About fifteen months ago I announced on TVFury a deal I’d just signed to write a book about the history of the jump shot.
Today I’m happy to reveal a bit more exciting news. Drum roll (drum roll, Russ):
My publisher Flatiron Books has revealed the cover in its Winter 2016 catalog. Check it out:
There it is. I’m running that thing big, get her close to lifesize, almost so it overwhelms your computer screen and field of vision.
I love everything about the cover, and I hope that readers like it too — and that it catches their eye, in the bookstore or online. I love the font — the orange resembling a basketball — mixed with the gray. And I love the image of the shooter firing a shot, the perfect visual for a book about the jumper. Pretty good form.
You might have noticed that the title — or at least part of it — has changed in the past year. So, yes, the official name of the book is now Rise and Fire: The Origins, Science, and Evolution of the Jump Shot–And How It Transformed Basketball Forever.
The book also has an official release date: February 23, 2016. So you still have lots of time to come up with plans for telling your friends about the book.
I’m basically done with the writing and editing of the book although a few steps remain with some proofing. Then the publisher makes advance copies, it goes out to reviewers, media, readers, and eventually into the public. I’m even more excited now about the book than I was on that day in February 2014 when I announced the deal. Because I now know what the book is, I know what’s in it, I know what went into it.
If you’d like to see the catalog with Rise and Fire, please check out the link here. That will take you to the PDF, and you can find Rise and Fire as you scroll down. I’ll also paste the catalog copy for the book:
An exploration of the play that revolutionized basketball and provided the greatest moments in the sport’s history-from Michael Jordan’s legacy-defining jumpers to Ray Allen’s mastery and more.
The jump shot is the most important play in basketball, and its inception revolutionized the game, spearheading an increase in scoring and bolstering the sport’s popularity. Rise and Fire celebrates this crucial shot while tracing its history and shedding light on all corners of the basketball world, from the biggest NBA arenas to the playgrounds of New York City and the barns of Indiana.
Part history, part travelogue, and part memoir, award-winning journalist Shawn Fury praises the jump shot, puzzles over its complexities, and marvels over its simplicity. Impeccably researched and engaging, Rise and Fire bounces from the dirt courts of the first shooters of the ’30s to today’s NBA courts and state-of-the-art shooting labs, examining everything from how nets and rims affect a shooter to rivalries between shooting coaches to how the three-pointer came to rule the game. The book traces how the jump shot changed basketball history, with interviews and profiles of legendary figures like Jerry West, Bob McAdoo, Ray Allen, and dozens more, plus the first woman ever drafted by the NBA.
Analyzing the techniques and re-creating legendary plays from the greats, Fury creates a technical, personal, historical, and even spiritual examination of the shot. This is not a dry how-to textbook of basketball mechanics; it is a lively tour of basketball history and a love letter to the sport and the shot that changed it forever.
You want to read that, right? Right? Right. I think basketball fans of all levels will enjoy Rise and Fire (it’s not just a book about the pros or college or preps). I think anyone who’s ever shot a ball will enjoy it. I think any human will enjoy it. At least I hope so. Among the people I met and spoke with (and this is just a small sample): Jerry West, Rick Mount, Mark Price, Bob McAdoo, Dennis Scott, Dominique Wilkins, Purvis Short, Kiki Vandeweghe, Troy Lewis, Kenny Sailors, Travis Grant, Jimmy Rayl, Austin Carr, Steve Alford, and Bobby Plump. I had the pleasure of talking hoops and the jump shot with some of the best players in the game’s history (along with coaches, writers, filmmakers and many more) and I hope readers enjoy the end product as much as I enjoyed the research and writing.
For those who like planning for things that are nine months away, you can also pre-order Rise and Fire on Amazon here. Or you can preorder at Barnes & Noble.
Obviously in the coming months I’ll have many more updates on Rise and Fire (and will also, I believe, add other new content to TVFury, so stay tuned for that) so please visit again. Or visit my website at shawnfury.com. Also, for updates you can also now like me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/shawnpfury.
Or follow me on Twitter @shawnfury. And as always you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And a few reviews. All reviews are available on my website.
“Rise and Fire profiles great shooters of the past and present, from Rick Mount to Ray Allen and countless more, but also shows the importance and beauty of the jump shot itself, a play that continues to evolve and change the game. Shawn Fury’s superb book is about one shot, but every basketball fan will enjoy it.”
–Mike Krzyzewski, Head Coach of the Duke and USA Men’s National basketball teams
“Rise and Fire is a love letter to the jump shot, full of fascinating details and anecdotes. Wide-ranging and thoroughly researched, it is both a lively history and an ode to that mysterious, timeless motion. You can feel Fury’s passion and curiosity on every page.”
–Chris Ballard, Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated and author of “The Art of a Beautiful Game”
“As I write this, jump-shooter extraordinaire Steph Curry is ripping through the postseason. But it’s not the obvious targets that make this book come alive; it’s the lesser-known stories and anecdotes, including the author’s visit with “Hoosiers” model Bobby Plump, that make “Rise and Fire” a nothing-but-net read.”
–Jack McCallum, author of “Dream Team” and “Seven Seconds or Less”
“Rise and Fire by Shawn Fury is a quintessential read for anyone fascinated by basketball’s on-going evolution. It takes a simple, yet fascinating question — How did the jump shot gradually become the most aesthetically-pleasing movement in all of sports? — and turns it into an engrossing odyssey that offers insight, answers and a meditation on artistry. This is a must-have for anyone who ever held their breath when Larry Bird let one fly with the game on the line, or spent a long summer night in their parents’ driveway, hoisting countless jumpers at a rim illuminated by the glow of flickering floodlights mounted above the garage.”
— Kevin Van Valkenburg, ESPN The Magazine senior writer
Shawn Fury’s written a biography of the jump shot—”Rise and Fire”—which is perfect for the age of no conscience in basketball. The jump shot is in full flower in the postmodern game these days. Seriously, it’s a fun read filled with surprises and great stories. Certain requirements are fulfilled—Larry Bird gets his own chapter. It’s a must for any serious hoops library.
— Roland Lazenby. author of Michael Jordan, The Life.
“This is a book about a shot, but it’s of course so much more than that. One basic shot — a fundamental human movement — is interpreted and evolved around the country and the world, with everyone adding their own regional take. Fury’s book is thorough and smart, but more than anything, it’s a lively, extremely fun travelogue through a journey that parallels that of the sport it transformed.”
— Will Leitch, author of “Are We Winning?” and “God Save the Fan”