Hoop Atlas: Mapping the Remarkable Transformation of the Modern NBA (Hardcover)

Hoop Atlas: Mapping the Remarkable Transformation of the Modern NBA By Kirk Goldsberry Cover Image

Hoop Atlas: Mapping the Remarkable Transformation of the Modern NBA (Hardcover)


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The bestselling author of Sprawlball, Kirk Goldsberry returns with a visual feast of a book—equal parts Book of Basketball and Shea Serrano—that uses sharp writing, his signature graphics, and cutting-edge statistical analyses to unpack how a handful of NBA superstars —MJ to Lebron to Jokic—have reshaped pro basketball and charted the course to the future of the NBA.

Every few years a talent comes along that disrupts everything we think we know about how the NBA should work. Whether it’s scoring, playmaking, or shooting, these are players and tactics that fundamentally challenge how the game is played and what greatness looks like on a basketball court. For a period of time, these players each become an “Atlas” for the league, carrying the weight of the NBA on their shoulders, but also providing the roadmap that points the way to the future of the sport. In tandem, they map out the modern NBA’s creation.

Goldsberry returns with a highly visual, electrifying tour through the last three decades of NBA history, showing the “Atlas” players that have led us out of the brutishness of 90s hoops and into the wide open spaces of the most skilled era in NBA history. Charting the course from Jordan to Jokic—with plenty of stops along the way for Iverson, Kobe, Curry, and of course Lebron—Goldsberry, who was instrumental in helping spur the NBA’s statistical revolution, has designed a vibrant new way to compare and debate the contributions of the best NBA players of all-time. Masterfully connecting NBA past and present through incisive writing and stunning visual statistical analyses, he shows how we’ve come to this unprecedented moment, a time when offensive efficiency and shooting percentages are higher than ever.

Using beautifully designed, four-color shot maps and illustrations, Goldsberry offers a graphic journey through the last thirty years of the NBA that covers up to the 2023 season and is as much fun to look at as it is to read. The end result offers stories and analyses of a select group of NBA superstars that open up lively debates, reveal just how singular their talents truly are, and characterize the dramatic 21st-century metamorphosis of the best basketball league in the world.

Kirk Goldsberry is the author of Sprawlball and one of the leading experts in basketball analytics, a booming new field that has taken the sport by storm. He has worked as the vice president of strategic research for the San Antonio Spurs and the chief analytics consultant for USA Basketball. As a staff writer at ESPN, he has written hundreds of articles about the NBA. He currently teaches Sports Analytics within the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his family.

Product Details ISBN: 9780063329621
ISBN-10: 006332962X
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 272
Language: English

“Beautifully illustrated and sharply written, SprawlBall is both a celebration and a critique of the 3-point shot and how teams like the Warriors and Rockets have used it to dominate basketball. Whether you come away appreciating today’s NBA even more or longing for the days of the post game and the mid-range shot, if you want to understand how the modern NBA came to be, you’ll need to read this book.”   — Nate Silver, editor of fivethirtyeight.com  

"Few have done more than Goldsberry to help fans understand and visualize the way basketball has changed over decades. He has changed the way we think and talk about the game, and that continues in Hoop Atlas—a fun, digestible love letter to the game's greatest innovators. In vivid detail, Goldsberry outlines how basketball got here and where it's going next." — Zach Lowe

“Lots of books tell you about the NBA. Few books, however, teach you about the NBA, and that’s what Goldsberry does here with Sprawlball, a smart and insightful (and sneakily funny) look at the way that the league has been stretched out into a free-for-all of three point shooting (a three-for-all?) and streamlined offensive attacks. Get this book. Read it. And then pretend like it was you who had these thoughts about the game when you’re watching basketball with your friends.”  — Shea Serrano, bestselling author of Basketball (and Other Things) and The Rap Yearbook  

“Basketball has changed so much in the last 20 years. This book does an amazing job of describing where the NBA has been, where it is now, and where it’s going.”   — Chris Bosh, two-time NBA Championship winner, on Sprawlball  

“You don’t have to be a stats geek to enjoy the ESPN writer’s new book, which pairs digestible analysis of basketball analytics with instructive data visualizations. The result is a vivid portrait of the NBA’s stylistic evolution.”  — Sports Illustrated on Sprawlball 

“This is a fascinating read for today’s NBA fans, and the jaunty illustrations by Aaron Dana add both depth and fun.”  — Booklist on Sprawlball