Summer is in full swing and whether your vacation is at the beach, rocking on the porch at a lake house, curled up in a tent or stretched out in your backyard hammock; this is the perfect time to sink into a good book. This week the staff of Hardwood Paroxysm picked out some of our famous summer reads and (with a myriad of ulterior motives) recommended them to NBA players. We hope you enjoy our Summer Reading Recommendations.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Recommended for Andrew Wiggins
By Kirk Henderson (@KirkSeriousFace)
Widely regarded as one of the best science fiction novels of all time, Ender’s Game is a book that should be read by everyone. For Cleveland Cavalier Andrew Wiggins, the book could be instrumental in his development as a player.
For those unfamiliar, Ender’s Game takes place at some point in the future, before mankind expands past Earth. Human civilization is on the brink, reeling from two attacks from an alien race known only as “the Buggers”. In order to prepare for the next invasion, the world has come together and established a military school for children, aimed at preparing them from birth for military command.
Andrew Wiggins, nicknamed Ender, is found and sent to the training facility, known as Battle School, where he’s trained in strategy, tactics, and leadership. Ender’s intelligence and instincts stand out, despite being in a school of prodigies. He moves ahead of his peers quickly and after a fight against an older student, he’s promoted into Command School.
*Spoiler ahead* While there, he’s put through a rigorous simulation regimen of space battles and on his final test, defies his command structure by using a weapon that destroys the alien planet. When everyone celebrates, only then is he told he’s been leading a real attack fleet since entering Command School and his decisions at once ended the war and destroyed the entire Bugger race. *End spoiler*
Much like the similarly named Andrew Wiggin, the Cavs’ Andrew Wiggins needs to learn to exert himself. Talent is useless unless one learns how to harness it in a manner from which a person or team benefits. The military hierarchy in constantly puts Ender through a variety of psychological or physical tests in order to see how he responds. Andrew Wiggins already deals with the day-to-day pressure of being a #1 draft pick, but when the season starts he’ll face nearly unrelenting media pressure to perform night in and night out. Like Ender, developing the ability to finish a fight will be necessary if he’s ever to live up to his billing.
Next, Ender’s ability to understand his enemy is key to his development, saying “In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him.” The sooner Andrew Wiggins understands what the media spot light means, the more likely he will win over his critics. Despite playing basketball his whole life, there’s much he has to learn both on and off the court. He’s been told for years that he needs to continue to be aggressive, but until he learns to embrace the criticism, or at the very least, until he learns to why he’s being criticized, he may struggle to adapt to the NBA.
Finally, Andrew Wiggins (and everyone else) needs to read this novel so we can appropriate the nickname “Ender”, because it’s fantastic. “Ender” the defensive stopper. “Ender”, the late game crunch time artist. Can you imagine “Ender” Wiggins on a fast break? Imagine the Cavs announcers saying “The enemy’s Gate is down”. It’s incredible. This has to happen. So read Ender’s Game, Andrew Wiggins (and everyone else), it will be worth your time.