Communication faculty member Roland Lazenby pens acclaimed Lakers sports book
February 23, 2006
Roland Lazenby, who teaches in Virginia Tech’s department of Communication, has authored a new book entitled, “The Show – The Inside Story Of The Spectacular Los Angeles Lakers In The Words Of Those Who Lived It.”
An oral history of the Los Angeles Lakers published by McGraw-Hill, “The Show” has opened to rave reviews. Following a foreword written by NBA legend Tex Winter, “The Show” details the history of the Lakers' franchise from its early beginnings in Minneapolis and Detroit through to its most-recent glory days under coach Phil Jackson.
Pat Williams, NBA executive, said, "I read everything, and this is the best sports book I've read in a long time. In fact, it's one of the greatest sports books ever. Riveting."
Wes Lukowsky of the American Library Association writes, “The Show… is must reading for NBA fans both young and old. Most fascinating are the stories from the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the Lakers, led by Hall-of-Famers Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, reached the NBA finals five times in six years and lost each time. The anguish experienced by West--who has since become the league's most accomplished executive and general manager--over those losses is palpable. . . The best sports book about the NBA since The Jordan Rules.”
Publishers Weekly declared, “Fans-and detractors-of today's Lakers will devour the book's second half, which presents insights into the Kareem-Magic years, especially about the women and drugs readily available to NBA players.”
Todd Spires, writing for Reed Business Information Library Journal, states “The chapters covering the Magic Johnson era are particularly compelling, with Johnson's reminiscences about playing when HIV-positive. The reader learns so much about the team that it is difficult to absorb everything. Lazenby… pulls the reader into the tale with humorous quotes and innumerable first-person accounts, providing a rich, very entertaining team history.”
Lazenby, a native of Wytheville, VA, and current resident of Salem, VA, received his bachelors from Virginia Military Institute and his Masters from Hollins University. He is the author of more than 50 sports books including “Mad Game: The NBA Education of Kobe Bryant” (1999) and “Hoo’s and Hokies: The Rivalry : 100 Years of Virginia/Virginia Tech Football” (1995) with Doug Doughty. Lazenby’s book “Bull Run!” (1996) was awarded 1997 Sports Book of the Year by the Independent Publishers Association.