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on May 23, 2017
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on March 1, 2004
Bird Watching (by Larry Bird)
Reviewer: Known as one the of the best basketball players to have ever stepped foot onto a NBA court, Larry Bird's book will teach you many things about himself as well as the game. Larry brings the reader into some of his most personal things that he has never shared with anyone. He gives you a first class view on all of his experiences of playing professional basketball in the NBA. He shows you the downsides, positives, but most of all the victories. You'll find out first hand all of the injuries Larry has encountered that until now he has kept as a secret.
Through this book Larry will share with you information of his hometown, French Lick, Indiana. You'll learn about his family, about his fathers' death and the way up to his mothers' death. Larry talks about more than just his parents he introduces you to his wife, Dinah and his two children, Conner and Mariah.
Larry will walk you through his entire career. All the way from his high school career, where one of his favorite coaches, Jim Jones coached him. Jim Jones was the coach who really taught Larry all of the fundamentals of the game. Larry didn't seem to have that many coaches that he didn't care for. Larry is also a very hard worker, he really appreciated it when coaches made him run hard. He believed that every basketball player should be conditioned to play the game. Then later on in his career when he ends up becoming a coach he incorporates all of the coaching skills that he has gathered from his previous coaches and uses them on his players. He brings you through some of his most exciting journeys and some of his most famous friends and players.
Just about everything in this book flows together. Larry explains everything that you know about him and a lot of things that you have no idea of. The only thing that I disliked about the book is that none of it was put in order from the beginning of his life to the end of his career, it seemed to jump around a lot. Another big thing was that each chapter was long in itself, but it seemed to talk about the same thing and just ramble on and on. For example one of Larry's biggest problems was his back and he talked about it for a whole chapter then he talked about it more in a few different chapters. Although there some very good and interesting chapters in the book that taught me many things about Larry Bird.
Overall I thought the book was very good, but somewhat long for me, but if you read often then it will be just fine. I would recommend this to anyone who has a great liking of either Larry Bird or basketball. You also need to have a pretty good understanding of basketball to be able to understand some of the topics Larry teaches you.
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on December 9, 2002
Bird Watching, an autobiography by Larry Bird, is a story for any lover of sports. Bird Watching is a detailed account of the life of Larry Bird, from his NBA career with the Boston Celtics to his coaching position with the Indiana Pacers. After reading the first page of the book, the reader realizes there is more to this NBA legend than meets the eye.
Unlike most professional basketball players, Larry Bird never regretted the day he left the NBA and even says that the day he retired was "one of the happiest days of [his] life." Faced with chronic back problems and an irregular heart, Bird was happy to see the day when he no longer had to endure the pain of playing the sport he loved more than anything. Coming from the man himself, the story describes Bird's life in a detailed and personal manner. From beginning to end, the reader easily notices the uniqueness of this man's character and not only sees, but feels the impact this incredible man left on so many fellow players, fans, and loved ones.
I thought this was a great book, especially for a sports fan. I felt that for a sport's book, it was particularly well written. The author's style allows the reader to get a personal glimpse of the life of Larry Bird and causes the reader to feel as if they knew this NBA legend. Because of the story's subject, the author employs very few literary devices. However, the author uses many similes in describing Bird's injuries, allowing the reader to appreciate Bird's choice in leaving the NBA. The book lacks an overall dominant theme, but simply wishes to convey the story of one of the greatest and most unique basketball players of all time.
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on September 17, 1999
This book is virtually required reading for any fan of the Celtics, Pacers, or Larry Bird. If you ever wondered what Bird's thoughts were regarding his late-career injuries, his role with the Dream Team, his days in the Celtic front office, or his becoming a first-time NBA head coach, you're in luck. Larry Legend lays it all out in straightforward, no-bull fashion. While the book could hardly be labeled a "tell-all expose," it does contain a number of surprising revelations: his previously unknown heart condition, the machinations in the Celtic organization which wound up with the hiring of Rick Pitino, what Bird thought of certain former teammates and opponents, and so on. The book is a relatively quick read, even at approx. 320 pages, but I found it highly entertaining. I confess to being a big Bird fan before I ever read this book, but even if you're not, I suspect you'll come away duly impressed by the man's humility, honesty, and intelligence. As for the book's co-writer, Jackie MacMullan, it's impossible to know how much of the wording, tone, and style is hers vs. Larry's, but my impression is that she was true to her subject. In addition, I suspect her considerable writing skills were instrumental in creating such a smooth, concise work. Who'd have guessed that Larry Bird, painfully shy and inarticulate as a young man, would ever produce a candid and interesting book like this? The Hick from French Lick surprises us all again!
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on May 29, 2000
Regarding the abridged version of Bird Watching on audio tape, listening to Larry's book simply reinforced everything I've always believed about him. One of the most repeated comments the media makes is that Larry is a "simple" man. They mean it as a compliment. However, I totally disagree. His book is no great work of art. It is not going to win the Pulitzer Prize. However, it reveals that Larry Bird is no simple man. He's smart, funny, sensitive, and most of all, his own person. In Bird Watching, he explains that he didn't choose to coach the Pacers simply because they are from Indiana or to help them build a new arena or to become a marketing tool. Larry Bird is no sell-out. In one of the better chapters of the book, Larry explains the difficulties with his back. Surprisingly, he said that even if he had not been a professional athlete, he probably would have had similar problems because of a congenital problem. Like most people, I had no idea that his back was as bad as it was. Or that he played in so much pain for so long. Listening to his book, I could sense how frustrating the problem must have been. The most illuminating part was the way he explained the psychological ramifications of his back problems. It wasn't so much that he couldn't play, it was because he didn't want to let down the season-ticket holders who had paid good money to watch him for the entire season. I believe that those of us who had the pleasure of following Bird's career are truly lucky. Who can forget the double overtime game against Chicago in which Jordan scored 63 points, yet the Celtics still won? Who can forget Johnny Most screaming Bird stole the ball! Bird stole the ball! (And DJ having the court presence to actually make the basket?) Who can forget Bird hitting the deck against Indiana and coming back out of the tunnel to chants of Larry! Larry! Larry! Who can forget the championships? Larry Bird is a unique and impressive person. I wish there was some way I could thank him for the years of hard work, loyalty, and drive he gave to the Celtics, the Pacers, his teammates, his players, and his fans. We all truly, truly appreciate it.
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on March 5, 2002
This book explores the post playing days of arguably the best forward to ever play the game of basketball. Bird recaps his days of playing in the olympics, his time in the front office of the Celtics, and his coaching days of the Pacers. I have been a huge Bird fan since I was a kid, yet I never knew much about him, except for what I saw on the court. This book gave me a lot of insight into Bird's dynamic work ethic as both player and coach and showed how he was able to use his winning attitude to take the Pacers from 39 wins to 58 wins in one season as well as to the infamous clash with Jordan and the Bulls in the 98 Eastern Conference Finals. Bird also reveals his thoughts about the NBA today. If you want to know about the legend that is Larry Bird, you should read this book.
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on September 18, 1999
A very poorly written book, seemingly written toward a fourth grade level. Although I didn't expect much more from Larry, I did think that the cowriter (Jackie MacMullen) would have more control of the English language and the ability to clean up the rather pedantic prose. Larry spends the whole book telling us how he hates the limelight yet repetitively does things that draw attention to himself. He explains his failed relationships with Red, Kevin McHale and others as always the other at fault. There is no real self exploration, only excuses and a "That's the way I am." mentality. Save your money.
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on January 13, 2000
I have read what I thought all there was to know about the greatest baskeball player of all-time. But through this book, I have learned more about the legendary Bird. The book takes you through the later years of Bird's injured-plagued career and through his first years coaching the Pacers. He walks us through his struggles and joys of coaching a team he plans will make the NBA Finals. The book shows me what I truly love about Larry Bird. A book not to be missed.
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on March 2, 2000
The most striking attribute of Bird Watching is its sincerity and candor. I've always liked Larry Bird and this was a must purchase. He doesn't pull any punches here. I was a little surprised by some of the things he wrote here, but still appreciated and enjoyed knowing it. I learned more about who Larry Bird is rather than an may even change your impression of him after reading it
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on March 22, 2000
I enjoyed the book. It's perfect for the airplane or doctor's office. Interesting, entertaining, but easy to put down and pick back up. Not great writing, not great literature -- but, hey, it's not supposed to be.
The gossip about the Celtics was fun and I thought that was the strongest part of the book. The chapters on Magic and Jordan are weak in comparison.
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