. (This was perhaps the most fascinating part of the book.)
You know it is the dog days of August when I devote an entire post to a book from the mid-2000s, but this is where we are in the NBA news cycle, folks.

Anyway, this book is really worth your time if you are an avid Suns fan like I assume most of your are. It is an easy read, and you will undoubtedly blow through tens of pages without even noticing. It is available for purchase at Amazon, and a pro's tip: Purchase the Kindle version for $4 if you have an iPad, just make sure you download the accompanying Kindle app to go with it.