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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author of Sweetness delivers the first all-encompassing account of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of professional sports’ most-revered - and dominant - dynasties.

The Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s personified the flamboyance and excess of the decade over which they reigned. Beginning with the arrival of Earvin “Magic” Johnson as the number-one overall pick of the 1979 draft, the Lakers played basketball with gusto and pizzazz, unleashing their famed “Showtime” run-and-gun style on a league unprepared for their speed and ferocity - and became the most captivating show in sports and, arguably, in all-around American entertainment. The Lakers’ roster overflowed with exciting all-star-caliber players, including center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and they were led by the incomparable Pat Riley, known for his slicked-back hair, his Armani suits, and his arrogant strut. Hollywood’s biggest celebrities lined the court and gorgeous women flocked to the arena. Best of all, the team was a winner. Between 1980 and 1991, the Lakers played in an unmatched nine NBA championship series, capturing five of them.

Best-selling sportswriter Jeff Pearlman draws from almost 300 interviews to take the first full measure of the Lakers’ epic Showtime era. A dazzling account of one of America’s greatest sports sagas, Showtime is packed with indelible characters, vicious rivalries, and jaw-dropping, behind-the-scenes stories of the players’ decadent Hollywood lifestyles. From the Showtime era’s remarkable rise to its tragic end - marked by Magic Johnson’s 1991 announcement that he had contracted HIV - Showtime is a gripping narrative of sports, celebrity, and 1980s-style excess.

©2014 Jeff Pearlman (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

What listeners say about Showtime

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About as good as you can hope for

Pearlman does a pretty darn good job of getting out of the way, not editorializing and letting the players and coaches tell the story. Some excellent detail in the book, including a potential trade Magic Johnson wanted for Mark Agguirre and Roy Tarpley that would have been the biggest disaster possible.

Vocal performance is fantastic. Rarely did it distract from the stories and even when Malcom Hillgartner tried to change inflections for different speakers, normally really distracting and/or silly, it was at most bemusing. Solid read though by him.

As with most books written about sports in the present but detailing the past, the weakest parts are when Pearlman attempts to put politics/race, et al of 1980-89 into 2010s lense. But this is refreshingly small and more an annoyance than a detriment to the overall book.

Great commentary on the relationship between a great coach and his great players breaking down over time, and as much as the players grew to hate Reilly, this is a successful relationship.

Overall, probably 90-95% grade, solid A grade, high recommend even for Laker fans this won't seem like complete member-berry rehash. As there are a lot of details and stories that I hadn't heard. If you're under 40, high high recommend because most of it will be new information.

2 people found this helpful

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Malcolm is the king of narrators.

Jeff is a truly gifted story teller. like all of his other books a must buy cause you will go back to it time and time again.

1 person found this helpful

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It's SHOWTIME!

If you are a Laker fan and want some of the behind the scene stories this is the book for you.

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Great narration of an entertaining sports story

Malcolm Hillgartner does an amazing job narrating the story, doing voices for different characters but never becoming corny.

The closest thing that I could compare this book to is ESPN's "The Last Dance." If you liked that series and are interested in franchise-building, Magic Johnson, or Kareem Abdul-Jabaar at all, definitely check this out. The story gets a little repetitive, and there is some fat here and there. For the most part, though, every section is entertaining to hear about. Lots of great behind-the-scenes stories.

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great

Great book, I enjoyed it a lot and think any fan of basketball history is likely to do so as well. Hillgartner is a terrific narrator.

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This is America in all of its splendor

This book is the story of America in the 1980s. It's a journey through 'Showtime' Lakers history, the growth of NBA basketball and the growth of American culture simultaneously. You'll learn things you didn't know and recall the things you knew. You'll see how much luck factors into success (in addition to talent and effort and talent) and how people see themselves in conjunction with and adjacent to talent over time. All in all, this is a fun listen if you're a fan of greatness.

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Now you’re a laker...

This is one of the best sports books I’ve ever enjoyed. You should listen immediately

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Awesome!!

I was sad when it ended. The narration was top notch!! Everything was excellent!! Storyline flowed smoothly!!

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Pearlman captures Showtime perfectly

this was an excellent presentation of the Showtime Lakers era, as Pearlman starts with the history of Dr Buss purchase of the Lakers, explains the 1980s on and off the court in the NBA, gives deep insights on the players, and I guarantee you will learn things about the players you never anticipated

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Amazing!

As a showtime fan I found every minute of this riveting! Great pace, tons of inside info. A must listen for any nba fan.