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Unfinished Business: On and Off the Court with the 1990-91 Boston Celtics [Kindle Edition]

Jack McCallum
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99

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Book Description

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Jack McCallum (DREAM TEAM) gives an inside look at the legendary Boston Celtics during a season of change.

“One of the five best NBA books ever written.”
—Bill Simmons, ESPN

In the 1990-91 basketball season, the Boston Celtics were a team in transition, both on and off the court. Jack McCallum, also the author of the critically-acclaimed SEVEN SECONDS OR LESS, chronicled this crucial year from the back-room planning on draft day to Larry Bird’s unforgettable effort in the postseason.

With aging superstar Bird nearing the end of his career, the season was filled with glorious highs and devastating lows. McCallum gets up close and personal with the players and management from this storied franchise, showing the larger-than-life characters in a rarely-seen light. The day-to-day drama of Bird's aching back plays in concert with the drumbeat of banter from his frontcourt partner, Kevin McHale. The book reveals the deep bonds—and sometimes deeper rivalries—of the locker room, and also provides an inside look at a league that was entering its Golden Age.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2467 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Diversion Books (September 27, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FJ4L21I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,398 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Right up there with Halberstam's "The Breaks of the Game". A terrific read by a writer whom I wish would have produced more work in the following years. McCallum does a terrific job for SI today, but it's books like this that leave me wanting more from him.

For any Celtics fan of the Bird Era, this book opens doors that would have otherwise have stayed closed: we get to see the biting yet inclusive humor of the aging C's, especially McHale, as well as the overall intelligence of the team that produced a slew of future NBA coaches and GM's. This was a team to be admired and maybe even loved, despite their lack of a championship.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Last Run at a Title October 1, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
After the Boston Celtics suffered a surprising first-round playoff exit at the hands of the New York Knicks in 1990, the team came to the realization that it was time to make significant changes if the team hoped credibly to compete for one more title before the retirements of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish. In "Unfinished Business," Jack McCallum tracked the Celtics' attempt to rebound in 1990-91, from the draft and the hiring of Dave Gavitt in the summer through the playoffs the next spring.

McCallum recalls how new coach Chris Ford retooled the team, injecting an element of speed and a running game with younger players like Dee Brown, Brian Shaw, Reggie Lewis, and Kevin Gamble. The author shows how the team jelled on the court and relates some of the off-the-court stories of that season, and notes that the team had a fresher, hipper image as a result of adding the younger players, culminating in Brown's memorable win in the Slam Dunk Contest that year.

For the Celtics, the season was one of change off the court as well as on--McCallum discusses the retirement of radio announcer Johnny Most and the advent of halftime promotions at Boston Garden.

The author marches through the regular season month by month, noting that the changes made to the team worked spectacularly early on--the Celtics jumped out to a 29-5 start and were seen as possible championship contenders. At the time, I was living in North Texas and got to see Bird, McHale, and Parish play in person when the Celtics came to Dallas in December 1990. Despite the team's great start, though, injuries set in late in the season and the team finished with a 56-26 record.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I read this back in the day. Basketball books have been a whole lot of miss and very little hit over the years. This wasn't a hugely successful commercial project because the Celtics weren't winning big by the time Jack wrote this. That's the only reason it wasn't a hit. Otherwise, it's a fun read. Every bit as perceptive about the early 90s as 007 is about fun and gun in the Suns. And the characters are larger. Those old Celtics will light up the horizon in basketball lit for years to come. Bird, McHale, Chief, and the rest fighting against the dying of the light. Sweet words about a sweet team and a sweet game.

Roland Lazenby
author of The Show
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BACKGROUND February 28, 2011
By jtpm
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
McCallum provides a full range of background into the minutia of modern day sports and the NBA circa 1991. By chronicling a storied NBA franchise, with 3 of the all-time players still revelant, you can see exactly how athletes live in their own special world and how personalities can alter events.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Somewhat uneventful. I only bought because of lack of books on the great. larry bird
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read July 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good, solid follow-A-team-through-a-season sports book. Good writing and content.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Celtic Pride in Action June 28, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've previously read 07 Seconds or Less and like that book, author Jack Mc Callum hits this one right out of the park. Celtics fans or any basketball fan will thoroughly enjoy this book as it chronicles a year in the life of the famed Boston Celtics. It gives an insider's look at what was being said behind the scenes which most fans will not know learn from simply watching the games then or reading the sports pages of a newspaper.

Celtic Pride in action was highlighted by Larry Bird's famous comeback from injury suffered during the most crucial of times, the playoffs. With Bird leading them, the Celtics were able to finish off the upstart Chuck Person and his Indiana Pacers.

The book allows us to have a closer look into the lives of the players both on and off the court and learn things not known by those outside the team. truly a gem of a book for Celtics fans and anyone who follows the game of basketball.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Getting to know that team June 13, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
McCallum takes the reader straight to the locker room and to the bench of the 90/91 Celtics.
And what a team this is. A team with legacy, yet trying to find its personality. A team with aging hall-of-famers who want to show that they still belong and youngsters trying to prove they will belong.
Oh and it's funny.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It was ok
I loved McCallum's dream team book. One of my favorite sports books of all time. This one was ok. I thought the Johnny Most part of the book was especially harsh. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Steve Chisholm
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
If you are a Celtics fan you will love this book. Anyone else it is just junkies will appreciate it as well
Published 8 months ago by tony rosenberger
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I thought the book was great. A lot of very insightful stories and it's really interesting to read a book from the 1990-91 season almost 25 years later because you kind of know the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Brendan Heffernan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I hated the Celtics growing up, hated Bird, hated Mchale, hated all of them. I loved watching the high flyers play like Ron Harper and Dominique Wilkins, Jordan and Drexler. Read more
Published 8 months ago by B. brown
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Special
If Author McCallum had a stroke of luck, he would have picked a better year to cover the Celtics and the facts of this book. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Michael J. Mclaughlin
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun history lesson on hoops
Good look at a former dynasty. Kevin McHale must have been a lot of fun to have as a teammate...
Published 11 months ago by Moontan1691
4.0 out of 5 stars Bird's Eye View
The "Big Three" trio of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish produced one of the most unforgettable dynasties in NBA history, under the watchful eye of Red... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Pugwash
5.0 out of 5 stars Insight for casual fan
For a basketball nut that only got interested in '96 a book like this is a fabulous way to take a trip into the past. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Francois
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
This is a great book for any celtics fan. Great era of the big three of Larry,Kevin and Robert. A++
Published 13 months ago by Allan Youssef
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More About the Author

--I make a nice tomato sauce, using bell peppers and vinegar.
--Our family used to have two waverunners that I drove too wildly and served as a poor example for my sons, who also drove too wildly. We don't have them anymore.
--My wife is smarter than I. One of my sons is a farmer and the other is a professor of sociology and both are also smarter than I.
--I'm not sure what else I would've done if I weren't a journalist. I always dreamed about having a TastyKake route at the Jersey shore. I am at the shore much of the summer but have no route, though I do enjoy Tastykakes.
--I played a lot of pickup basketball until I tore my Achilles. My knees aren't great either.
--Though it is more in the romantic tradition of journalism to have an eccentric two-fingered typing style, I type well, owing to a background in piano and a typing class in high school. I now suck at the piano.
--I will talk about my grandson, Oliver, all day. He is also smarter than I even though he's not yet 3.
--My golf game is just good enough to be ultimately disappointing.
--I count myself lucky to have been covering the NBA in the 1980s and early 1990s.


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