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Publisher's Summary

From award-winning Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, an “entertaining” (The Wall Street Journal) and nostalgia-filled retelling of the 1980s Boston Celtics’ glory years, which featured the sublime play of NBA legend Larry Bird.

Today the NBA is a vast global franchise—a billion-dollar industry seen 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 who wore Converse All-Stars. 

Enter Dan Shaughnessy, then the beat reporter for The Boston Globe who covered the Boston Celtics every day from 1982 to 1986. 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 dominated 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 and the winner’s circle was mostly colored Boston Green, Wish It Lasted Forever is a masterful tribute to “the Celtics from 1982-1986 [that] is so good even fervent Celtics haters will have trouble putting it down” (New York Post).

©2021 Dan Shaughnessy. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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What listeners say about Wish It Lasted Forever

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A Must-Listen for Any NBA Fan of the 80’s

Tremendously quick and easy listen! I enjoyed the inside details of the relationship dynamics of the Celtics dynasty. I thought I knew everything about those Celtics team and after listening to this classic I learned so much more. I laughed out loud for much of it. Great work Dan.

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A great sports book.

Thanks for the memories and fantastic stories. I couldn't stop listening. One of the best sports books I have read in a long time.

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Excellent listen for any Celtics fan!

For someone who lived through these years it's a must listen! Wish it was longer.

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A Great Listen

Milwaukee Bucks fan here. If you like basketball and are in your 50s, you'll love this book as I will bring back a lot of memories, and it shares countless stories you've never heard not only about the Celtics but other teams and players around the league. One story I liked was when a former player was angry when Bird refused to sign an autograph for a guest that he brought to see Bird. When asked about it, Bird said that when he was young, that player refused to sign an autograph for Bird. That's a lesson for all of us. One caveat, I'm sure the author writes faster than he speaks; I had to increase the speed of the audio.

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Enjoyable Read

As a lifelong Hoosier, I grew-up watching the Celtics-Lakers rivalry. I enjoyed learning about the behind the scenes lives of the Celtics. As a Lakers fan, I have a new appreciation of the Celtics. As a lHoosier fan, this book appealed to my love of the game. this was an enjoyable read.

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Great book

Unbelievably great book about one of the greatest teams in the history of sports. A great in depth perspective into the team via first hand accounts and colorful stories.

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I had the same wish as a fan!

Loved the story. Great perspective. Larry was and still is my favorite all time player and I still believe that 86 team was the best ever. But I am bias. Don't care. What an era of basketball. What a time to be a fan.

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Great read but wished he stayed the entire season

Anyone can look at the stats sheets to see what happened, but the author gave us the background on the almost 4 seasons. The end was kind of chopped due to the change of assignment. I wished he could have stayed to finish the season. 1985-86 Celtics best team ever.

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Brings the Bird era back in high relief

I was the Celtics photographer for this period and Dan's book brings back rich memories.

He adds much that I was not aware of and fills in lots of details not commonly known.

It's an entertaining and informative narrative of a VERY special time with colorful characters and, arguably, the greatest team in NBA history.

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Great

Great book. Very well done and personable. 86 Celtics were the best 👌 👍 😍