The rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird lasted for over a decade, and it all started when they both meet in the NCAA finals back in 1979. Their careers were always linked to each other, and they were the ones who popularized the game of basketball playing and took it to the next level. They were both extremely competitive, which made bring the best in each other for years. It was evident there was a tremendous amount of respect between them ever since their rivalry started in college and it, later on, shaped their relationship.
In a speech Bird gave during his Hall-Of-Fame enshrinement, he remembered a situation that perfectly depicts the type of rivalry it actually was. Bird wanted to see Magic disappointed after losing a game to the Boston Celtics. The opportunity presented itself right after a game they won at The Forum in which he after saw Magic sad and disappointed in the Laker’s loss.
“One game we played the Lakers in the Forum and we were fortunate enough to win at the end. After the game, we got out of the tunnel and there was traffic out there and the fans were throwing stuff at us. I was very humbled that day as I was looking at the window and saw Ervin going to his car. I just watched him and I could see the pain on his face. The look in his eyes that he was a beaten man that day. I was just watching him and said suffer baby suffer.”Larry Bird