Jeff Pearlman

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The sound of a drill

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Earlier today I went to the dentist to fix a cracked tooth.

Everyone was going along swimmingly. Numbing agent—check. Water—check. That stuff you wedge between the gum and the lip—check.

Then: The Drill.

God, I hate that noise. To me, it’s the dental equivalent of Jason Voorhees knocking at your door, axe in hand. It causes me hands to sweat, my heart to race. Then it comes closer and closer to my mouth. I usually do something with my hands to serve as a distractor. Tight fist. Pinch myself.

Drrrrrrrrr. Drrrrrrrr.

It rarely hurts.

It’s a funny thing, conditioning. All those years as a child, when a drill actually did hurt, has caused me to forever be terrified. Even though a trip to the dental office is no longer a big deal. Even though I’d say one of every 10 visits to the chair involves even a slight bit of pain. It’s who I am, and who we are.

My daughter, however, see the dentist as little more than an annoying side trip.

Weird.

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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