Larry Bird Once Truly Had a Sense of Apology for Magic Johnson During…

Larry Bird Once Truly Had a Sense of Apology for Magic Johnson During…

In sports history, no rivalry has been more significant and personal than the one between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. The two brought their fierce rivalry into the NBA, where it persisted throughout the 1980s, after meeting in the historic 1979 NCAA men’s championship game. Throughout the decade, the NBA Finals were either reached by Magic’s Los Angeles Lakers or by Bird’s Boston Celtics. In the championship round, they faced off three times.

Bird and Magic led the league to unprecedented success. After captivating the country, they contributed to the NBA’s globalization. The Bird vs. Magic rivalry reignited the Celtics vs. Lakers rivalry. Despite the fact that the teams hated one another, Bird once acknowledged that he felt bad for the Lakers All-Star point guard during this period.

In the 1970s, the NBA didn’t have the best reputation. In 1980, former Utah Jazz coach and general manager Frank Layden brought up the league’s drug problem.

In 1980, Layden told The Washington Post, “There is not a team in the league you can confidently say does not have a drug problem.” Rehab programs could be advantageous for all teams. Out of 11 players, I had two drug cases the previous year. To send these people (for assistance), we need a location.

Magic and Bird arrived on the scene just in time. They brought publicity. They offered hope. The two NBA players were utilized by David Stern, the league’s commissioner at the time, to promote and help sell the biggest names in the sport.

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