• Showtime

  • Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s
  • By: Jeff Pearlman
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 18 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (901 ratings)

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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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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Offended at the style used to voice black characters.

Anytime Hillgartner voices Magic, Worthy or any other black individual he goes into a slow drawl and clipping the words and putting on exaggerated inflections.
I found it a annoying and somewhat racist and stereotypical. The story is great. All he need do is read the quotes with normal emotions and tone like he does for the white characters.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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yes

most jaw-dropping entertaining shocking loving craziest sports book I've ever read in my adult life craziness

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  • GH
  • 08-08-22

One of the best sports books of all time!

I was captivated by this story, even though I lived through it. I met Magic in college and we were all crushed when he didn't go to the Pistons as he always wanted to. Still, we rooted for him as a laker and stood spellbound as he transformed the game as we knew he would. This audiobook captures all of the excitement, tension and magic of that time. Pearlman dishes all the juicy stories but it never takes away from the greatness of the team and the owner, the legendary Jerry Buss.

Lastly, if you don't already believe Kareem Abdul Jabar is the greatest player of all time, this book will change your mind.

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Perfect for fans of NBA history

The Lakers aren't my favorite basketball team but I still enjoyed this book thoroughly. The stories were well structured and told very well by the narrator. Jeff Pearlman is an amazing writer and I have really enjoyed all of the books of his I have read. I can't wait to find another one of his to listen to.

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Showtime was better then tv

If you’re like me and wanted better then the tv show , this is the book it was based on and it’s much much better .

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Performance was next level.

Incredibly entertaining, and so well read. It’s a detailed account with all the juicy insider details of the rise of the Lakers. Would recommend 100%.

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Such a great refresh course in Laker history

I love this listen and I listen to it every couple of years just to refresh my memory on Laker history.

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Entertaining

This is Pearlman's homage to Magic, Jerry Buss, and Pat Riley. He Did not need to dis Kareem to elevate Magic. It came across as petulant and petty. The narrator's attempts at Black pathos for many characters were more distraction than good theatre. Otherwise, this was an entertaining sports story.