'...required reading for anyone who loves sports or sports history.' NY Daily News 'A scrupulously fair-minded and thoroughly researched account.' - Houston Chronicle 'A chilling book... Every NBA player, if not every pro athlete, should be required to read THE PUNCH.' - New York Times 'Compelling...Feinstein is a reporter at heart and this, his thirteenth book, is a fine display of his curiosity and tenacity.' - San Diego Union-TribuneVom Verlag:
When a fight broke out between the Houston Rockets & the LA Lakers in 1977, All-star Rudy Tomjanovitch raced to break it up. He met Kermit Washington's fist, which delivered 1 of the most ferocious punches ever seen in sport. It deslodged his skull & he required years of surgery & therapy to get him back to normal but he was never the same. Washington was an average player, 6' 8 & one of only 6 athletes to be both an Academic all-American & a basketball all-American. By all accounts he was an exemplary man but the split-second in which he threw his fist devastated his reputation. No team in the NBA would employ him in any coaching capacity. Tomjanovitch, on the other hand, is a star: head coach of the 2-time world championship Rockets & coach of the 2000 Glympic Gold winning team.
With his unique insight, style & bone-deep knowledge of basketball, John Feinstein finally reveals the truth of that night & how it changed basketball forever. Through this one cataclysmicevent he casts light on the NBA's darkest secrets, exploring race, violence & how 1 mistake has haunted 2 good men for 25 years.
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