SPORTS & RECREATION

The Victory Machine: The Making and Unmaking of the Warriors Dynasty

PublicAffairs. Apr. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9781541736238. $24. SPORTS
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The past decade has been extremely successful for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. All of the championships and acclaim have also made the Warriors, according to journalist Strauss, the team “that would ruin basketball.” Looking beyond the trophies and All-Star players, sportswriter Strauss reveals what really goes on in the back rooms of NBA teams. He also examines how the 24/7 nature of social media (both fan- and player-generated content) has changed dynamics in locker rooms and arenas. Once the Warriors became a dominant team, input from athletic companies and players themselves, along with unrelenting pressure from ownership, media, and fans threatened to overshadow their accomplishments. How they adjusted and persevered is a fascinating, sometimes ruthless, story that is still unfolding. Strauss skillfully captures a team peaking as change is taking place all around them, and pulls the curtain aside on the often unsavory realities of what it means to succeed in the NBA.
VERDICT Sports dynasties tend to inspire the extremes of love and hate, and more than ever in this era of constant connection. For basketball fans interested in the lesser-known business side of the sport.

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