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Publisher Description

The New York Times bestselling author of Sweetness delivers the first all-encompassing account of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of professional sports’ most-reveredand dominantdynasties.
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.

Bestselling sportswriter Jeff Pearlman draws from almost three hundred 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.

Sports & Outdoors
March 4
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

Mct1978 ,


Jeff Pearlman has a unique ability that many writers both before and after him have tried to capture yet fail master. The ability to place the reader in the moment! I can’t find the words to say how much I enjoyed reading about the greatest Lakers era & can’t wait to get started on “Sweetness” & “Gunslinger”. Well done!

Kat1959 22 ,


Reading this book brought back many memories. Showtimes was a truly exceptional time in the history of basketball.

Walter Roberts ,

Must read ...

for any Laker or NBA fan. Insightful, honest, funny. I grew up with the Lakers, beginning with the nightmarish '69 finals, the spectacular '72 triumph and through all the glorious Showtime years continuing to the present Kobe years. This was a tremendously entertaining stroll through arguably the greatest time in NBA history. It is also a poignant reminder of the excesses and brevity of the professional athlete's career as you read about the many that came and went or flamed out. Most importantly, as a Lakers fan, it was an opportunity to once again be thankful for something so few sports fans have ... a dynasty like no other!

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