Enough About Me Ep. 74 – Jack McCallum 12-7-17

WEEI Podcasts
Thursday, December 7th

Kirk gets away from WEEI drama this week to talk hoops with one of the greatest basketball writers of all-time, longtime SI writer Jack McCallum. Jack’s new book ‘Golden Days’ is out, contrasting the modern NBA with that of the 1970s as seen through the eyes of Jerry West. Kirk uses that as a jumping off point to discuss his hero Larry Bird and a Minihane literary favorite, McCallum’s ‘Unfinished Business’ chronicling the 1990-91 Celtics.


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This episode enough mommy is brought to you by our great friends at millones bill to be as comfortable in their store should be in their clothes actually bees compliment closure of being stored in the matter either way. You're going to be comfortable I go to one chests and elsewhere just he'll go on the social positive Peter's world Braintree. And again I was saying earlier that's you know you wanna go these holiday parties Chris I congress party's oriented parties. Was kind of business casual or maybe a little nicer. He go there I got a gimmick Tommy Bahamas and image in your vitamins in your by checking on right now. I love going to build it is the best place to shop for anything particularly close your dummy like me. They walked you through the experience it is great straight get recommended up I'm so happy the other sponsor of enough about me. Milton is the store format. You backed up excuses not when he's able it. Jack McCallum moments great basketball writers. Really of all types of SI forever. I wrote unfinished business book I loved about the Celtics as a new book out right now in the Golden State Warriors who talked over the that. Vote Jerry West and talk with the NBA today we talk a lot but Larry Bird your eighty self this guy like I am growing up. This is a good podcast he won the great basketball writers alive Jack McCallum a really good guys well or injured hands even my joints enough about me. Darts at Jack McCallum joins me via author of the new book golden days. Look at the which I just finished about two nights ago and those sort of history of basketball with the California links Jerry West. From the lakers to his role in the warriors. Curious do you like Jerry West personally. No I like him yeah I and I don't like about it like a lot of political audit at a bat. At nine year old guy sort of revered. In the week. Who you know the logo of all back at a stuff has. Still seen at a searching for a searching for something. You know I don't a little bit. All that and about his own. Accomplishment. I think Orrin backed in or all of being buried either mystical and the next moment there. You know about what his legacy is well quite sort of never met a character like at 08. Thirteen. Four or something that I guess that'll never fired back at a wild about it at the net web site like. Right like this I find I find it you know so you know my idol but I I I I read his book of a cinnamon interviews I've watched him seem a couple times a person. He seems like it if a guy to approach he does seem. Sort of haunting in sort of rooting conspiracy I mean even talked about the main consumers in the book Jerry West I mean just it just seems like there's a lot. Going on there and he can come across. Is kind of pinkish I think her aloof at times. Or more. The question of saying it is that every time I interviewed for the book I mean we like it. Interviews and a long section of the south that's part one what are a little. Don't take like a minute of export base in about thirty seconds until it ended or some about the quake and it to spark off. About something so in any way. Not hard all through each scene and approachable some odd. Although some odd thing is. And other times he will test. In talking so when you're interviewing them he's not hard to all be. At eight aim at ethnic back or. Is that not all these old guys that they're all. Although lately it and the all you know go back off. Internet. Which is pretty good. Birds like that two more I mean like west which I which I think is pretty cool like bird is not one of those guys either purple sage you know these guys today are just as good if not better. And birdies and that fact and I remember a win. You know like unbiased I got as a member of Byrd and I'll. In the last part of the world that are Robert ruled that we call eight IT FBI. Or the other hand. Idiot he's seen it all OK and did F out. It's a tragedy itself are that I ever or Ellis are oiled bird wa. I didn't look at level of the game iterations of the game and art let off all bulk. That's why I as. Well eight in 1960. I walk. We'll get to Byrd a second if you wrote one of the books at my I was a kid like you know what you wrote wrote unfinished business for a kid like me growing up in Boston he's netbook came on a pirate -- twenty times some definitely get there. But you seventy pitched west the idea for the Booker talked to him. It's sort of a minute pitch I guess so people listening right now drive around you know I I recommended I love the dream team loved unfinished business or really enjoyed this book what is the 32 pitch for this. It links that saw looked at two pairs of NB AA one of the loss. Early step all of them are at. 088. Think are on at all don't. 0:1 AM air it out that there. Dad and that bad about that about as the link him with about six I would say whether you realize. Was. A bigger role west played in this warriors thing for some reason I thought it was more ceremonial and why. All let me all some that you're will now go all that we write all of at all. Is that is old. For various regions ballot and all the whites started. In the early part of it I'll root out warrior or they were error. Rent a lot of what we didn't know what our 888. At loners. I didn't Campbell added where they went and coaches. Eight and eight credibility. And gain in the early going off or eat it. He carried over Mark Ellis. All optic rate quite or ever loved. You know that anybody would have made so early on or any other warrior. Gary was very very very. Battle that I would not go all fired up about it exactly I eat our. Are out eighty you know one of the best coaches in the game. And they started all without airy who was not quite a dated 88. And that's why is that they add up in Asia. And airy stopped negotiating with the quote urged at least Allen blocked it saying oh. Let's play but the warriors for me is is just growing up as a big basketball fan in the eighties and then ninety's and even all the way through until the whole last group. There are sort of franchise without identity you know they were they grabbed it grabbed a random championship. In a couple of good years with Hardaway in moll in an and they edit but they were in Don Nelson. But until they really did but they've done the last few years there one of those franchises that can really identify them with anything. Well I mean and when you went there. I've worked or close bailout are all. Sort of almost never went there because we were at the bag it will probably. Up for notre. You had to be you really really good. You know Celtics lakers bulls pistons or really bad and the warriors were never quite they were bad. But they weren't bad and excruciating way and when you went out there. The surprising thing was actually they had a lot of home. At this urban I'd have all eight. All that it is that that basically they were oh by the IR at all and it went in the other. You know they didn't write the eighties. Right on us yet. There was he Larry murdered doctor. They never thought it would if it ever had a big hand it ought ache in there and it almost. It is so much serendipity. As an act in Iraq right now or. Well the first you know dynasty in their dynasty and a much coming to rampant that first dynasty to get there. Sort of without a short thing I mean you know Kareem was short thing magic was a short thing. Burris pick six but after Washington a year use a short thing nobody doubted Jordan's greatness evenly felt number three music player of the year. That they're the first ones to get there with I'm saying with the curry Thompson before Durant to get there with no. A short thing that makes cents. I think that stroll I would Wear that Wear a battle strategic fact a lot at a little bit like the pistons. That want to order a row that you'd be hard. Say there's an alpha. Player format that has that they patted it and I've met when it oh wait that. With that incredibly mean tempered. You know on defense oriented. Otherwise they even by winning that the first time about time they won their first time Isaiah was a established superstar in the week. Yeah no question and indeed became 38 and that that it looked back only about. Either they're all there was an argument. About whether to get rid of that hurry on now. Are you that all of it ain't about how little they oh lead in a hurry and what it. That provide quite up better than Motley at a aren't very solid hitting at the white. Am hitting it. What pointless it means so you know you've written. On the books now has eight or nine now Merrill. It right that I. Al yes I'll probably at about Al well all the. To me what what don't you count. Well doctor what maybe is not maybe some but you got hosed on something and. I wrote a ball that I go to or a hundred years ago about. Eric it was you know in my own ballot road or. Iraq Diego either Albert Benny I'd go to Iraq. What he was at rock he immortal Shaq pack and are just and that that's the money grab. Bow out it probably more legal route. Obeying. An item being facetious although. It would book because it had. Like unfinished business at. The at. The end of the week are there have all this out but oh well. There was no Internet. Didn't eat there was no social media sure unlike in the paper I wrote. While he AD and have all of this they thought it would it would have a place. To put it that I don't why I got talent. Well that. You know what's funny is in I have a question about that the second but. What's I actually use you were a part of your book and when that reference. I was even on the air what's going on today vs social media there's apart and unfinished business in this sort of this and listening to with with burden is back in the play when you play. I think its steeple hijacker Mona I think with a beat writers for The Herald and globe with the time. And you talk about how they see on the 11 o'clock news that night the Bob LaBelle said the birds not gonna play with the team next day. We live in the world back then you waited until 11 o'clock news to find out if the biggest athlete town was playing in the game which would be. Impossible to you would know five minutes you know after you know somebody between you know awards announced he would tweet that or somebody else would be gone. Back then you actually had to wait so you wake up next more heated no place. What I mean Edwards is and the Al ought. Over adding that speed but this is all the alum. But it rapists some of the great sports reporters in the world I I like that year. Without. Eight I mean is that like I went back or almost eight I the only person wouldn't sit down with me. We're a gigantic hole interview. What stayed at the general manager of the all felt that in our item added. This year Larry Bird. He will not play. Eight as the hawk. It was like. Oh they ain't under the law. That would any. All mortal. And whatever I would Eddie only five years later I. Aren't quite our on and it would go. The fact. We got the better really like you know if people want sort of the story about getting him books beat up that Celtics team. It really just in time in in their franchise history Burr was getting older Mikhail is getting older parish is getting older. In a coach Dave they were now you played with I gather was coming in red was sort of getting moved out. Reggie Lewis was in Bryant shot was and it was a younger guy verses all the guy it was a team. There was wholly in transition that was a look at those guys degree bird McHale parish and that you never guy or else but it was you know an ending up to great start that your kind of falter but they. There was a really reached in time I think in that and that group's history. I do remember I. And Adam Everett this summer. I I I had this idea. Although oddly enough cipher. The extent that no player I like new press forward pretty well I had quite a all. It or not that we raw. Remotely the same level so I remember all up as. I thought. He's. Almost. I lost in the current rate well that's what I got. About eight ball in a lot of great. Lot of great Eric alt yeah got ending on. And I remember thinking that it was the cross roads aren't that Larry was. Probably more than we do Evan already had trouble walking. At a lot of interest in this be seen how much he was going to turn it over to Reggie and mention you know. And then right away at a rural urban brilliant you know certainly in failure in the air eagle. That you're material really help you. Archer shot chosen Italy that your right. Yet the right and it works in all it was a contract. On and on our back. I. Incredible. Like almost the watershed year earnings. From the old. Celtic Britain felt that there was debate about. Charter. Are you go to some other teams that started. All Boston Garden was sparked the some. Visitors saw the extent that there was an eye of the what was the all I am already but that was in the wind somewhere a little it was a great well. How is. I was burden deal with. Well it was sort of what it is dealing with the it was a reflection of his seat and outlaws. It was decked out. 8% of I mean you couldn't. They don't talk to Byrd got off. It it but he wasn't that about. However when he was a realm I remembered order who wrote. Here on the road. And I remember that would go to the like it was it was just unbelievable I mean he was the bird. Lives in legend as just incredibly. Army. And they all fall off all off and it. Say any thing so I mean I was really fortunate to have realized. Quite like yet. It's a when he plays and will see it on the road and away from that. Eight the Boston so that everybody. Everybody. AO. McHale all right you don't need media all. Were sitting and also port alt. And came out at and men on in the bad. And bad guys. I mean to help in the side. Notes while loser if you're. I'd say younger than early thirties. You don't really know Reggie Lewis he's already there remember it's not a perfect comparison because he's not as good as this guy. But there are similarities in knives they're sort of built the same mind shooting motion is almost the same and they're better off the dribble. There are similarities offensively between two ramp and Reggie Lewis is a perfect comparison but I do see some of. Reggie I don't think you're right at a oh I read that it. I thought out of the economy. Vote. Any at this almost you know he was a model for social or out so I bet he. We got no more peace in effect he didn't have. Personality and what might what Adam are all right well what day. Have a personality. Is out of the emotion I never realized ought to. Act are back. All he was going to be big hall of Famer I think for sure. All at eight he wont point he eight got off. In our later. On all. Oh there was no old it and eight. On back the economy anymore as the red and well it goes down. That. All the most. All right buy anything. Certainly. I think we appreciate it guys would it. Austria the current site and the idea being double. Well they played those two series back to back with India in the playoffs in my head to head in Reggie Lewis was a better player than Reggie Miller I mean he was a better all around basketball player obviously Miller had a long career was all important but Lewis is a better player. Apple on the back that he didn't have read he's in a big moment and Alan. That would Reggie Bullock looked. It was also in that position our. Trying to figure out and the depth until and if you look at her that. They're both pretty damned yeah we play Angel was it yet that you're looking at it and indeed it was all the it. Or eight. And couldn't figure out what number one number two or number written on that court Robert. Or so that's our position and I think Reggie you know Larry would require. Which he wouldn't eat pretty much into that alpha male position on the cell. And he would at some career. And you even describe the difference in the level of access and players back then. Or even ten years before that verses today if you are trying to set out to write a book an obvious curable with deep inside there's more. From a front office perspective really did you even possibly write a book like that today. Not the last time I wrote this we'll look yeah you know they were on that have been about that. Are exportable in quality it was great guidebook he didn't care integrate ER or. He mixes in a market that on wall. New York or Boston law. It is there. A battle. Out and need. I was writing all the bulk of those guys back in the eighties and nineties were the all of that. Is quite a quite well. India it Larry eight and that I let. Yeah understood that it all right all that they know we've got quite a game or were part of this whole brand or all of the media although we hate him. They figure in the circle some work. I have been quoted. NBA walk in act. And the idea. Trying to say to a young lawyer that out I would be right at all. What would you all let you know what. At your own. Immediate. NC Graham Twitter snapshot yet we need right we need you're right Bob whenever from the. Five million people at five million people follow you at Porsche at your representative Ellen out. I mean you know it's a far away. 48. Else or don't want odd yet evident like that but I was the only don't edit the old. You know riot would say the same thing problem. Was that we came a long. When when it was still part of the game at. You know certain very thankful for that. What do you think of the media today in general the way they cover the MB intuitive cover sports just not even like you know I'm not talking about guys like me talk show host her. Are talking head guys on TV but the beat guys define the B guys are two player friendly do you find that they're they're not define it any different do you think it's a problem or not. Lot of questions now. Yeah isolate their. For example that somebody. I followed the FY. At an early hour. I mean I hate her and also the NBA has always been. Indeed it isn't saying god if that same. You've got all of all guys. Don't get in that regard the battered you know you had to get Larry. Wright to get back at it. Guys can all be sort it out side that would humble. Goblet that I mean it in all of they let it carry because those are the older guys sort of understand it. Lot I don't think it quite that depth that you can get. By getting everybody that kind that you need. The difference all right take an agreement green is an example. Of all did it. Out of Golden State I mean they they cover that they have some really great reporters. In Kabul comedy. Later. You know the really terrific guys on the beat. They don't do the same way I would go to great mod right story around. It doesn't work out as well on the other hand those guys it came on on their part. Which is it that way of telling the sport sure awaited rain modest means that understand and that apple like these guys were. Video of great bond. In a wall for an hour on the odd and very rebel story whereas the old days at a way to all the glory may. That I used it's obvious that a bail out and say the way it stories are polled are quite it. I don't think it back and writing why however. You can still yet. That is why. He's got a cooperate in the weight eat all that cooperate the way. What operate by interviewing them and spending. Play when you're talking to Jerry West needs not whining babies and you know I'm not complaining but these bitter about 1960 nines here for example if you wanna say them. I mean listen body you've been the 22 finals whatever overall you know all the money in the world all the success in the world shop like OK Don Nelson hit that shot like goes on. I. A conversation. And or the west. By the bombs and the person saying. That at all. Well. It ought or ought. That would be you know all it although. It reserves. You know when they are required Edward 88. Street fire that there are are eight. Are they at a rebate the means or about eight. Larry era art art theory and Belgian at the looked at each other or right. You know we won't get the the Turks and it was some law apparently we need them let's elbow. The Celtics. Beat the lakers it. In a night he'd sit in the final. And try to imagine a social media would have gone to that level but Ed Ed Ed west and Baylor would have but we're playing the sport I mean Jerry would have ended up. Full time on the like actress well right that a problem. Oh I think I think it's been really good players to get today's social media world I think like one of those guys who get traded make the they would. The media would basically force those guys to complain about each other or beat the front office down of one of them would have been treated no doubt in my mind. So I mean you don't loose. You don't want to somebody. And it was a winning those. Those years are you know the way we're clear favorite that you had to expedite. Almost well about that sometimes those are I started. Writing about night it's all right and it's obviously. Or. All. This was just such as access date. Back almost all white that looks. Not about 1960s. And you have the putt off about. The eight is that. You just wrote. Just an amazing. Series Celtics but it worked. In the east Russell ordered seven year old and on. The look like it at all. Also also also coach and team. I've got to. End and they don't you know Wes is a fight. On the hour. And and they got little and they have. And it ain't seven I mean I bought I mean this would not add salt. And they don't. It's funny yeah you reference at one point the book ending its earlier on is west is like looking at this photograph for Russell it's almost like Russell's loomed over his life like it's these like this sort of massive figures like he's never never able to shake. Still no word yet useful work. Out straight and out of Boehlert said they have not members in the Bill Russell almost. Or. Almost. Legal. Or are useful rough on that RIM. Up. The ball. Well at all. All at all. Oh. There's 42 point. You were that world and officer at a strip bubble cities and would get ruffled 800. Or on what it was and it. Right and we'll play the right will average more than forty minutes a game that your I think right. Well and it Edwards if he points and 46 rebounds and until it Abner. I think when he. At that point that we ever look at that point. That you're mostly on the L back it'll sort opinion on the floor I mean Russell was the basic. Was that a basic apple. What have been vetted. Awards it was there impressed by it. As we were talking about will and while the other very best sunlight and I don't want this thing Betty at ready or you're too. All over awful. Early. Here. It didn't read about it quite well. He brought up the court and like five. And Ed on the ball at anybody in Russell wasn't that. There is I have out of this all right and it sure is Russell just gallop and or. Or that any big man. You know that I've. Do you think his bet as it is about a great Chamberlain book written yet. All the way up all all the wrote his own problem right. And Baldwin yeah yeah you know it was called. Just like any other. Seven what it was that or you're. And Robert Cary wrote a good one on well. I think oh well. Our white. Now that. Well it. I read one about the hundred put hundred point game like five or six years ago me. A very prominent all the well all. Read. Yeah it was pretty good ought to focus on that. That Dana Turkey it's very hard. It's really hard to get it. Right. Larger than life character. Will laws and this dichotomy. In the Russell would I almost felt. I about it out nevermind I'm off my. Ballot at a parallel. The ads are. In one way. In what what you have almost overstated its battle. We know that Russell and what a reference edited that it would also did gain. Waited quite big gain and rent places. It will it will mark all glad I was well. Among at least it and be around them a little bit as. A little. I got to see chucked out of place so you know it's were pretty much even now. I think you know what's fun about this book in I guess I really enjoyed lock golden days. Is in a weird way it it's obviously about Weston in California in the warriors the lakers but the way you talk about 691969. And bird magic. In a way it's sort of in the odd history of the week in a way I'm because west pretty much goes through the entire history of the league you kind of stop everywhere in this book. All it is very hard. It was a lot art art trees. The history of the league and not it and who. You know back in the ball tucked it into the ball Celtics yeah I mean they run. They run a lot Roland and you know even if you were flying ought to. You really have to be at a much less reader. Those and the Celtics and interest lately and obviously. Listeners know it ball. The only way you know on all all. Our collectors and finally won it they hired itself. They're tired or Gartman. Is one of the law. Eric is like. In the NBA. It on the apartment was. Just an unbelievable approach that it held Jerry West there ironing and sell it at the and then built says want assistant. Let's get Casey to. Recruits who have tortured. Oh who tortured it's absolutely. The the white. And as bad idea that you can come together. On the moment of the late great. Can't. It's hard to overstate how improbable winning 38 straight in what I'm flying at one point virtual. And you are encroach on at 7 AM all are well. You know on the ultimately. It sharpen that up. Don't worry. And it. Well how about the travel schedule you've laid out early in the book with Baylor you know before these Allstate that hotel they wanna buy I'm not stay and go another hotel. I was like eleven games in twelve nights and they're all over the country it's as. Insane back. That all of us all of what it is in our city I'd be news why all the country do. Yeah it was sort of like they were selling. In fact that apple wait at. They equated game in big they played I think what you said whatever was there ever has been gained. Thirteen days. And only F upward NBA city right you know there were so they played a game at Seattle where there was an. Adult at all. And that they were fly all the way to last for quite a lot of what followed it obviously a lot less. So. At the port of old. They were part they would it was a barn storming it and basketball with our orbit even our back it is now on our back. All of that could sell all over the world and they're kissing eat. This but it was able you know the paradigm medical dot. It in order to sell the gains we're gonna have in our asses all over the place at earning interest and no baseball. As as good way to hold is that at all are all ever at that you know they didn't travel I have all over the. Ogata barnstorm guys are barred from the offseason. But way way way back you know Ruth and Gehrig and those guys and I'll still. Yeah they've they've let it release all day and things like all right we're depleted it more than with a negro leagues in exhibition games. Like it hate it at. You are or. Green that was back 000. I'll I'll I'll let you overcome a 11 last one is amber and your more more than curious observer of this what are you think the future is of Sports Illustrated. Physical magazines. All your air India. I mean if I think there's what I think what it worked at a news or warm this week. Or not Shaq. Argued later app. Absolutely offshore. Oil. Rated. Qualified look at them out. I look over there. Right that we have right. Now we have great. All Hillary Russia like the back eight. Where it. Really opening up our. It. Probably I think it will exist. I think it all they are lighter. I'd that the war in American culture will keep it going. But obvious it. Lid on general culture out of errors I think everything that ought world. That I have been unbelievable. Hold on I remember what I started work it was like. How would you rather work at Sports Illustrated or this unbelievable sports section of oil well. Now with the body and then when we are or act all the people. Now we'll McDonna. Sure I think I think even I think even Harold which I know would for Jerry Beckham leaving Harold for aside it was a tough call. Fog there yet Charlie and unbelievable the whole. Printed word I've worked with Sports Illustrated whether it'll act Agassi you know although. It would be the New York but what is it. That's not gonna exist anymore the current the current holders not gonna this. Yet I ran a week still retain its relevance. And continues to exist in some form although all. Ball that well. On. I would still writing wrestling. Rust off at them or. Well they get there. That they didn't. All I'm thankful I got there. Or on what it. Really really relevant. So what's the next book what do what do we got when you work in the eight oh under a lot of it about time a good final thought probably should open a lot about art good acts of the book is gold. And days Jack McCallum. Definitely picked up right now I get anywhere obviously bookstore people's we'll go to those. Amazon all the flea season into quarters well Jack thanks so much really enjoyed it and good luck with that we'll talk to some help. All right thanks like Jack.