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Game Face: Bernard King

May 4, 2018

In “Game Face,” the biography of Bernard King by Jerome Preisler, a basketball legend talks about his life on and off the court from the beginning. Youth, college, and in the pros, King brought a certain style and New York aggression to the floor. Although an injury that some say costed his career, he bounced back and kept pushing until the end. From a 6 year old in Brooklyn, to a New York Knicks icon, Bernard King was one of the greatest to play the game in his time.

The main theme from this book is King’s so called “game face”. He always goes back to this and is clearly a key role in the biography, hence the title. Bernard talks about this and how he got the game face. He focuses in on the game so much that he enters the zone where nothing else matters and he goes 100% on the floor with no turning back. At one point he says, “I could flip a switch and it was there. When my game face was on, I was tapping a deeper well of concentration.” (King, xix) Throughout his whole career, he has this mentality to go all out on the basketball court and succeed. When King suffers an ACL injury and a broken knee, many doubted he would come back an all star. He talks about his rehab and how much work he put into coming back healthy. As he talks himself through a workout, he says that the game face was on, and he will come back to the NBA and won’t let anything stop him.

This book is great for athletes and sports fans because of the overall perseverance to get better and win. King had an amazing gift, and he used it to win. Today, he is one of the most underrated basketball players in history; his career numbers are extraordinary, but everyone forgets about him. After his ACL tear, he came back averaging 22 points a game for the next 4 season until he retired. Players like Carmelo Anthony look up to him and emulate his game. Melo once said Bernard King was his favorite player. He was an icon in his time, and every basketball player today should have the same drive, mentality, and passion that Bernard King gave to the game.

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