The Big Three

Front Cover
Simon & Schuster, 1994 - Sports & Recreation - 288 pages
The Big Three. It means different things in different cities. In Detroit, for instance, it means General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. But in Boston, in the 1980s, the Big Three meant only one thing: the greatest frontcourt in the history of basketball. Larry Bird, Robert Parish, and Kevin McHale. No three players in basketball history played together as long or captured as much glory. Together, they led the Celtics to three NBA championships and five straight trips to the NBA finals. On the court, the Big Three combined their skills to create a nearly unbeatable style of play. But even as they worked side by side, each remained distinct from the others. Bird was obsessed with the game; his focus and drive earned him three MVP awards and the respect of everyone in the league. McHale was much more easygoing; he practiced tirelessly to perfect his legendary post-up moves, but when the season ended he left the game behind as few of his teammates could. And Robert Parish, nicknamed "the Chief" after the silent Indian in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, anchored the trio with a combination of selflessness and strength seldom seen among today's superstars. The Big Three is the thrilling story of these three legendary stars and a celebration of the careers they've shared. Peter May chronicles the lives of the Big Three: how they grew up, and the small-town, working-class values that helped shape their lives and careers. He traces their development through high school, their distinctive college careers, and their individual paths to the NBA. May recalls how Red Auerbach and the Celtics gambled the franchise's future by drafting Bird before his senior year, hoping that they could sign him beforehe reentered the draft. He also recounts the maneuverings by Auerbach that led to The Trade, which brought Parish and McHale to Boston and resulted in the Big Three's first NBA title. Peter May traces Bird, Parish, and McHale's years together, describing their biggest games and the epic showdowns between the Celtics and their rivals. He recounts Bird's first season and his emergence as one of the game's biggest stars. He shows us the battles between the Big Three and the Julius Erving-led 76ers in the early eighties, as well as the storied title games between the Celtics and Lakers. May reminds us of McHale's development from a great sixth man to a nearly automatic basket and Parish's rock-solid performances, year in and year out. He shows us the Big Three in their prime and throughout their later years, when they fought through injuries but still achieved tremendous success. Two of the Big Three have now retired, but memories of Bird, Parish, and McHale won't fade. The Big Three is the best look yet at their lives, careers, and legacy as legends of the game.

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THE BIG THREE: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish: The Best Frontcourt in the History of Basketball

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Bill, Hillary, and Al? Nope—Boston Globe sportswriter May means big as in BIG. His three are the towering trees of the Boston Celtics: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, whose lives and ... Read full review

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References to this book

Larry Bird
Mark Beyer
Limited preview - 2002

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