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Unfinished Business: On and Off the Court With the 1990-91 Boston Celtics Hardcover – January, 1992
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On and Off the Court with the 1990-91 Boston Celtics. For the Boston Celtics, the 1990-91 season started perfectly: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish could do no wrong; the younger players, Dee Brown and Brian Shaw, played like veterans; and Chris Ford's innovative coaching seemed marked by genius. But as the season wore on, things began to unravel: McHale and Parish suffered injuries - and then Bird's back went. - In Unfinished Business Jack McCallum chronicles this crucial and exciting year in the history of one of the most successful sports franchises ever.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
McCallum does a good job covering the team's two playoff series--the intense, entertaining, and memorable first-round win over the Pacers, and the competitive second-round series in which the Celtics fell to the Pistons. The deciding Game 5 against the Pacers, a 124-121 nail-biter in which Bird returned from a second-quarter injury to play spectacularly, might have been the most compelling game in Bird's last three seasons.
For the Celtics, the 1990-91 season might have been more interesting than any other from 1988-89 through 2006-07, and "Unfinished Business" is a solid look back at that campaign.
The author, Jack McCallum, chronicles a Bird's-eye view of the end of this great run of the Boston Celtics. At times interesting and hilarious, McCallum both tells the stories of these colorful personalities and probes the psyches of the 1991-92 Celtics.
The big three uses up most of the ink, but there are also the stories of rookies Dee Brown and Brian Shaw, and many of the reserves, as well. The Celtics go through the majority of the season looking like contenders for the Championship, but ultimately must rely on the aging Big Three to push them over the top. Unfortunately, their bodies don't cooperate.
And yet, one can see the nuances of the personalities of these NBA superstars and appreciate Bird and McHale's leadership, and very different humor. Bird can be side splitting, such as when he is lying on his stomach on the sidelines to take pressure off his back, and reaches over to untie Chuck Person's shoelaces during an inbounds, or when he slides Johnny Most's cigarettes over to the scorer's table and out of reach as he is checking into the game, leaving the close to dementia Most screaming into the microphone for his smokes.
McHale is equally humorous, but with a more down to Earth, thoughtful brand of hilarity.
Really, almost another epoch of NBA basketball, and a time gone by, but really a fun, interesting read.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
And what a team this is. A team with legacy, yet trying to find its personality.Read more