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The Last Banner: The Story of the 1985-86 Celtics, the Nba's Greatest Team of All Time Paperback – July 1, 1996


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Paperback, July 1, 1996
$150.54
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Diane Pub Co (July 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756759528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756759520
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,961,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In their history the Boston Celtics have hung 16 NBA championship banners from the roof of their home arena, the last won by the 1985-86 team. The team ended the 1984-85 season by losing the seventh game of the final series, and those in charge felt the loss was a result of the weak bench, thus forcing the five starters to play too many minutes. So, in an unprecedented move, management got rid of all the bench players and restocked the team, their major acquisition being backup center Bill Walton. He joined Larry Bird, Robert Parrish, Kevin McHale, Danny Ainge and Dennis Johnson to form a team that went 67-15, with a 40-1 record at home, and, of course, won the championship. May, who covers the Celtics for the Boston Globe, makes a convincing case here for judging the team the best in NBA history, not so much for the talents of its players, which were considerable, but because of the dedication to teamwork and the lack of ego of the players. This careful analysis of the season is also a thorough portrait of each of the team members going back to childhood. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Whether the 1985-86 Boston Celtics were the greatest NBA team of all time is certainly debatable, but there is little doubt they were the best of a long line of outstanding Celtic squads. May (The Big Three, S. & S., 1994) argues here that although Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish, Dennis Johnson, and Danny Ainge formed a potent starting five, it was the bench, led by Bill Walton, that lifted the team to championship status. As for the team's place in history, he contends "they played at a time when the competition was never better and the game was not yet contaminated by the ravages of expansion." How such a surfeit of talent came to be assembled and blended in a cohesive unit makes for an interesting study. For popular collections.?William H. Hoffman, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., Fla.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I consider myself among the top handful of 1980s Celtic votaries, and as a former college basketball player from the 80s and student of the history of the NBA, this book was one of the most thrilling publications to which I have ever been exposed. I have a tape collection that includes about 35 of the 100 playoff and regular season games the 86 Celtics played, and I have maintained for years that this is the greatest team to ever grace a basketball court. After living through so many painful Bulls championsips, capped by that revolting, 72-10 1996 season and all of the associated "Best Ever" pronouncements, I would, and still do, argue to friends and foes alike that the best teams of all-time were situated in the mid-1980s. The very best among the best, I argue, were the 85-86 Boston Celtics. Seeing May's book for the first time was like finding a beautiful resting place amidst a turbulent, seemingly endless sea of hostile waters, which, under this analogy, took the form of publications, paraphernalia, and television broadcasts extolling Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, Shaquille O'Neal, the Chicago Bulls, and the current NBA in all its shocking ineptitude and lack of substance.
The reading is wonderful, and the memories the reading inspires are gratifying, especially when supplemented with the 86 Celtic game tapes I so greatly treasure. In short, May's book brings to life a much better era for the basketball purist, an era whose chief exponents, the 80s Lakers and Celtics, were represented at their pinnacle--by no matter of coincidence, the pinnacle of the sport of basketball itself--by the 85-86 Boston Celtics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Happy Husband on May 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book because of the great memories I have of that season and the Boston Celtics. The story line explains how the 1985-1986 team was assembled and provided background material on each player. It didn't provide a game-by-game review of the season but did highlight important games.

The book I received, while technically "used" looked as if it was just off the printer's press. I would definitely order again from this vendor.
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Format: Hardcover
As a Celtic fan from the 60's, I really needed to catch up on this particular year and see what the author had in mind for "the greatest team." I was not disappointed and enjoyed all the replaying of the crucial games and all the introspective's of the individual players and the histories behind them. I gained so much from reading this, and there wasn't one page I didn't want to read. This is definitely for the basketball purist and especially Boston C fans. All topics and important issues were addressed on the building of this great team.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jack Ace Rothstein on June 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
is to counteract the plethora of IDIOTIC opinions such as the last one that have no sense of historical context. Notice how the last reviewer's greatest list consisted of teams of the past decade (which by all accounts and standards consists of watered-down teams and play) and the 1986-87 Lakers (which btw wasn't even the best Laker team of all time in terms of record or strength of competition) while "he" called the Celtics teams from 1957-1969 who won 11 out of 13 years "OVERRATED". What's next? Titanic is the greatest movie of all time? Leonardo DiCaprio is the greatest actor? Justin Timberlake is the best singer?

Although I am a Celtics fan, esp. of the incredible 1985-86 team which I do think is the best for many of the same reasons as stated in the book, I can objectively state that really only four teams deserve to be in the discussion as the greatest single season team: the 1967 Sixers, the 1983 Sixers, the 1986 Celtics, and the 1972 Lakers. The books that chronicle these other teams also make good points too. This book does a reasonable job of showing why these 1985-86 Celtics should be there. In addition, this book gives a great chronicle of the entire 1985-86 season.

One more opinion that I would state is that at any given time, the 1986 Celtics could put on the court FOUR of the NBA's Top 50 (and s/b 5 because Dennis Johnson was certainly worthy of being in the list). The only other team who could even possibly boast this would be those "overrated" Celtics teams from the 1950s and 1960s.

BTW, if this opinion seems far-fetched, note that on a recent ESPN poll show, this 1985-86 Celtics team was ranked third of teams of all time and the number 1 team on that poll, the 1996 Bulls, was deservedly ridiculed by the second-guessers.
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By Samuele Parolin on September 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
It's a must for real Celtics fans even though it is no longer the last banner they talk about...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very good overview of the 1985-86 NBA champion Boston Celtics. May does not only cover the season day to day, he gives background biographical information on all the Celtics. As good as the book is, I don't know that it's beyond doubt that the 1985-6 Celtics were the best team ever. Were they better than Shaq's Lakers or Jordan's Bulls? Hard to say and May certainly doesn't prove they were. Nonetheless, I highly recommend this book to NBA fans.
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