Editorial ReviewsProduct Description
The Los Angeles Lakers are one of professional basketball's most notorious franchises, and their history is rife with monumental players and memorable stories.
The Lakers have been moved to California, have set still-unbroken records, and have played host to some of the most famous and infamous players in the NBA. From an unimpressive career in Minneapolis in the 1950s to NBA championships in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, from Magic Johnson to Kobe Bryant, and from Bob Short to Jerry Buss, the Los Angeles Lakers have always been a mix of good, bad, and ugly.
Their stories are collected here in a volume that Lakers fans everywhere will be sure to enjoy.
From the Publisher
"I think I basically played for an idea, which is how close I could come to being at my best. I put some hard work into that, and I had the good fortune to have been given talent, and I was lucky enough not to have gotten hurt. I always knew [that] would have to end.... People find new heroes."
--Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, reflecting on his career
"Magic [is] outstanding. Unreal. I knew he was good, but I never realized he was this great."
--Philadelphia guard Doug Collins, having just played Magic Johnson
From the Inside Flap
Like many professional sports teams, the Los Angeles Lakers did not start in the city from which they now take their name. The L.A. Lakers used to be the Minneapolis Lakers, but the team was relocated to Los Angeles in 1960 after attendance and interest began to wane. Then-owner Bob Short, having already scouted Los Angeles as a suitable venue for a new basketball team, saw relocation as a chance to build the Lakers into a dominant basketball franchise.
The underdogs from the North Country went on to become one of the best and most storied teams in the NBA. In The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Los Angeles Lakers, Steven Travers dissects this history in minute detail, holding nothing back. The team's still-record 33-game winning streak in 1971-72 provides a luminous counterbalance to the ugliness of Kermit Washington nearly killing Rudy Tomjanovich seven years later. The glory of the stupendous 1999-2002 Lakers championship run is perhaps overshadowed by the impact felt, not just in sports circles, after Magic Johnson's 1991 announcement that he was HIV-positive.
In a region that values flash and overindulgence more than simplicity and modesty, the Lakers learned to thrive. In addition to having such legendary performers as Jack Nicholson, Dyan Cannon, and Denzel Washington in the stands at virtually every game, the Lakers have played host to such flamboyant and oversexed players as Wilt Chamberlain and Magic Johnson. Chamberlain and Johnson thrived in the bright lights and glitzy atmosphere of Hollywood. Conversely, some players, specifically Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, came to resent this phony, plastic Hollywood lifestyle. Abdul-Jabbar ruffled many feathers with his militant politics, open use of marijuana, and coldness toward fans.
The contrasts are all here. Relive the most glorious victories and the most brutal defeats, the most famous and infamous moments in the team's history, the slew of outstanding players and those whose abilities did not live up to their boasts.
So settle in, Lakers fans, and savor the history--good, bad, and ugly--that fills these pages.
About the Author
Steven Travers is a USC graduate and ex-professional baseball player. Author of the bestseller and Casey Award nominee Barry Bonds: Baseball's Superman, Travers has written numerous other sports books, including many for Triumph Books. Travers was a columnist for StreetZebra magazine in Los Angeles and wrote for The (San Francisco) Examiner. He coached baseball at USC-Cal Berkeley and in Europe, attended law school, served in the Army, and is a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California. Steve has a daughter, Elizabeth Travers, and resides in California.
The Lakers have been the most exciting show in pro basketball for decades, and THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY LOS ANGELES LAKERS captures that excitement in each delicious page. This is a perfect accompaniment to every basketball library and a must-read for Lakers fans. I could not put this book down. It somehow put me back in time; to the Los Angeles of Wilt, Jerry and Elgin; to the dazzling Forum nights of Magic and Kareem; and to the downtown spectacle of Kobe, Shaq and Phil. It is filled with inside stuff I have never seen before and has wonderful anecdotes, trivia questions and factoids, with short, easy chapters that make reading this tome pure pleasure. Wow, do I ever recommend this fabulous work!!