Both the NBA and college hoops seasons have tipped off, so it's a perfect time to look back at two players whose innovative play and unmatched rivalry changed the landscape of professional basketball: Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
When the Game Was Ours starts in the midwest; Magic Johnson was born in Michigan, Larry Bird in Indiana, and both attended universities in their home states (in fact, the book reveals how they almost ended up on the same college team!). Bird was drafted by the Boston Celtics, Johnson ended up a Los Angeles Laker, and the cross-country rivalry prospered; from the late 1970s to the late 1980s, at least one of their teams played for the championship title every single year (they played each other for the title three times in that stretch!).
Apart from their on-court competition, though, it's the friendship between the two men that comes through in this new book, co-written with Jackie MacMullan. Connected by their love of the game and competitive natures, both weathered personal tragedies and challenges, and now have the perspective to see how much their talents shaped the present-day NBA. When the Game Was Ours is testament to the long-standing friendship and mutual respect between Bird and Johnson, and a sure winner for the basketball fan in your life.