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Bird Watching : Larry Bird on Playing and Coaching the Game I Love [ABRIDGED]

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Bird Watching : Larry Bird on Playing and Coaching the Game I Love [ABRIDGED] Cover Page

BOOK FORMAT: Audio Cassette # OF TAPES/CDs: 2
PUBLISHER: Time Warner Audio PUB DATE: 1-Oct-99

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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... read more --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description
"On August 18, 1992, I announced my retirement from the Boston Celtics. It was one of the happiest days of my life."

Just as he stunned opponents with over-the-shoulder passes, killer steals, and jaw-dropping long-range jumpers on the court, Larry Bird now offers one startling revelation after another as he candidly recounts his rise to become one of the most respected NBA coaches in the game today.

In between some knock-down, drag-out practice sessions, thrilling games, locker-room scenes, and coaching and playing philosophy, Larry Bird takes us through his unique world. He tells us for the first time what really happened in "Celtics Land" after he retired and why he chose Indiana for his first coaching job. He shares a last look back at the Celtics dynasty, at Robert Parish and Bill Walton, at Kevin McHale and Dennis Johnson. He describes his last duels with Magic Johnson and with Michael Jordan, as well as his experience playing on the great 1992 Olympic team...knowing that it was the last time he would be sharing a court with them.

Bird reveals what it was like to start a new coaching career, from his first meetings with Pacers president Donnie Walsh to his first look at his new players. Amazingly, we see a man who entered coaching against all the advice of his friends and peers-and a former superstar with a blue-collar attitude who feels that he needs his players and his assistants more than they need him.

But BIRD WATCHING is more than a book about basketball. Recalling his own painful shyness, battles with the press, and the de

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