Basketball's last 100 pages are larded with uneasy asides about how horrifically overlong the book has gotten; by the time Simmons is unveiling his "Wine Cellar" team—aliens invade Earth, challenge us to a basketball game, and allow us to pick specific vintages of players ('92 Jordan, '77 Kareem, etc.)—you're too exhausted to be sufficiently impressed. Dip into it slowly and quickly, and throw it down whenever the VH1 talking-head chatter gets too toxic. I know the perfect place to keep it. And, most of the time, that's a compliment.