He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever, and reported the following:
Page 99 turns out to deal with a controversial part of Dream Team—the exclusion from the team of Isiah Thomas, who was a great player but widely disliked by many of his peers. Chosen in his stead was John Stockton, a more button-down player, who was perceived as a “safer” choice.” (Don’t get this wrong: Stockton was a great player, too.)Learn more about the book and author at Jack McCallum's website and blog.
Anyway, after being snubbed, Thomas went against Stockton in a regular-season game and dominated him. Page 99 begins a description of a rematch when Stockton’s teammate, a physically intimidating player named Karl Malone who was also a Dream Team member, takes it upon himself to almost decapitate Thomas during the game.
In that moment of collision between Malone and Thomas (actually it’s on page 100) is a microcosm of sport—the violence, the animosity between opponents and the concomitant bond between teammates, the leitmotifs of vengeance and retribution. And think of it: Ford Madox Ford never saw an NBA game.
Writers Read: Jack McCallum.