July 11, 2012 in Professional
Sports Illustrated writer Jack McCallum’s long-awaited book, ‘Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever,’ is now available to purchase. I have a copy that I’m currently reading and will be reviewing for PistonPowered (and I’ll probably post some more reaction to the parts on former Lansing Everett and Michigan State star Magic Johnson on this site as well), but in the meantime, this interview that McCallum did with Rob Mahoney of NBC Pro Basketball Talk gives some interesting background, including the fact that Dream Teamers didn’t always enjoy taking directions from Johnson:
MAHONEY: At any point during your interview process — either back in 1992 or more recently — did you ever feel like you weren’t getting the whole story on a particular topic? Kind of a collective and selective amnesia about some event in particular?
MCCALLUM: I would say some people held their opinions about other people, to a certain extent. I don’t think the chemistry was 100 percent; I think Magic — the idea that some people were eye-rolling at each other came out mostly on Magic. And in the last interview I did with Larry, I think I put it in the last chapter, Larry was the only one that said “Hey it’s a good thing this thing ended when it did.” There was starting to be “Hey, I only played six minutes.” “Chuck doesn’t like me.” There was starting to be a little bit of that, and Larry told me that without me asking. I tried to get him to say more, but he really wouldn’t do that. So I think there was a little holding back on the interpersonal relationships.
The whole ‘leadership’ thing is something I’m really interested in reading more about. We all know Johnson’s history as a vocal point guard, leader/inspirer of men, etc. But you could say similar things about every star on that roster. The inter-play that had to go on behind the scenes, how massive egos were checked and how that team did everything it was supposed to do with minimal drama has always been fascinating to me.