From Publishers Weekly
Although Boston is 25% black, it has a reputation as a racist city; also relevant to the premise of the book is the fact that the basketball Celtics, one of professional sports' most successful franchises, have few fans among the city's minority population. The Celtics management has tried for four decades to create the image that it is color-blind: the team signed the first black player, hired the first black coach and the Celtics were the first to play an all-black starting lineup. But the image is not the reality, according to New York Times sports columnists Araton and Bondy in this hard-hitting expose. The Celtics, originally led to greatness by black center Bill Russell, prefer to make a public hero of white forward John Havlicek; for years the management has tried to assemble a roster of six blacks and six whites, although some of the whites are talented enough only to sit on the bench. The authors maintain that racism is endemic in the NBA and that it is especially blatant in Boston. They also argue convincingly that the Boston press has played a shameful role in cloaking that the Celtics team is "still for whites." Photos not seen by PW. Author tour.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Two New York Times columnists take the NBA's Boston Celtics front office to task for what they charge is a race-based marketing strategy that permeates nearly all management functions, from player development to community relations. Based largely on interviews with former players, they claim the practice has been long-standing and has resulted in preferential treatment for white players, particularly in regard to salary negotiations and roster moves. Much of the criticism is directed at Red Auerbach, the architect of the Celtic dynasty, as well as NBA officials and the local Boston media, who are seen as catering to the franchise. This work is likely to beget controversy and offers a far different perspective of the team from that depicted in Dan Shaughnessy's Ever Green ( LJ 9/15/90) or Bob Ryan's The Boston Celtics ( LJ 11/15/89). For popular collections.- William H. Hoffman, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., Fla.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.