Wish It Lasted Forever: Life with the Larry Bird Celtics (Hardcover)

Wish It Lasted Forever: Life with the Larry Bird Celtics Cover Image
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For fans of the hit basketball documentary The Last Dance, and from award-winning Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, a nostalgia-filled retelling of the Boston Celtics’ 1980s dominance, which featured the sublime play of NBA legend Larry Bird.

Today the NBA is a vast global franchise—a billion-dollar industry viewed by millions of fans in the United States and abroad. But it wasn’t always this successful. Before primetime ESPN coverage, lucrative branding deals like Air Jordans, and $40 million annual player salaries, there was the NBA of the 1970s and 1980s—when basketball was still an up-and-coming sport featuring old school beat reporters and players wore Converse All-Stars.

Enter Dan Shaughnessy, then the beat reporter for The Boston Globe who covered the Boston Celtics every day from 1982 to1986. It was a time when reporters travelled with professional teams—flying the same commercial airlines, riding the same buses, and staying in the same hotels. Shaughnessy knew the athletes as real people, losing free throw bets to Larry Bird, being gifted cheap cigars by the iconic coach Red Auerbach, and having his one-year-old daughter Sarah passed from player to player on a flight from Logan to Detroit Metro.

Drawing on unprecedented access and personal experiences that would not be possible for any reporter today, Shaughnessy takes us inside the legendary Larry Bird-led Celtics teams, capturing the camaraderie as they rose to dominate the NBA. Fans can witness the cockiness of Larry Bird (who once walked into an All Star Weekend locker room, announced that he was going to win the three-point contest, and did); the ageless athleticism of Robert Parish; the shooting skills of Kevin McHale; the fierce, self-sacrificing play of Bill Walton; and the playful humor of players like Danny Ainge, Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell, and M.L. Carr.

For any fan who longs to return—for just a few hours—to those magical years when the Boston Garden rocked, the LA Lakers were the perennial mountain to be climbed, and the winner’s circle was mostly colored Boston Green, Wish It Lasted Forever is a VIP courtside seat and masterful tribute to the Larry Bird era and the Celtics’ age of dominance.​

About the Author

Dan Shaughnessy is a sports columnist for The Boston Globe, as well as the New York Times bestselling coauthor of Francona and author of The Curse of the Bambino. When not writing, Mr. Shaughnessy can often be found at a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. He has been selected as Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year fourteen times and he lives with his family in Boston.

Praise For…

Boston Globe Bestseller

“Colorful, fast-paced . . . Wish It Lasted Forever packs the stat sheet with entertainment from the Celtics’ glory years: Shaughnessy always leads the league in shots taken, but here he also provides plenty of rebounds, assists, and stolen laughter. Wish It Lasted Forever is an insider’s look into the outmoded culture of the game.”
The Boston Globe

“It would be nearly impossible for me to get more from a book…Wish It Lasted Forever is a juicy, dishy, fun, insightful read on the 1980s Celtics.  Love it, love it, love it.” 
Jeff Pearlman, author of Showtime and The Bad Guys Won! 

"What happens when a legacy writer travels with a legacy team in the golden age of access? This is a tour de force by Dan Shaughnessy. I devoured it in one flight to L.A. Attention Christmas shoppers—just a tremendous book." 
Ian O'Connor, columnist for the New York Post, and author of Belichick, The Captain, and Arnie and Jack 

"In Wish It Lasted Forever, Mr. Shaughnessy seemingly empties out his old notebooks. Fortunately, they’re good notebooks, and the book is an entertaining read." 
Ben Yagoda, Wall Street Journal 

“Ought to be high on your list…Dan Shaughnessy’s memoir of covering the Celtics from 1982-86 is so good even fervent Celtics haters will have trouble putting it down.” 
New York Post 

"Take a seat on the bus, kids, with Larry and Kevin, Chief and Max, DJ and K.C., and Danny and Red and Bill Walton, too. Wish It Lasted Forever is retro gold. This is a special book about a special time. Terrific.” 
Leigh Montville, former Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated 

"Throughout, the author is amiable and self-effacing, but the best parts of his book are the you-are-there accounts…Often funny, Shaughnessy’s book offers considerable insight into the making of a winning team in the hands of players who some consider to be the greatest in the history of the game. A treat for fans of the old Boston Celtics and for roundball fans generally." 
Kirkus Reviews 

“This is the story of a great team, rendered in an immersive style. It’s also a writer’s coming of age story. Looking back on that team and time, it was Bill Walton who said, ‘I wish it lasted forever.’ He was speaking for the scribe as well.” 
Bob Costas, 28-time Emmy Award-winning sportscaster 

"The best books are built on great reporting, great access, and great writing—access often being the toughest part of the equation. Dan Shaughnessy's new book has it all. Enjoy it." 
John Feinstein, New York Times bestselling author of A Season on the Brink and coauthor, with Red Auerbach, of Let Me Tell You a Story 

“In Dan Shaughnessy’s wonderful book you will encounter exchanges that could never happen today. What I’m here to say is: Wish It Lasted Forever brought back untold pleasant memories of what could only be termed a Lost World. You’ll wish this book lasted forever.” 
Bob Ryan, former Boston Globe columnist, Four-Time National Sportswriter of the Year and coauthor, with Larry Bird, of Drive 

“A fantastic read….In its combination of off-court camaraderie and on-court intensity, Shaughnessy’s epic ode to the Bird-McHale-Parish Celtics evokes both Cheers and Hoosiers.” 
Mike Barnicle, Senior Contributor to Morning Joe and former columnist for the New York Daily News, Boston Herald, and Boston Globe 

“Peels back the curtain on the pulsating Celtics teams of the 1980’s with insight, candor and brashness…A revealing account.” 
Jackie MacMullan, coauthor, with Larry Bird and Earvin Magic Johnson, of When the Game Was Ours 

“A book that brings to life those wonderful nights when Larry Bird and his remarkable teammates reminded fans around the country of how strongly Celtic Pride can coax the best from players. Dan Shaughnessy understands what attracted guys like me to the game.” 
Bob Cousy, MVP, 13-time All Star, member NBA Hall of Fame  

“You will devour this book, even if you’re too young to have experienced, as they were happening, these indelible moments from one of the greatest eras in basketball…Incredible stories.” 
Abby Chin, NBA Broadcaster, Celtics Courtside Reporter  

“Dan Shaughnessy has long been an insider and has great knowledge of the game, which is on display in this look back at teams I played on. He has irritated the hell out of me but has entertained me at the same time.” 
Cedric Maxwell, Boston Celtic 1977-1985, MVP of 1981 NBA Finals 

"Another book on Larry Bird? Yes, and it's delicious.” 
Lesley Visser, Hall of Fame sportscaster 
Product Details
ISBN: 9781982169978
ISBN-10: 1982169974
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: November 16th, 2021
Pages: 256
Language: English

How to read more

( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.


And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.


15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.


50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.


Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.


Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.


Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.



Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.


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