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Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty ofthe 1980s [NOOK Book]

Overview

The New York Times bestselling author of Sweetness delivers the first all-encompassing account of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of professional sports’ most-reveredand dominantdynasties.

The Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s personified the flamboyance and excess of the decade over which they reigned. Beginning with the arrival of Earvin “Magic” Johnson as the number-one overall pick of the 1979 draft, the Lakers played basketball with ...
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Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty ofthe 1980s

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Overview

The New York Times bestselling author of Sweetness delivers the first all-encompassing account of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of professional sports’ most-reveredand dominantdynasties.

The Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s personified the flamboyance and excess of the decade over which they reigned. Beginning with the arrival of Earvin “Magic” Johnson as the number-one overall pick of the 1979 draft, the Lakers played basketball with gusto and pizzazz, unleashing their famed “Showtime” run-and-gun style on a league unprepared for their speed and ferocity—and became the most captivating show in sports and, arguably, in all-around American entertainment. The Lakers’ roster overflowed with exciting all-star-caliber players, including center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and they were led by the incomparable Pat Riley, known for his slicked-back hair, his Armani suits, and his arrogant strut. Hollywood’s biggest celebrities lined the court and gorgeous women flocked to the arena. Best of all, the team was a winner. Between 1980 and 1991, the Lakers played in an unmatched nine NBA championship series, capturing five of them.

Bestselling sportswriter Jeff Pearlman draws from almost three hundred interviews to take the first full measure of the Lakers’ epic Showtime era. A dazzling account of one of America’s greatest sports sagas, Showtime is packed with indelible characters, vicious rivalries, and jaw-dropping, behind-the-scenes stories of the players’ decadent Hollywood lifestyles. From the Showtime era’s remarkable rise to its tragic end—marked by Magic Johnson’s 1991 announcement that he had contracted HIV—Showtime is a gripping narrative of sports, celebrity, and 1980s-style excess.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

During the 1980s, the Los Angeles Lakers won five NBA championships (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988), but it was how they won that held our attention. With their patented "Showtime" fast breaks, the team that starred Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar exhausted, then pulverized defenders. Jeff Pearlman's lively book on this exciting franchise decade entails more than recaps of run-and-gun offenses; with hundreds of interviews, he takes us into the friendships, rivalries, and even the off-the-court hijinks of these fabled players. Our best view yet of an incomparable combine.

Library Journal
★ 06/01/2014
Presented as a chronological narrative this volume wins the reader over with its enthralling anecdotes. It is notable that the better part of these stories collected by Pearlman (Sweetness) are told by or revolve around players little known to most NBA fans, many of them backups or journeymen making a brief stop with the Los Angeles Lakers. Assistant coaches, trainers, media-relations men, and other "behind-the-scenes" employees are given ample coverage as well. No original interviews appear to have been conducted with Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, or Pat Riley, and longtime owner Jerry Buss died before he could be questioned. As a result, Pearlman gives the impression that the 1980s Lakers succeeded because of the commitment of all members of the organization. This is refreshing, especially given how often sports journalism substitutes hero worship for genuine insight into why certain teams are more successful than others. The sections on Jack McKinney, Pat Riley's predecessor as head coach and the inventor of the Lakers's run-and-gun "showtime" style are revelatory, as is the short, final chapter on Magic's announcement that he was HIV-positive. VERDICT This essential book is the definitive history of the "showtime" Lakers and is a must-read for all NBA fans.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780698148611
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 94,461
  • File size: 9 MB

Meet the Author

Jeff Pearlman is a New York Times bestselling author and sports writer. He has worked as a columnist for SI.com and ESPN.com, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, a features writer for Newsday, and a contributor to The Wall Street Journal and CNN.com. He lives in New York.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 28, 2014

    Great Insight on a Legendary Era

    Pearlman digs in to give the reader insight on the history of the Lakers' run and gun style of play in the 80's. His in depth look at the characters who came up with the idea and the players who carried it out is interesting. Pearlman doesn't pull punches in discussing the personality foibles of players like Kareem and Magic, or the drug and sexcapades of the era. Seems Pearlman spent more pages talking about Magic Johnson than anyone else and this makes sense since Magic was the engine that kept the machine that was Showtime going. It would have been nice to hear from Magic. Seems like most players of the era cooperated with the author--but not Magic. This is a glaring omission but I give the author credit for telling it like it was. Perhaps Magic didn't like some of his past history being dug up and reprinted.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2014

    Super Read

    Fantastic

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2014

    To: Riley Grace

    Dont forget your tost to willy on wendsday

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2014

    You Won't Believe the Behind-the-Scenes Drama

    I was an up-and-down fan of the Lakers in the 80s. Because of how great the team looked on the floor, I always assumed they had a happy locker room. I could not have been further from the truth. For example, the story about Jack McKinney was news to me. And how Pat Riley eventually became a dictator. Or how Kareem was a 100% jerk. Or how many women Magic really slept with.

    This was a book I could not stop reading. And once you read it, you will be amazed that the Lakers ever won a single title.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2014

    Almost sorry I read this

    Being a lifelong Laker fan, I experienced the Showtime-era Laker team as a teenager. My late mother was the biggest Laker fan. Not religious in the traditional sense, her "Holy Trinity" consisted of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & James Worthy, with Chick Hearn being the 4th member.
    SPOILER ALERT: Why I am almost sorry I read this: having experienced Showtime, I grew up idolizing the players & coaches. Mr. Pearlman does an excellent job of telling the story, complete with painting an excellent portrait of what a bunch of power & fame hungry, drug abusing, womanizing jerks the players & coaches actually were. It really burst my bubble.
    Still, it was very well written & told the story well, which is why I gave it 4 stars. Perhaps if I hadn't lived it & hadn't idolized these guys, I might feel different & rated it higher.

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    Posted April 3, 2014

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    Posted March 27, 2014

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    Posted March 17, 2014

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    Posted March 30, 2014

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    Posted April 1, 2014

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