The Punch: One Night, Two Lives, and the Fight That Changed  Basketball Forever

The Punch: One Night, Two Lives, and the Fight That Changed Basketball Forever

by John Feinstein

The punch-now legendary in the annals of American sports-radically changed the trajectory of both men's lives and reverberates throughout the National Basketball Association to this day.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Sports and Games
  • Rating: 3.93
  • Pages: 400
  • Publish Date: November 4th 2003 by Back Bay Books
  • Isbn10: 0316735639
  • Isbn13: 9780316735636

What People Think about "The Punch: One Night, Two Lives, and the Fight That Changed Basketball Forever"

Although The Punch is an incredibly important and resonant story, I feel that the way it is written makes it appeal to only extreme sports fans. I feel that by making the story more focused on Rudy Tomjanovich and Kermit Washington, it would be a more interesting read for a wider audience. By including how that punch still alters someones favorite NBA team today, the story would not only feel more powerful, but also appeal to younger generations.

Lakers power forward Kermit Washington did not know Tomjanovich was trying to break up the fight and thought he was going to be attacked. Fienstien thoroughly explains how the punch affected everyone in Washington's and Tomjanovich's lives saying "While Tomjanovich was in the hospital dealing with great physical pain, Pat Washington (Kermit's wife) was dealing with pain of a different kind at home"(Fienstien, pg.90). I was shocked reading about how many people this punch affected and how big of an impact it had on the NBA itself.

Kermit Washington, an L.A. Laker hired largely as an on-court enforcer/bodyguard for Kareem Abdul Jabar, gets in a fight with the Rocket's center. Washington, now acting like a dog in a fight, tries to coax Tomjanovich into another round as he is rushed to the hospital, all the while saying, "No, I have to get back to the game." Only when his doctor explains that the "funny taste in his mouth" is actually brain fluid does Tomjanovich realize how much damage has been done.

In 1977, Rudy Tomjanovich and Kermit Washington became entwined in a single punch that would change not only their lives, but how professional basketball is played today. Because the punch dislodged Tomjanovich's skull and nearly destroyed both men's careers, the scuffle never settled as a dusty bit of NBA trivia. Seamlessly weaving the event itself into the fabric of pro basketball's rocky pre-Magic/Bird/Jordan history of constantly relocating franchises, dismal television support and chronic violence, Feinstein tells a moving story of two men branded by a moment frozen in time, and how the incident changed the game it could well have destroyed. Rather, the complexity of the incident and the depth of the personal trauma for both Tomjanovich and Washington fester under the author's microscope in this excellent and engaging book.

In the book The Punch, by John Feinstein, a life changing fight breaks out during a Los Angeles Lakers vs Houston Rockets basketball game. In the month of December, in 1977, L.A. Lakers power forward Kermit Washington sent a near death blow to Rudy Tomjanovichs face. This thrilling sports book tells the story of how one single punch had affected no just Rudy Tomjanovich, but Kermit Washington, and the rest of the NBA. Kermit Washington had punched Kunnert and Tomjanovich ran to intercede the fight. Kermit Washington has suddenly turned around and punched Tomjanovich in the face, sending his head immediately to the court.

Book Review By : Ceashia Miller Book Title: The Punch Book Author : John Feinstein Main Idea - The main idea of this book , is to explain what had actually taken place between Tom & Kermit during their NBA career. Body - December 1977 when a fistfight broke out on the court between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers , Kermit Washington threw a punch that nearly killed all star Rudy Tomjanovich . Theme - A harrowing hay maker thrown by Kermit Washington that nearly killed Ruby Tomjanovich in a 1977 NBA Conclusion - Author /Style - In the introduction feinstein tells us how compelling he found this subject and he pursued Tom and Washington rather than writing a book on golf.

Presently he appears regularly on-air at The Golf Channel and National Public radio and writes for The Washington Post, Golf Digest and The Sporting News.