The Last Banner: The Story of the 1985-86 Celtics, the NBA's Greatest Team of All Time

Peter May, Author Simon & Schuster $22.5 (292p) ISBN 978-0-684-80085-1
In their history the Boston Celtics have hung 16 NBA championship banners from the roof of their home arena, the last won by the 1985-86 team. The team ended the 1984-85 season by losing the seventh game of the final series, and those in charge felt the loss was a result of the weak bench, thus forcing the five starters to play too many minutes. So, in an unprecedented move, management got rid of all the bench players and restocked the team, their major acquisition being backup center Bill Walton. He joined Larry Bird, Robert Parrish, Kevin McHale, Danny Ainge and Dennis Johnson to form a team that went 67-15, with a 40-1 record at home, and, of course, won the championship. May, who covers the Celtics for the Boston Globe, makes a convincing case here for judging the team the best in NBA history, not so much for the talents of its players, which were considerable, but because of the dedication to teamwork and the lack of ego of the players. This careful analysis of the season is also a thorough portrait of each of the team members going back to childhood. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/02/1996
Release date: 12/01/1996
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-55850-835-4
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-4165-5212-3
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