Synopses & Reviews
Theand#160;New York Timesand#160;bestselling author ofand#160;Sweetnessand#160;delivers the first all-encompassing account of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of professional sportsand#8217; most-revered
The Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s personified the flamboyance and excess of the decade over which they reigned. Beginning with the arrival of Earvin and#147;Magicand#8221; Johnson as the number-one overall pick of the 1979 draft, the Lakers played basketball with gusto and pizzazz, unleashing their famed and#147;Showtimeand#8221; run-and-gun style on a league unprepared for their speed and ferocityand#151;and became the most captivating show in sports and, arguably, in all-around American entertainment. The Lakersand#8217; roster overflowed with exciting all-star-caliber players, including center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and they were led by the incomparable Pat Riley, known for his slicked-back hair, his Armani suits, and his arrogant strut. Hollywoodand#8217;s biggest celebrities lined the court and gorgeous women flocked to the arena. Best of all, the team was a winner. Between 1980 and 1991, the Lakers played in an unmatched nine NBA championship series, capturing five of them.
Bestselling sportswriter Jeff Pearlman draws from almost three hundred interviews to take the first full measure of the Lakersand#8217; epic Showtime era. A dazzling account of one of Americaand#8217;s greatest sports sagas,and#160;Showtimeand#160;is packed with indelible characters, vicious rivalries, and jaw-dropping, behind-the-scenes stories of the playersand#8217; decadent Hollywood lifestyles.and#160; From the Showtime eraand#8217;s remarkable rise to its tragic endand#151;marked by Magic Johnsonand#8217;s 1991 announcement that he had contracted HIVand#151;Showtimeand#160;is a gripping narrative of sports, celebrity, and 1980s-style excess.
"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.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The first definitive biography of Chicago Bears superstar Walter Payton.
At five feet ten inches tall, running back Walter Peyton was not the largest player in the NFL, but he developed a larger-than-life reputation for his strength, speed, and grit. Nicknamed "Sweetness" during his college football days, he became the NFL's all-time leader in rushing and all-purpose yards, capturing the hearts of fans in his adopted Chicago.
Crafted from interviews with more than 700 sources, acclaimed sportswriter Jeff Pearlman has produced the first definitive biography of Payton. Sweetness at last brings fans a detailed, scrupulously researched, all-encompassing account of the legend's rise to greatness. From Payton's childhood in segregated Mississippi, where he ended a racial war by becoming the star of his integrated high school's football team, to his college years and his twelve-year NFL career, Sweetness brims with stories of all-American heroism, and covers Payton's life off the field as well. Set against the backdrop of the tragic illness that cut his life short at just forty- six years of age, this is a stirring tribute to a singular icon and the lasting legacy he made.
About the Author
is aand#160;New York Timesand#160;
bestselling author and sports writer. He has worked as a columnist for SI.com and ESPN.com, a senior writer forand#160;Sports Illustrated
, a features writer forand#160;Newsday
, and a contributor toand#160;The Wall Street Journaland#160;
and CNN.com. He lives in New York.