In the mid-1970s, the city of Boston entered a period of upheaval on both its historic cobblestone streets and its legendary parquet basketball court. The Boston Celtics’ long dominance of the NBA came to an abrupt end, and the city's image as a hub of social justice was shaken to its core. When the federal courts declared, in 1974, that the city was in violation of school desegregation rulings and would need to institute a busing program, Boston became deeply polarized.
Then, just as the city was struggling to pull itself out of economic and social turmoil, the Boston Celtics drafted a forward from Indiana State named Larry Bird. Upon the arrival of the “Hick from French Lick” to Boston in 1979, the fates of team and city were reborn. Pride, championships, reduced crime, and an economic boom re-emerged in Boston.
In Rebound!, author Michael Connelly chronicles these parallel but intertwining worlds. It is an account of a city in financial, moral, and social decline brought back to life by the re-emergence of the Boston Celtics dynasty and the return of hope, purpose, and pride to “Hub of the Universe.” Interviews with city officials, former players, and others on the frontlines provide a fascinating exploration into this tumultuous time.