Seth Davis was fated to cover basketball, which is exactly what he's been doing for the last 20 years. He attended Duke University during the school's era of domination in the late Eighties and early Nineties and befriended Mike Krzyzewski. Conversations with the legendary coach and all those Final Fours only deepened his obsession. That's why he now scribbles a constant stream of stories for 'Sports Illustrated,' provides analytical insight for CBS Sports, hosts "The Seth Davis Show" on CampusInsiders.com (where he sits down with legends like Phil Jackson and Mack Brown), and is about to release his third book, 'Wooden: A Coach's Life.'
"You would think that, after all of these years in the business, I would become jaded or I would become less of a sports fan, but I feel like as I'm getting older I'm becoming more of a sports fan," he says.
His obsession with sports and writing – "In my heart, in my soul, I am a writer" – has made Davis something of an expert on his own competition: journalists who write about basketball. He gave 'Men's Journal' a peak into his library, highlighting the greatest books about sports ever written.
'Basketball: Its Origin and Development'
"In researching my John Wooden biography, part of what I did was just sort of research the history of basketball," Davis explains. The most obvious place to start was with the founding text by James Naismith, who invented the game in 1891 with two peach half-bushel baskets. Part basketball bible – outlining the game's rules and purpose – and part autobiography, the book is essential for aspiring historians of the game.
"It's not a real long book, but it's just really fascinating," Davis says. "You know, in his original 13 rules, there was nothing in there about the dribble. Basketball more than any of the other major sports has continually evolved in terms of its dimensions and how it's played and the rules."