Local freelancer publishes first book on history of the NBA – Spectrum News


Behind the desk once used by his grandfather, Pete Croatto is hard at work.

The newly-minted author, who went from hang time to prime time, is sending out a few notes, because one of his biggest work accomplishments was a cultivation of his family upbringing and, of course, his love of sports.

What You Need To Know

  • Pete Croatto is a freelance writer who’s work has appeared on Grantland, SI.com and the New York Times
  • Croatto’s wife is a music professor at Ithaca College
  • Croatto’s book also explains how television coverage and it’s personalities helped the NBA explode into the mainstream

“My parents were not sports savvy, but they did inspire a love of reading and they told me to basically read whatever I wanted. There were never any reservations about reading sports books or reading books about baseball or whatever. Everything was fair game,” said Pete.

And it’s easy to see that passion for reading, as his bookcase that was built by his father is overflowing with titles that played a big role in Pete’s new book.

“There were so many books that inspired me and informed me. And that to me was so important,” said Pete.

But the information was not limited to just reading. In fact, Pete’s a pen-and-paper type of person. He’s logged many hours writing notes on legal pads, and even note cards — a trick he picked up from another sport.

“I actually went to NFL Films. One of the places they took me to was Steve Sable’s old office, and Steve Sable had boxes of note cards. Boxes! With fonts and quotes, all organized. And that’s where I got the idea from to organize the book — from Steve Sable,” explained Pete.

But don’t let Pete fool you. He’s not just a writer. He’s also an avid musician. Down in his office, Pete has a full drum set ready to be played. Something he relied on as a stress reliever while writing his book.

“I’m not going to play right now because it’s very loud. But the drumming certainly helped and going outside on the basketball court and shooting hoops for forty minutes,” said Pete.

And as much as you and I would like to hear Pete lay down a few notes, it’s back to work where Pete has his pen in his hand. Signing copies of his book for those who inspired him.

“I’m signing this book for Nelson George, the hip-hop journalist, who’s done and written ‘Hip-Hop America’ and a bunch of other great books. You know, I’m a fan,” said Pete.

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