Rebound!: Basketball, Busing, Larry Bird, and the Rebirth of Boston

Rebound!: Basketball, Busing, Larry Bird, and the Rebirth of Boston

by Michael P. Connelly

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Overview

In the mid-1970s, the city of Boston entered a period of upheaval on both its historic cobblestone streets and its legendary parquet basketball court. The Boston Celtics’ long dominance of the NBA came to an abrupt end, and the city's image as a hub of social justice was shaken to its core. When the federal courts declared, in 1974, that the city was in violation of school desegregation rulings and would need to institute a busing program, Boston became deeply polarized.

          Then, just as the city was struggling to pull itself out of economic and social turmoil, the Boston Celtics drafted a forward from Indiana State named Larry Bird. Upon the arrival of the “Hick from French Lick” to Boston in 1979, the fates of team and city were reborn. Pride, championships, reduced crime, and an economic boom re-emerged in Boston.

          In Rebound!, author Michael Connelly chronicles these parallel but intertwining worlds. It is an account of a city in financial, moral, and social decline brought back to life by the re-emergence of the Boston Celtics dynasty and the return of hope, purpose, and pride to “Hub of the Universe.” Interviews with city officials, former players, and others on the frontlines provide a fascinating exploration into this tumultuous time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616731472
Publisher: Voyageur Press
Publication date: 11/10/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 570,262
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Michael Connelly is a lifelong Boston resident and Celtic fan who attended high school in the city during the turbulent decade of the 1970s.  As a writer for the Boston Herald and author of 26 Miles to Boston (a personal narrative of running the Boston Marathon), he has long chronicled the sports that envelop the city and its people. He lives in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Bill Russell was the key player on Boston Celtics teams that won 11 championships in 13 years in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Yet Russell never felt comfortable in Boston, a notoriously segregated and often overtly racist city.  In 1974, five years after Russell’s retirement, the city was forced to embark on a bitterly contested program of bussed integration.  It was a city divided.  And the Celtics fell on hard times.  Then Larry Bird, a white forward from southern Indiana, arrived.  Black and white Beantown citizens found common ground in their admiration for Bird’s excellence and, Connelly argues, began to heal.  There are two books here: one is a brief history of the pain caused by the desegregation ruling; the other, more interesting one is a history of the post-Russell Celtics.  Connelly, a native Bostonian, lived through the racial turmoil and was a devoted Celtics fan.  Worth reading, both as an account of urban political turmoil and as a basketball history.” – Booklist December 1, 2008

The Bulletin (circ.: 30,000) and www.bulletinnewspapers.com, December 18, 2008

“At its heart, Connelly’s book is often a love letter to the city and praise for how it — like the Celtics team it loves — has proved resilient over the years.”

 

Booklist December 1, 2008 (circ.: 24,000)

“Bill Russell was the key player on Boston Celtics teams that won 11 championships in 13 years in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Yet Russell never felt comfortable in Boston, a notoriously segregated and often overtly racist city.  In 1974, five years after Russell’s retirement, the city was forced to embark on a bitterly contested program of bussed integration.  It was a city divided.  And the Celtics fell on hard times.  Then Larry Bird, a white forward from southern Indiana, arrived.  Black and white Beantown citizens found common ground in their admiration for Bird’s excellence and, Connelly argues, began to heal.  There are two books here: one is a brief history of the pain caused by the desegregation ruling; the other…a history of the post-Russell Celtics.  Connelly, a native Bostonian, lived through the racial turmoil and was a devoted Celtics fan.  Worth reading, both as an account of urban political turmoil and as a basketball history.”

 

The book seamlessly ties these two themes - busing and basketball - together, with each subject trading chapters back and forth with the other. The reader is taken on a trip through the history of the city and its basketball team from its birth right up to its “rebirth” - the Larry Bird-led 1981 championship Celtics. Well written and well researched, Rebound will be an entertaining read for anyone, whether they are a New Englander or not.
collegehoopsnet.com, April 8, 2009

There are two books here: one is a brief history of the pain caused by the desegregation ruling; the other, more interesting one is a history of the post-Russell Celtics.  Connelly, a native Bostonian, lived through the racial turmoil and was a devoted Celtics fan.  Worth reading, both as an account of urban political turmoil and as a basketball history.
Booklist December 1, 2008

At its heart, Connelly’s book is often a love letter to the city and praise for how it — like the Celtics team it loves — has proved resilent over the years.
The Bulletin, December 18, 2008

 

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Rebound!: Basketball, Busing, Larry Bird, and the Rebirth of Boston 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice book for people looking up the history of boston
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Koepp More than 1 year ago
That period in Boston was quite complicated and Connelly does a great job of intertwining the two parallel stories. It was a great book and the details are fascinating to read and remember. This is the second book that I read from this author and he has shown that he has the ability to bring great stories together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
steveMA More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book that chronicles the racial divide in the City of Boston during the 70's on the back of the desegreagation order from Judge Garrity. Connelly draws paralells of this issue with that of the Celtics and their fall from grace during that same period. The story then culminates in the drafting of Larry Bird and renewed success of the Celtics while the city subsequently comes together. I enjoyed this book from cover to cover