Top critical review
Mediocre re-hash...OK if this is your first foray into the subject of Bird/Magic
October 12, 2018
Jackie MacMullan has been a likable and well-respected sportswriter for many years, and considering her unique closeness to the NBA (and Boston sports in particular), I anticipated that this would be a definitive work on the often-celebrated Bird/Magic dynamic - a magnum opus if you will. Instead, I found it a fairly disorganized and pedestrian rehash of the same information that we already knew. I mean, it wasn't bad...it was very readable, but I can't think of anything that really distinguished it from the other basketball books I've read. At the end of the day, I don't think it's that the information or research was bad, it's really the lack of an elegant or entertaining writing style that limited this book. In contrast, Dan Shaughnessy's brand of cynical humor and storytelling is what made his first "Curse of the Bambino" such an entertaining read (as opposed to his follow-up "Reversing the Curse", in my opinion. The writing style is what makes the sports book - not the information. Perhaps that is why writing this type of book must be a great challenge for somebody like MacMullan - her likability is part of her identity (and brand), and that can be constraining when writing about people who engage you on that basis. Shaughnessy obviously does not operate within those constraints...