Life Is Not an Accident

Like millions of kids before him, Jay Williams used to pretend he was making the game-winning shot while playing basketball in his Plainfield, New Jersey, backyard. Unlike almost all of those other kids, he kept right on making shots until he became an NCAA champion and two-time national player of the year at Duke and the number-two overall NBA draft pick in 2002.

But after just one season with the Chicago Bulls, a team starved for a new messiah since Michael Jordan’s retirement, Williams destroyed his career when he suffered a horrific motorcycle accident. In an instant, the man with as fast a first step as any point guard in history could no longer do anything  for himself, including walk.

In Life Is Not an Accident Jay Williams shares his story—both heartbreaking and uplifting—of being a young man trying to wrest control of his life from his overinvolved parents, from the pleasures and perils of fame and money, and from the near-fatal mistake that threatened to define him.

After a decade spent recovering from his injuries—the rehabilitations, the comeback attempts, the professional forays into the seedy underside of sports agenting—Williams recounts with a rare honesty his hard-fought path to college basketball stardom and the painful lessons he’s learned while reconstructing his fractured adulthood.

Life Is Not an Accident is also Williams’s tribute to the many angels who helped him survive, including his mother, his first love, and his legendary Duke basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski. Now in his thirties and an ESPN college basketball analyst, Jay Williams is happy with the man he has become—and convinced that the crash that almost killed him at 21 was no accident, but a tragedy that taught him how to live.

Advance Praise For Life Is Not An Accident

“A lot of athletes have been to the mountaintop and back to the bottom in the course of their careers, and their stories end there. But not Jay’s. He was determined to build a life beyond basketball no matter how many hard picks he’d have to fight through. This book shows how he did it—one brave step at a time.”—Charles Barkley, TNT basketball analyst and NBA legend

“From a freakish motorcycle accident that derailed his destiny to overcoming the residue from it that left a severe mental and emotional stain, Jay’s story is about strength, resilience, and redemption. Life Is Not an Accident is a surprisingly honest and revealing account that will inspire and resonate with all.”—Grant Hill, CBS basketball analyst and former NBA All-Pro

“Jay Williams has led a fascinating life, much of it in the public eye. But it is the very private side of the man— through his breathtaking highs and startling lows—that makes this gutsy, intimate, unflinchingly honest memoir impossible to put down.”—Mike Greenberg, ESPN’s Mike & Mike

Pep Guardiola

‘Pep’ Guardiola has transformed Barcelona into arguably the greatest club side of all time, and this entertainingly perceptive biography explains how.

Guardiola spent the majority of his playing days with Barca and was an integral part of Johan Cruyff’s European Cup-winning ‘dream team’. But it was on retiring from playing that he really made his mark on the club. After travelling the world, he became a coach of the Barcelona reserve team, and a year later, in 2008, he was appointed the first-team manager. The club went on to win an unprecedented 13 of the 16 competitions they entered under his leadership, and he became the youngest ever manager to win the Champions League. Then, at the end of the 2012 season, after having been awarded the FIFA WORLD COACH OF THE YEAR, he resigned following four years of unprecedented achievement. He immediately became the most sought-after free-agent in football, and his next move was keenly anticipated.

Some call Guardiola’s influence on Barca revolution, others evolution. Whatever the answer, the impact he has had goes beyond football. He represents a style, a club, a country and even old-fashioned values, at a time when they seem so scarce. Guillem Balagué’s insightful book reveals how Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona played the ‘Beautiful Game’ – and won.


Why Soccer Matters

Soccer. Football. The beautiful game. The world’s most popular sport goes by many names, but for decades, fans have agreed on one thing: the greatest player of all time was Pelé. Now the legendary star, ambassador, and humanitarian shares a global vision for what soccer can accomplish. Now he shares his story, his experience, and his insights on the game for the very first time.

Before Messi, before Ronaldo, before Beckham, there was Edson Arantes do Nascimento—known simply as Pelé. A national treasure, he created pure magic with his accomplishments on the field: an unprecedented three World Cup championships and the all-time scoring record, with 1,283 goals in his twenty year career.

Now, with the World Cup returning after more than sixty years to Brazil—the country often credited with perfecting the sport—soccer has a unique opportunity to encourage change on a global level. And as the tournament’s official ambassador, Pelé is ready to be the face of progress.

For the first time ever Pelé explores the recent history of the game and provides new insights into soccer’s role connecting and galvanizing players around the world. He has traveled the world as the global ambassador for soccer and in support of charitable organizations such as Unicef, promoting the positive influences soccer can have to transform young men and women, struggling communities, even entire nations. In groundbreaking detail and with unparalleled openness, he shares his most inspiring experiences, heartwarming stories and hard-won wisdom, and he puts the game in perspective.

This is Pelé’s legacy, his way of passing on everything he’s learned and inspiring a new generation. In Why Soccer Matters, Pelé details his ambitious goals for the future of the sport and, by extension, the world.

Commemorative poster inside the jacket