Kent Babb is a Sports Enterprise Writer at The Washington Post, which he joined in October 2012. His work was included in the 2013 edition of The Best American Sports Writing, and his long-form journalism has been honored eight times by the Associated Press Sports Editors, including first place in feature writing in 2005 and 2010.
A man of deep passion and intensity, George Karl earned his bad boy reputation while playing at the University of North Carolina, a rap that continued through the five years he spent with the San Antonio Spurs—and long after he stopped playing.
Karl’s beery nights, fistfights, and barking followed him into a thirty-five-year coaching career. In a game defined by big stakes and bigger egos, rabid fans and an unforgiving media, Karl was hired and fired a dozen times. After leading a team beset by injuries and with no superstar to its best season of all time—an achievement that earned Karl the title NBA Coach of the Year—he was dumped by the Denver Nuggets in 2013. Less than a year and a half later, Karl was at the helm of the Sacramento Kings, snarling and bellowing on the sidelines before being cut loose in May 2016.
Intense, obstinate, and loud, Karl has never backed down from a confrontation, whether with management, officials, or star players, as NBA legends from Allan Iverson to Gary Payton to Carmelo Anthony to Demarcus Cousins can attest. Telling his story, Karl holds nothing back as he speaks out about the game that has defined his life, including the greed, selfishness, and ass-covering he believes are characteristic of the modern NBA player, and the rampant corruption that leads all the way to the office of the NBA commissioner, David Stern. Karl also reveals how he’s learned to deal with the personalities, the pressure, and the setbacks with a resilience he acquired from his three bouts with cancer.
Raw, hard-hitting, and brutally honest, Furious George is as thrilling, unpredictable, and entertaining as the game that has defined Karl’s life.
The record-holding two-time NBA champion and recently inducted hall-of-famer reflects on his work ethic, his on-the-court friendships and rivalries, the great teams he's played for, and what it takes to have a long and successful career in this thoughtful, in-depth memoir.
Playing in the NBA for eighteen years, Ray Allen won championships with the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat and entered the record books as the original king of the three-point shot. Known as one of the hardest-working and highest-achieving players in NBA history, this most dedicated competitor was legendary for his sharp shooting. From the Outside, complete with a foreword by Spike Lee, is his story in his words: a no-holds-barred look at his life and career, filled with behind-the-scenes stories and surprising revelations about the game he has always cherished.
Allen talks openly about his fellow players, coaches, owners, and friends, including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Garnett. He reveals how, as a kid growing up in a military family, he learned about responsibility and respect—the key to making those perfect free throws and critical three-point shots.
From the Outside is the portrait of a gifted athlete and a serious man with a strongly defined philosophy about the game and the right way it should be played—a philosophy that, at times, set him apart from colleagues and coaches, while inspiring so many others, and lead to the most pivotal shot of his career: the unforgettable 3-pointer in the final seconds of Game 6 of the 2013 NBA finals against the San Antonio Spurs. Throughout, Allen makes clear that success in basketball is as much about what happens off the court as on, that devotion and commitment are the true essence of the game—and of life itself.