Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s

Jeff Pearlman. Gotham, $30 (496p) ISBN 978-1-592-40755-2
Pearlman (Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton) returns to his niche: Chronicling the exploits of pro sports' bad boy—the 1986 New York Mets, the Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s and now the Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s, who won five NBA championships between 1980 and 1988 with an All-Star roster that personified the decade's egotism and excess. Beginning with the drafting of 19-year-old Earvin "Magic" Johnson as the NBA's first overall pick in 1979 (punctuated by an awkward first lunch Johnson shared with the Lakers' playboy owner Jerry Buss), Pearlman spins a wild and wildly entertaining tale that leaves dirt on practically every man central to the Lakers dynasty, and even some who weren't. Enigmatic and aloof Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stood seven-foot-two but possessed a short emotional fuse; Spencer Haywood was dismissed from the team for excessive cocaine use but wasn't the only Laker snorting; and Johnson dictated personnel moves and hosted extravagant, "orgasmic" sex parties. The nickname "Showtime" described the Lakers' relentless and unparalleled freewheeling run-and-gun offense, as well as the entire era itself; the book it inspired is just as enticing—full of fast breaks, dramatic intensity, and celebrity sightings. Color photos. Agent: David Black, David Black Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/10/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Ebook - 496 pages - 978-0-698-14861-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-4829-6476-9
Compact Disc - 15 pages - 978-1-4829-6478-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-4829-6477-6
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-1-59240-887-0
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