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He uses phrases like “herk and jerk” , “juke and dazzle”, and “shake and bake” to make his readers feel how “Magic” danced his way down the court and took it to the hoop.The text makes me feel as if he learned basketball personally from “Magic”.
Yet despite her best efforts to enliven the proceedings, the story of the two greatest basketball players of the nineteen-eighties and often heralded saviors of the N. A., fails to enthrall in just the ways Wallace has noted.
Both men worked really hard, loved to win, and now have a grudging respect for each other. Yet that’s also the revelation of the book, that the two men, for all their manifest differences, are largely, perhaps even boringly, similar. Both teams wear the same colors they did in the eighties, but everything else has changed.
The poem brings back the memories of how close my team was and how we felt like a family out there on the court.
It mentions the passes he sent to Kareem, who was the post player on his team and how he had a glorious skyhook.
finals are underway in Los Angeles, and league executives—from P. folks to owners to the game’s top brass— must all be smiling at the marketing prospects of Lakers vs. Apologies to residents of Flagstaff or Kissimmee, but the pairing is a bit more enticing to the casual fan than Suns vs.
The Celtics and Lakers first met in the finals in 1959, and their six matchups in the sixties (6-0 Celtics, by the way) cemented the teams as foes, but the rivalry as it exists in the contemporary consciousness began in 1979, when Larry Bird and Magic Johnson entered the league. More seriously for Wallace, these books reveal how different great tennis players, runners, or basketball players are from the curious mortals who follow their careers.My favorite move was the skyhook and I remember it just as he described Kareem “popping the cords”.In music, chords are the base structure of any song just like post players on a basketball team are the base of the team.I think his reason for choosing Magic Johnson has a deeper meaning than that he really likes him as a player.The use of the word “Magic” throughout the poem makes me feel like the actions Magic Johnson is performing in the poem are truly magic.I’m not usually one who can easily relate to a poem but this one elicits so much passion for the game of basketball that it resonates in my head.The way that the game is described in the poem makes me think back to the mindset I had when I was just a little kid playing dunk ball on my 6 foot hoop in the driveway.I remember when I stepped out onto that court my first time starting varsity in high school I felt like there was magic in the room.All the shouts and cheers seemed to blend together but in the end all the noise was for me and my team just as he refers to it in the poem “sweating chants of your name”.All this is to say, I approached the book with great enthusiasm.Bird and Johnson are both referred to in the third person throughout, confirming the obvious—that Mac Mullan has done the heavy lifting.