Wish It Lasted Forever: Life with the Larry Bird Celtics

Scribner. Nov. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9781982169978. $28. SPORTS
The latest by sports journalist Shaughnessy could be considered a companion to Leigh Montville’s Tall Men, Short Shorts. Both are by Boston Globe sportswriters; both feature Celtics-Lakers duels, separated by a decade and a half; both insert the authors squarely into their stories; and both rely on well-placed insider anecdotes. Centered on the powerful Celtics teams of the mid-1980s, one might expect this to be the story of Larry Bird, Boston’s transcendent star, but Bird shares the spotlight with Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Bill Walton (from whose observation Shaughnessy titled the book), and other Celtics down to the end of the bench. This, one could argue, explains their greatness. Despite putting on the floor numerous stars, they were a team, whether interacting as one on the court or enjoying themselves after the buzzer sounded. And Shaughnessy, like Montville before him, was essentially embedded with them, both a blessing (his many anecdotes) and a curse (players’ feelings of betrayal when he wrote critical stories). Despite telling it like it was, Shaughnessy isn’t interested in settling old scores here, and thereby holds up his place as a part of the team.
VERDICT All basketball fans should enjoy this romp with one of the NBA’s all-time great teams.
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