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Bird Watching: Larry Bird on Playing and Coaching the Game I Love Audio, Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook
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The first sentence of Larry Bird's candid post-player memoir begins blandly enough: "On August 18, 1992, I announced my retirement from the Boston Celtics." It's the one that follows--"It was one of the happiest days of my life"--that sets the tone for the book. Most stars have to be pulled off center stage, but as Bird Watching makes clear, the former Celtic legend who returned home to eventually coach the Indiana Pacers is certainly a rare bird. He's not afraid to ruffle feathers. And he's not afraid to tell his truth.
Perhaps the most striking revelations concern his heart. On top of the back pain that plagued him through much of his career, from time to time Bird experienced the feeling--and disorienting flush--of an irregular heartbeat, which he kept hidden from the Celtics. Even now, in the stress-filled world of coaching, Bird has almost passed out on the bench a couple of times--but he remains a fierce competitor. "I'm not going to be stupid about this heart condition, but I'm not going to live my whole life in fear of this thing either. If it goes, it goes."
Bird Watchingspends virtually no time with Bird the player; he's not one for looking back. He's more interested in explaining his evolution and thinking as a coach, examining the current state of the NBA, and picking apart the Pacer's disastrous 1999 playoff loss to the Knicks. He does, however, reminisce about his amazing connection to Magic Johnson, comparing it to the bond between Ali and Frazier. "I knew it was going to be like that forever after I played him in college for the national championship," Bird writes. "I never came up against anyone, other than Magic, who could challenge me mentally. Magic always took me to the limit." From Bird, it's hard to imagine a more heartfelt compliment. --Jeff Silverman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Fans expecting the literary highlight reel of the NBA legend's championship years with the Boston Celtics may be initially put off by this loosely organized collection of opinions and reminiscences. They should stick with it, however, because ultimately the book is an endearingly honest self-portrait of a humble man who has made the most of his opportunities. Celtic fans will be titillated by the frank reports of just how Larry Legend wound up leaving Boston. Being a give-it-to-me-straight kind of guy, he was disgusted with the disingenuous ways of the Celtic front office, where he briefly worked after his playing days. Bird, now the head coach of the Indiana Pacers, also explains, quite briskly, how his relationship with fellow Celtic Kevin McHale went sour: as their careers wound down, McHale and another teammate went behind Bird's back to reporters with complaints that his play had become selfish. But Bird's refusal to pull punches doesn't hit only his adversaries: he admits that he was lucky that his good friend Rick Robey was traded away from the Celtics, because the good times they had together got in the way of Bird's career. He also writes that not he, but Jerry Sloan of the Utah Jazz should have been named Coach of the Year in 1998. The Hick from French Lick solidifies his reputation as a straight-talker unimpressed with his own legend. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
He makes millions of bucks and then takes 5 pairs of free jeans home from a commercial like the old fogies on Miami Beach while others could have used them far more than this selfish prima-donna.
He won't give in on anything he thinks or likes and the words negotiate never occur to him I guess just like the words, "Hey good job or nice effort" never seem to cross his lips either. He spends his life telling everyone how things are going to be. He's a total cold fish and all about me in life and basically has no feelings for anyone, or if he does he's the kind that NEVER is strong enough to say it to them so what good is it.
He talks about his mom passing as if he's ordering a cheeseburger at Denny's with no emotion at all as usual so....I'm done with this guy.
I would never want to be like Mr. Bird no matter how much money I could make.
If you like good books, get he one about him and Johnson but not this one. This one leaves me cold this time with a guy who's whole life is how everything he feels is right on the money, but what others feel is totally wrong and out of bounds. The world is full of guys like this and it's what makes us all crazy to get away from them. And yeah as I said...He used to be one of my favorite athletes until I get a sample of knowing him.
Reviewer: Known as one the of the best basketball players to have ever stepped foot onto a NBA court, Larry Bird's book will teach you many things about himself as well as the game. Larry brings the reader into some of his most personal things that he has never shared with anyone. He gives you a first class view on all of his experiences of playing professional basketball in the NBA. He shows you the downsides, positives, but most of all the victories. You'll find out first hand all of the injuries Larry has encountered that until now he has kept as a secret.
Through this book Larry will share with you information of his hometown, French Lick, Indiana. You'll learn about his family, about his fathers' death and the way up to his mothers' death. Larry talks about more than just his parents he introduces you to his wife, Dinah and his two children, Conner and Mariah.
Larry will walk you through his entire career. All the way from his high school career, where one of his favorite coaches, Jim Jones coached him. Jim Jones was the coach who really taught Larry all of the fundamentals of the game. Larry didn't seem to have that many coaches that he didn't care for. Larry is also a very hard worker, he really appreciated it when coaches made him run hard. He believed that every basketball player should be conditioned to play the game. Then later on in his career when he ends up becoming a coach he incorporates all of the coaching skills that he has gathered from his previous coaches and uses them on his players. He brings you through some of his most exciting journeys and some of his most famous friends and players.
Just about everything in this book flows together. Larry explains everything that you know about him and a lot of things that you have no idea of. The only thing that I disliked about the book is that none of it was put in order from the beginning of his life to the end of his career, it seemed to jump around a lot. Another big thing was that each chapter was long in itself, but it seemed to talk about the same thing and just ramble on and on. For example one of Larry's biggest problems was his back and he talked about it for a whole chapter then he talked about it more in a few different chapters. Although there some very good and interesting chapters in the book that taught me many things about Larry Bird.
Overall I thought the book was very good, but somewhat long for me, but if you read often then it will be just fine. I would recommend this to anyone who has a great liking of either Larry Bird or basketball. You also need to have a pretty good understanding of basketball to be able to understand some of the topics Larry teaches you.