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Paul Westhead's The Speed Game offers a treasure trove of information and stories about how he developed a style of basketball that not only won at the highest levels but went on to influence the game as it's played today.
"When the madness of Coach Westhead's speed game combines with willing talent, magic happens on the basketball court. It's not the speed game people couldn't keep up with; it was his beautiful mind that most couldn't follow. An intriguing insight into the life of the guru of go."-Diana Taurasi, winner of an NCAA championship with the University of Connecticut, a WNBA championship with the Phoenix Mercury, and of an Olympic gold medal "Coach Westhead became head coach of the LA Lakers under unusual and difficult circumstances, yet was always well-prepared, well-composed, and honest about where he was coming from. His journey from 'stretching,' to small college coach, to NBA head coach, to WNBA head coach, to international head coach is riveting and fascinating. Like him or not, crazy or genius, one thing can't be denied: he is a world champion, and more than once."-Jamaal Wilkes "Don't get the idea that The Speed Game is infatuated repetitiously with a scheme for winning basketball games. Mr. Westhead gives us a lot more. It may be a surprise to readers to learn how graceful and interesting a writer he is. . . . In his memoir, he writes especially well about coaching the Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA championship in 1980 and the Phoenix Mercury, led by the great Diana Taurasi, to the 2007 women's title. He also describes how, in the late 1980s, he transformed Loyola Marymount into a powerhouse, and he does so without diminishing the role of Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble in the team's success."-Fred Barnes, Wall Street Journal "Having a former English teacher as my coach in the NBA was an unbelievable dream come true. We never got to exchanging sonnets, but the friendship and world championship we gained were absolutely worth the effort. I'm sure his accounts of his time with the NBA will be rewarding for hoop fans and all of us book worms."-Kareem Abdul-Jabbar "Paul Westhead is a fastbreak savant. That has been conclusively proven in numerous coaching situations. More important, he is a highly principled and extremely talented basketball coach, and unfailingly loyal to his players, fellow coaches, and his beloved system. His journey from the City of Brotherly Love to NBA and WNBA championships and NCAA women's and men's scoring records is a wonderful, insightful, and entertaining read."-P. J. Carlesimo, ESPN basketball analyst and former NBA coach of the Portland Trailblazers, the Golden State Warriors, and the Seattle Supersonics "The Speed Game is Paul Westhead's personal account of how he tried to revolutionize basketball through fast breaks on offense and full-court pressure on defense, with the goal of wearing out the opposition while scoring more points. The book is quite engaging, and the reader becomes engrossed in Westhead's adventures."-Karen Guenther, H-Pennsylvania "'The great ones all have a screw loose.' That's what Stanford's legendary basketball coach Tara VanDerveer once told me. Paul Westhead has a screw loose. His unique vision for basketball, and his dedication to his beliefs, against all odds, makes him a great one. This book is the diary of a mad scientist. It is a love story with amazing tales and anecdotes. Paul is the kind of whack job that makes basketball the deepest and most theatrical sport of all. His book enriches basketball lore."-Scott Ostler, columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle "His memoir is both proud and self-effacing, candid and evasive, an artful nod to Shakespearean comedy and tragedy."-Steve Marantz, New York Journal of Books "The reader will gain great insight into Westhead's coaching philosophy and why he believes the fast break system is the best basketball system despite the skepticism of many and also his occasional lack of success with it, as evidenced by his poor record with the Nuggets.If one was or is a fan of his style, then this book is one to read."-Guy Who Reviews Sports Books "A fun-and fast-read."-J. Kemper Campbell, Lincoln Journal Star