December 5, 2008
By Chris P., Portland, OR

Drive, by Larry Bird, provides the firsthand voice of this basketball star. It’s a preeminent piece of autobiography that keeps the reader engrossed in it for hours, but only under conditions of interest in sports. Though this rising superstar only thrived in the NBA during the 80’s, absorbing the lessons of his troubles to his triumphs can teach any reader regardless of the age. Clearly, Larry Bird shows he is aware of what the inspired 12-year-old wants to hear from a basketball idol such as him. I would definitely encourage everyone to give this book a chance and see if it sways your grasp of what perseverance really is.
Larry Joe Bird, having two older brothers and one sister, was born on December 7, 1956 in West Baden, Indiana. His parents Georgia Kerns and Joe Bird were not able to properly support their children with an extreme tight budget. A couple of years after Larry was born, his parents divorced and his father committed suicide in the apartment of Larry’s grandparents. This became one of the greatest difficulties that Larry had to struggle and pull through. Years later, Bird was given a basketball scholarship to I.U. (Indiana University). Three years into his college career, Larry marries a close friend named Mariah, but knows things just aren’t working out so he divorces with her. In that same year, Larry is surprisingly drafted in the NBA draft (Round 1, Pick #6) and is given the option to finish his senior year at college or join the Boston Celtics as a rookie. Bird had lots of time to himself to think about the path he should take. Larry kept in mind that no one from either side of his family had ever graduated from college, and he wanted to change that. Larry declined the offer and spent his senior year at college, which resulted in a superb season of victories. The Celtics still had the right to Larry Bird so after his graduation, they negotiated with him and settled with paying him $650,000 per year, which was the highest paid rookie in history, at the time. After some time, Bird meets a new woman named Dinah, and marries her because he knows that she is the right one for him. Larry Bird spent his entire NBA career with the Boston Celtics from 1979-1992. During this time, Larry discusses in the novel, his achievements and his defeats, including a few embarrassing moments on the road during the playoffs.
One of the things that Larry liked to talk about in the playoffs was the never-ending battle of Magic Johnson and him. One thing that I think that Larry should have backed off a bit, as an author, was the description and moments he had with all of his teammates and fans. It was great hearing about the times when he had dinner with them and what they talked about, but I think that it might have been a little better if Bird just focused on talking about the big players that really played a role into his career like Magic or Michael Cooper or even Michael Jordan. But at the end of reading this novel, I was very pleased at what I had learned, and I did not regret reading this novel at all. I would rate this about a 4 ½ star.

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