By Larry Bird

From the instant those gamers took the courtroom on opposing aspects, they engaged in a fierce actual and mental conflict. Their uncommonly aggressive dating got here to represent the main compelling contention within the NBA. those have been the basketball epics of the 1980s--Celtics vs Lakers, East vs West, actual vs finesse, old style vs Showtime, even white vs black. each one driven the opposite to greatness--together fowl and Johnson amassed eight NBA Championships, and six MVP awards and helped store the floundering NBA at its most crucial time. whilst it began they have been sour competitors, yet alongside the way in which they grew to become lifelong acquaintances. With intimate, fly-on-the-wall element, whilst the sport used to be Ours transports readers to this electrical period of basketball and divulges for the 1st time the internal workings of 2 gamers lifeless set on besting each other. From the heady days of buying and selling championships to the darker days of damage and disorder, we come to appreciate Larry's obsessive devotion to successful and the way his demons drove him at the court docket. We pay attention him speak with candor approximately taking part in via power discomfort and its actually exacting toll. In Magic we see a tender, invincible big name fight with the edge of defeat, not only as a participant yet as a group chief. we're there the instant he learns he is shriveled HIV and listen to in his personal phrases how that devastating information impacted his relationships in basketball and past. yet continuously, in either circumstances, we see them be triumphant. A compelling, up-close-and-personal portrait of basketball's such a lot inimitable duo, whilst the sport used to be Ours is a reevaluation of 3 a long time in counterpoint. it's also a rollicking experience via expert basketball's top occasions.

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We were coming at him so fast that his head was going around and around, and he ended up in a circle. " He wasn't the only one. No one thought to chronicle the footage of Bird and Magic's wizardry in the open floor. There were no breathless descriptions of the artful passers in the morning papers. In 1978, though both had displayed a developing basketball pedigree, they were not widely recognized as elite players. At that juncture, neither had won an NBA championship, a league MVP, or, for that matter, an NCAA title.

Gavitt was painfully aware of the abilities of Michigan State's imposing point guard. Just weeks earlier, Magic and his Spartans had steamrolled Gavitt's Providence Friars in the opening round of the 1978 NCAA Mideast Regional in Indianapolis. Magic scored 14 points and dished out 7 assists, but his ability to push tempo and provide his teammates with high-percentage shots (Michigan State hit 61 percent of its field goals) was what caught Gavitt's eye. Johnson saw the game differently than the other players, almost as if he were watching the action unfold in slow motion.

When he glanced around his dorm room, which he shared with fellow basketball recruit Jim Wisman, a wave of uneasiness overtook him. " As he walked the grounds of the Indiana campus, he couldn't help but notice the well-dressed students who looked nothing like his pals back in French Lick. Mindful that basketball always raised his comfort level, Bird showed up each night at Assembly Hall with Wisman and another IU freshman, Wayne Radford, with hopes of getting into the games with the varsity players.

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