How Did Magic Johnson And Larry Bird’s Iconic Rivalry Become Friendship?

How Did Magic Johnson And Larry Bird’s Iconic Rivalry Become Friendship?

The rivalry between the two superstars fueled the long-standing rivalry between the two teams.

From the start, Johnson and Bird were presented as complete opposites, with Bird being the stoic white man from the Midwest and Johnson being the charismatic African American from the West Coast.

In NBA history, two of the most recognizable basketball players are Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

The two players’ on-court rivalry is legendary, but many people might not be aware that they eventually became friends off the court.

The legendary rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird started prior to their 1979 NBA entry.1.
With their incredible performances, these two collegiate basketball sensations—Jonson from Michigan State and Bird from Indiana State—enthralled the nation.
When these two greats faced off on the court for the first time, it was in the 1979 NCAA championship, where Johnson led his team to victory and the national title.

In the same year that Bird won Rookie of the Year, Johnson bounced back to win both the NBA Finals MVP trophy and his first NBA championship.
The three NBA Finals matches between the pair in 1984, 1985, and 1987 stand out in memory. When they played each other for the first time in 1984, Bird’s Boston Celtics won in seven games, and he was named NBA Finals MVP.

But the next year, Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers leveled the score when they won the championship.
Johnson triumphed once more in their third and final NBA Finals matchup in 1987, this time because of his well-known “baby hook” shot, which forced a pivotal Game 4 victory. The Lakers went on to win the NBA championship for the fourth time in the previous ten years, taking the series in six games.

Every time these two players faced off, there was a sense of excitement and anticipation because of their intense rivalry, which brought out the best in each other.
The intense rivalry that would ensue was set in motion during their college careers. In the 1979 NCAA championship game, Johnson guided Michigan State to victory over Bird’s Indiana State, but Bird’s outstanding play captured the hearts of many fans.

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