The Legends Club
By John Feinstein
ANYONE WHO LIVES and breathes ACC basketball will love this book, especially those who cherish the memories when the conference was only eight teams. This is, however, a story aimed at three college fan bases: UNC, Duke and NC State. It is the ultimate joy ride for grads from those schools.
John Feinstein is a bestselling author of books on sports. This latest work is sure to stay on the charts for months, especially in the Carolinas. The Legends Club is centered on three coaches: Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, and Jim Valvano who went up against each other in the 1980s. These three coached in the close quarters of the Triangle area of the state but were all prominent in the national sports eye.
Duke and NC State were struggling in the early 1980s to keep up with the success at UNC with Coach Smith. The two schools hired relatively unknown young men to try and bring their basketball programs back to national prominence. In only a short time all three would win national championships and create one of the greatest coaching rivalries of all time.
Feinstein has provided a fascinating inside look at the period and the programs. He explores the personalities of the three coaches. Remembered now as Coach K, Jimmy V and Dean, these very competitive men each brandished their own styles. They also fought through their own personal hardships. Readers will discover traits and actions not widely known before.
Recruiting is an intricate aspect of this story. The author reveals wonderful tidbits of the means by which players were enticed (legally) to choose a school to play with. In some cases all three colleges sought the same talent. Winning a recruit was as intense as winning games and championships in some cases. The player’s names and accomplishments serve as reminders as to the strength of the programs under these coaches. Jordan, Charles and Dawkins are players which added to the fame of their coaches.
Smith and Valvano are now deceased. Coach K is still active. All three have given North Carolinians something to be proud of. Feinstein lifts each of them to a place of reverence and does justice to their stories. He also points out their limitations. This is a fair yet idolized view of these three legends.
Emerald Isle Books