“Jack McCallum has written an honest, even-handed book to help separate fact from myth. I wish it had been around two years ago.”
Phil Jackson, 13-time NBA champion
As I write this, I am celebrating the two-year anniversary of the robotic prostatectomy that rid me—by all indications—of cancer, at least cancer of the prostate. As I always do in these posts, I ask that you not consider my “battle with cancer” to be heroic for the simple reason that it was not. […](READ MORE)
Is there any cliché-free way to begin a year-end column? As I look back upon another eventful year … As we arrive on the cusp of a new annum … As the book closes on a joyful 2013, let us hope that 2014 brings … Blah, blah, blah. To summarize my 2013: It was […](READ MORE)
–Jeff Pearlman, New York Times best-selling author of Sweetness and Boys Will Be Boys
In Dream Team, Hall of Fame basketball writer Jack McCallum, who covered the squad from the first practice to the gold-medal triumph in Barcelona and even contributed to its immortal name, delivers the full story of the Olympic men’s basketball team that captivated the world and changed the face of the game.
In the two decades that have passed, the gilded stars on the Dream Team roster are still household names in the world of basketball, including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Charles Barkley.
The book not only provides an inside look at the Dream Team—the battles over who should be chosen and who should be excluded, who should coach, and who was going to sacrifice the most in the pursuit of the gold medal—but also a portrait of that entire Golden Age of basketball, both triumphs and tribulations.
For the second straight year, I have prevailed upon my grandson, Oliver, to make his Sweet Sixteen picks, using his intuitive method of studying team mascots, usually for a period of 10 seconds or less, and selecting his favorite. I do this with the hopes of overcoming what already promises to be my middling […](READ MORE)
Interviewing David Stern is—as I wrote in my Q&A that ran on SI.com [[http://tinyurl.com/n6ssvj5]] and was made clear in a story in this week’s Sports Illustrated—a sometimes perplexing exercise, the real-world counterpart of going up against Frank Underwood, the character played by Kevin Spacey in “House of Cards.” (Free advertisement: Season 2 premiering on Netflix […](READ MORE)
I’m writing this a few hours before the NFL conference championships, the first one being New England versus Denver, more popularly known as the AFC Brady-Manning Bowl. It is the nature of sports journalists, not to mention Mankind in general, to turn team games into mano a mano personality contests. I understand it. Heck, […](READ MORE)
I didn’t know what (if anything) I would get out of Larry Bird when I began researching Unfinished Business, a chronicle of the 1990-91 Boston Celtics season. But he was the reason I decided to do the book. It is probably obvious—Journalism 101—that the most interesting subjects make the best stories, but they make […](READ MORE)
With the Kennedy assassination upon us, everyone born before, say, 1953 is boring everyone else with tales of Where They Were at the Time They Heard. Mine is typical. Sitting in freshman English class at Oakcrest High School in Mays Landing, N.J. Announcement made, national anthem plays through the speakers, Paul Liepe stands at […](READ MORE)
I have long offered one piece of advice for young sports writers—besides go slow on the pressroom hot dogs, carefully mark down your parking space at football stadiums (I once wandered for 90 minutes in search of my Hertz), and don’t wear the same, mustard-stained shirt all the time—cultivate the assistant coaches as sources. […](READ MORE)