The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons offers more than just a completely in-depth look at the NBA from birth to present: it is quite simply the funniest book I have ever read. Not just funny, but burst-out-laughing-uncontrollably at least once a page. A couple of times I simply could not stop laughing for a half hour.
It is that funny.
However, as I said before, Simmons also offers the most comprehensive and astounding book yet written on the NBA. He weaves together a litany of pop-culture, NBA greats, awesome moments and random teams ("Best Bearded Team", "All Name Team") to make a stew of pure readabilty. You will devour this book and his witty references. Plus, I learned more about the NBA than I ever wanted and it made me love the game that much more.
Of course, the book is not without (Len) bias. Be warned Lakers fans, this will be tough to get through yet it is ultimately a worthwhile and rewarding read, bookended by Simmon's Hall of Fame Pyramid and arguments on who is the greatest of all time. While the answer may not be a mystery to many - SPOILER ALERT it's MJ - the reasons why and who comes before him are nonetheless compelling.
Highly recommended for sports fans and non fans alike. If you only pick up one book on the NBA in your lifetime, this is without a doubt the one to read.