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Larry Bird pointed out his similarities with Magic Johnson: "We were winners, there was no question about that"

Fans could outright reckon they were completely different. But shockingly, Bird himself can point out his similarities with Magic.
The first time Larry Bird and Magic Johnson matched up in the NBA

Magic Johnson and Larry Bird

Before Larry Bird and Magic Johnson rivaled each other in some of the greatest duels in NBA history, the pair had already had epic battles in college. Magic's Michigan State clashed with Bird's Indiana State several times. Ultimately, that rivalry served as a teaser of what was about to happen when they finally entered the league, a moment in the game that changed the NBA's landscape and the definition of a true competitor.

Magic and Bird were the same after all

Larry Legend and Magic quickly made their mark in the league. Johnson delighted the fans with his flashy and out-of-this-world passing and ability to score in various ways. On the other hand, Bird proved to everyone that basketball wasn't all about athleticism. Instead, he beat his foes through his incredible shooting and impeccable basketball IQ.

Despite the difference, Bird and Magic raised the bar and took the NBA by storm.

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"Maybe we helped in some way as far as the competition we had in college and going against one another," Bird said of he and Johnson's impact on the game via Andscape. "But I do think we brought a different aspect to the game when we came in."

Watching Bird and Magic play, fans could notice they were completely different players. But shockingly, Bird himself can point out his similarities with Johnson.

"We both liked to pass the ball," Bird assessed. "We liked to try to make other guys better. And then we were winners, there was no question about that. Not that there wasn't a lot of winners before us. But just how we played the game and approached the game, I think, made a big impact throughout the league as far as watching the game."

A shocking admission

For sure, most of us did not expect to hear such a rare admission from Bird, especially about his ultimate rival Johnson. Apparently, Magic himself also had a shocking admission about Bird in the past.

Magic and Bird faced each other in the Finals three times. Larry's Celtics beat Magic's Lakers in the first meeting in '84, but LA bounced back and edged the C's in '85 and '87. Prior to that, Johnson had already won a championship with the Lakers during his rookie season. And according to Magic, Bird was jealous of him because of that.

"I was surprised to hear Larry describe watching me win the (1980) NBA championship in my rookie season. He admitted he was jealous, which really shocked me, because he never ever showed it back then," Johnson said in the book "When The Game Was Ours.""The first time we played head-to-head in the Finals, in 1984, Larry got the best of me. It took me years to get over it. Actually, I'm not sure I'm over it yet."

Regardless of what Magic and Bird say about their historic rivalry, we, as fans, are just grateful and fortunate to have witnessed it.

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