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.
Davis is part of a prestigious pack of basketball writers at 'Sports Illustrated,' but no one has produced more high-profile stories than Jack McCallum, a three-decade veteran of the magazine and member of the NBA Hall of Fame. He famously chronicled the Celtics-Lakers battles of Eighties for the magazine, but the most recent of his 10 books revisited the greatest grouping of NBA legends ever assembled: The 1992 Olympic gold medal team, better known as the "Dream Team."
"First of all, again, access," Davis says, emphasizing the toughest part of the sports writing gig. "He got everybody, including Jordan and Bird and Magic."
McCallum even managed to dig up new information on Jordan, perhaps the most exhausted subject in the history of sports writing.
"The guy's basically a complete asshole," Davis says. "It makes him a striking character. I remember McCallum talking about his energy, where he would stay up all night and play cards till three, four in the morning with his guys, gambling. He would get up in the morning and play 36 holes of golf and then they'd have a game that night."