This book is, ostensibly, about a single basketball game. Officially, the Soviet Union beat the United States, 51-50, in the gold medal game at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich on a desperate basket at the final buzzer.
In many ways, the game was for the Soviets a mirror image of what the U.S. Olympic hockey team would experience eight years later at the Winter Games in Lake Placid: an improbable, almost unthinkable, victory over the sport's long-time Olympic standard-bearers and a Cold War shot in the arm for a politically struggling government.
But that is where the similarities end. Because there's one Olympian-sized difference between what is, arguably, each country's greatest Olympic achievement: the Soviets didn't actually win the gold medal in basketball in 1972. Or, more specifically, they have never been recognized as having won by their American opponents. To this day, 40 years after that final buzzer sounded, 12 silver medals lay unclaimed in a storage room maintained for the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. History says those silver medals belong to the Americans. Doug Collins and his teammates say that "history" is mistaken.