Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bob Weiss in China: the story is told

Longtime Madison Park resident and former Sonics coach Bob Weiss has a starring role in a major book published earlier this month by Knopf.  Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jim Yardley, Brave Dragons tells the story of the eponymous professional basketball team in the Chinese province of Shanxi during the period after the team hired Weiss at its coach.

The book gets a glowing review in today's New York Times Book Review, the reviewer noting that "Weiss and the rotating cast of American players the team brings on as hired guns make a collection of lively characters."  Perhaps even more lively, however, are the Chinese participants in this East-meets-West story, including the Club's owner, Boss Wang, who, according to the publisher's book synopsis "promised that Weiss would be allowed to Americanize his players by teaching them advanced basketball culture. That promise that would be broken from the moment Weiss landed in China."

According to the The Times, the resulting culture clash, as deftly chronicled by Yardley, provides a story that is much bigger than simply an account of an American coach and his oddball basketball team.

Brave Dragons, which has only been out two weeks, has also had positive reviews from both Booklist  and Kirkus, which called the tale "fantastically implausible."

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