Sunday night during the Dallas game, the San Antonio Spurs came out of a commercial break sharing a video of the players talking about their favorite books growing up. DeMar DeRozan was a fan of the Goosebumps series. Jakob Poeltl’s read every Harry Potter book in the series. Keldon loved Captain Underpants. Derrick White (being Derrick White) claims his favorite childhood read was the dictionary.
One book, in particular, stood out. Rudy Gay’s favorite book growing up was S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. It’s not as common a go-to these days as the era of the book is dated. The Outsiders is historic look at teens growing up poor in America. The bond this group of seven youngsters evolves as they become their own version of family. But to the casual observer, the teens are just a group of thugs.
When tragedy faces the two youngest protagonists, they run away leaving the strange comfort of their mid-60s Tulsa dregs and hide away in an abandoned church to avoid the consequences of their actions. It is during this period that they become heroes when they run into the burning church to save a group of school children on a field trip.
The novel, written by the teenage Hinton, has won multiple awards and claimed generations of audiences, but has still been banned in some institutions due to its description of gang violence, teen drinking and smoking referenced throughout.
The book was also made into a Francis Ford Coppola motion picture that launched the careers of Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, Ralph Macchio and C. Thomas Howell while raising the profiles of Emilio Estevez and Matt Dillon.
The novel’s success allowed Hinton to pen a string of hit teen books during the 70s which all became hit films during the 80s when her works were being discovered by larger audiences and Hollywood.
Rudy was the only Spurs player to reference a book of this nature. It says something about his personality, the breadth of his interests, and maybe a little about his age.
So join in the conversation started by the Spurs, Pounders. What were your favorite books growing up?
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