Jeff Pearlman

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Stan and simple pleasures

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Today is Father’s Day, which means I sent my dad a gift.

I do this out of obligation and tradition, because—otherwise—Dad doesn’t give a shit. That sounds crass, but I mean it as the most wonderful of compliments. Through the years, I’ve had friends and family members and associates ask for food and money and toys and hats and kits and trips. I’ve had them ask for pets and policies and gift cards and gift certificates.

My dad has never asked for anything.

When I say never I mean—literally—never. It’s the attribute I admire most about him. Pop’s lack of materialism is unprecedented; his disinterest in possessions is Biblical. Fancy is wasted. Gaudy is ugly. Dad likes a bench, a cup of coffee, a bagel, a newspaper. It doesn’t matter if the beverage is warm or iced; if the bagel is H&H or Lender’s; if the newspaper is the Washington Post or USA Today. He is an extremely wise and decent man with extremely limited needs. Happiness comes with a walk and a cool breeze; it comes with a nap (Or two. Or three); it comes with a back scratch.

Simple pleasures, that’s my father.

Simple pleasures.

PS: That said, three years ago I did get him his own bobblehead. Which was pretty terrific.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life