The Cap: How Larry Fleisher and David Stern Built the Modern NBA

. Oct. 2020. 376p. ISBN 9781496218780. $32.95. SPORTS
Sports fans are constantly reminded that their favorite pastime is a business, but the financial side can be confusing and mysterious. Salary caps, currently implemented by most professional leagues, limit the amount any one team can spend in a season, encouraging competitive parity. In the early 1980s, the NBA was struggling financially. The agreement to implement a salary cap, reached by a group of owners, players, lawyers, and negotiators, was instrumental in launching the league’s unprecedented international popularity in the mid-1980s and beyond. As the first major league to formally address rapidly escalating player salaries, there was no blueprint in place. First-time author Mendelsohn combines exhaustive research and a smooth narrative style to tell the complex story of the salary cap, full of remarkable characters, unpredictable twists, and unforgettable anecdotes.
VERDICT Basketball and sports fans interested in what goes on behind their favorite team’s closed doors will find this an important and accessible account of the NBA’s salary cap and how it has affected professional sports, for better or worse. A unique history, recommended for all public library collections.
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