Review: ‘Boys Among Men’ by Jonathan Abrams


Jonathan Abrams new book, Boys Among Men, focuses on high school basketball players opting to forego college and jump to the NBA. Now the rules have changed and the NBA requires players be one year removed from high school before heading to the league. He explores the choices these players made and why they made them. There are stories about superstars and guys who never really made it.

I have to say, this was one of my favorite sports books I have ever read. As a Lakers fan, it of course didn’t hurt that Kobe was a focus in the book. But that’s not the main reason I enjoyed the book so much. Boys Among Men is well written and heavily researched to bring accuracy to the stories told. Abrams conducted hundreds of interviews and put in years of work on the book. It shows and is well worth the time.

The book has a great flow to it. I found myself reading it in large chunks instead of maybe just a chapter or two at a time. The book has been praised by Bill Simmons, Shea Serrano, and more great writers. I needed no convincing to give this book a read. Abrams writing style makes for a smooth read and the placing of the stories works well. The content didn’t focus too much on one person, while it was based largely around a handful. I loved the anecdotes of the players who didn’t become stars but maybe became essential role players. Then there were the stories of those who didn’t even make it to the draft or washed out shortly after being drafted. You get the chance to see the good and bad choices made by players, their families, and even the teams who took chances on high school kids.

I don’t want to give away any huge details of the book. What I will say is that if you’re a basketball fan of any sorts, this book is a must-read. Whatever Abrams chooses to write going forward is content that I’ll be willing to read. You can grab a copy of the book here.