Cousy, Russell, the Celtics,
and What Matters in the End


by Gary M. Pomerantz

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Out of America's greatest professional sports dynasty of the 20th century, a poignant story of race, encroaching mortality, and regret.

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PRAISE FOR THE LAST PASS

Bob Cousy, 90, Still Rues The Assists He Didn't Make To Bill Russell

With Scott Simon on NPR's Weekend Edition

The duo of Bob Cousy and Bill Russell was one of the greatest to ever hit the basketball court.

Together, they won six NBA championships for the Boston Celtics in the 1950s and '60s, and buttressed a dynasty that would win 11 titles in total.

Bob Cousy was the point guard: listed as 6 foot, 1 inch, he was a white man who grew up the son of poor French immigrants to Manhattan. Bill Russell was the center: standing 6 feet, 10 inches tall, he was a black man born in segregated Louisiana.

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Bob Cousy Videos
Author Gary M. Pomerantz, History, Race, Sports
In nonfiction books and journalism over the past 38 years, Gary M. Pomerantz has explored American culture and the human condition. The hallmarks of his work are History, Race, and Sports. His book topics spread far and wide: Atlanta’s racial conscience and political family dynasties . . . A fiery plane crash and the rise of the human spirit. . . Wilt Chamberlain’s legendary 100-point game . . . A bridge hand gone wrong and a murder trial in Kansas City of the Jazz Age . . . Football’s gifts and costs as experienced by the great dynasty of the 1970s, the Pittsburgh Steelers . . . And now an old man, once captain of the Boston Celtics, comes to terms with his regrets about race and an iconic teammate.

The Last Pass

Out of the greatest dynasty in American professional sports history, The Last Pass tells an intimate story of race, encroaching mortality, and regret. It is a poignant tale about Bob Cousy and Bill Russell, iconic Hall of Famers, the Ruth and Gehrig of the storied Boston Celtics dynasty that won an unprecedented 11 NBA championships in the 13 seasons between 1957-69. That team’s story plays on, not on the parquet floor of Boston Garden but in the conscience of Cousy, the team captain, now 90 years old.

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Their Life's Work

Their Life's Work, a narrative about the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers empire, follows this storied team across the decades and examines what the game of football gives to players, and takes from them. After more than two hundred interviews, Pomerantz shows why to a man every Steeler, knowing the costs, replies without hesitation, “I’d do it again." Their Life’s Work tells the full, intimate story of the 1970’s Steelers. More than that, it tells football’s story.


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The Devil's Tickets

"A deliciously detailed and splendidly written account of the emergence of bridge as America's No. 1 pastime . . . Illuminating a crime and card game of passion, and the gentle gender-bending of the Roaring Twenties and Great Depression, Pomerantz weaves a compelling read even for people who don't know the difference between a trick and a trump."

--National Public Radio



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WILT, 1962


On the night of March 2, 1962, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, right up the street from the chocolate factory, Wilt Chamberlain, a young and striking athlete celebrated as The Big Dipper, scored 100 points in a game against the New York Knickerbockers.


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Nine Minutes,
Twenty Seconds

A heart-pounding, real-life drama about how ordinary people rise above their fears and muster extraordinary courage and strength in the face of danger. In this gripping and inspiring story, Gary M. Pomerantz brings readers deep inside the hearts and minds of twenty-nine people whose fates take a dramatic turn when their plane crashes in a west Georgia hayfield.

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Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn

“A magnificent piece of of writing, a beautiful tapestry of prose in which the stories of two of Atlanta's most celebrated families have been woven densely into the history of the city itself.”


--The New York Times


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