absolutelyaleta's blog

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Bird and Magic

I recently devoured “When the Game Was Ours” a memoir of sorts by Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. And I say “of sorts” because one could easily shelve the book under “Self Help”. In many people’s opinions, the work ethic, determination and drive to win by these two stellar players is unparalleled by 95% of players in the NBA today.

For a time in my teens, I was obsessed with the Boston Celtics. I had a large Danny Ainge poster on my wall and can remember being transfixed watching Bird execute those beautiful perimeter shots or passing almost clairvoyantly to Kevin McHale. I’ve always thought Larry Bird was the greatest player that ever lived. Yes, even compared to Michael Jordan in many ways. But after reading this book I realize that without each other, Bird  and Magic would never have become the exquisite players they became.

And despite their rivalry they eventually became very good friends and found a deep respect for each other’s game, when in the past, the other’s talent had angrily exasperated them. Both have come to embrace the fact that they will be inextricably linked. As young men, that fact pissed them off. Today, they cannot imagine their career without the other, and I never thought I’d say it, but neither can I.

I cried at many points in this book. I don’t play basketball or any competitive sports for that matter, but this book will touch anyone who’s ever wanted to win, or better yet, who’s ever secretly wanted to beat someone they especially like and respect. I most liked the descriptions of Larry Bird’s unstoppable will to win, his extreme workout regimes and his uncanny ability to play outstandingly through excruciating pain (see Celtics vs. Trailblazers ’92 regular season game in which Bird scored 47 in double OT) .

Check it out.


January 22, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Wow! I’ll have to recommend this to my brother… he also is a huge Celtics fan, esp. in the Larry Bird heyday…

    Comment by Beth | January 22, 2010 | Reply

  2. Larry Bird is my homeboy and if you ever go to IN, I will give you a tour of the museum! (seriously)…I loved this post – I obviously need to expand my literary horizons from US Weekly. It sounds really good.

    Comment by Trixie | January 23, 2010 | Reply

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