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Old 03-18-2010, 12:41 PM  
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Magic and Bird: A Courtship of Rivals

Watched this last night on HBO. Great stuff.

These two really did save the NBA.

Doubtful there will ever be another rivalry as great as this one was. The Lakers and Celtics hated each other back in those days.

Check it out this month if you can.







http://www.nesn.com/2010/03/hbo-docu...asketball.html



Magic and Bird. Bird and Magic. They were the two iconic figures of the NBA in the 1980s, the two men who saved the game and the two men who kept it alive for a generation of fans.

On the floor, they were similarly great players -- team-oriented guys who made everyone around them better and would stop at nothing to win. Off the floor, they could not have been more different. They were the yin and yang of the NBA, the gregarious black superstar in Hollywood and the quiet, introspective white guy dubbed the "Hick from French Lick."

Magic Johnson and Larry Bird are the two subjects of Magic and Bird: A Courtship of Rivals, a made-for-TV documentary that premieres March 6 on HBO. The film, directed by Ezra Edelman and produced by HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg, goes inside the lives of the two NBA legends, examining both the players and the men who epitomized basketball in the 1980s.

The story of Magic and Bird begins in 1979. That's when Magic's Michigan State Spartans and Bird's Indiana State Sycamores, the nation's two best teams led by the nation's two biggest stars, met in the NCAA Tournament final. It was the highest-rated college basketball game in history and it was a game that would forever alter the landscape of basketball in America.

The game catapulted Magic and Bird to even more attention on the national stage. Magic reveled in that attention; Bird shied away from it. But both went on to become immediate superstars in the NBA, as Magic went No. 1 overall to the L.A. Lakers, and Bird went to the Celtics, who drafted him the previous year.

Magic became caught up in fame and stardom in Hollywood -- he went to countless parties, met countless women and became a superstar in every sense of the word. Bird was the complete opposite. He was gritty, hardworking and relentless. He dove into scorers' tables for loose balls. He was quick to fight with opposing players. He went about his business -- he showed up, he won and he went home. He would rather be seen mowing his lawn outside his rural Indiana home than partying on the town.

But it was their difference in race that was magnified by the political climate in America in the '80s. Bird shied away from the issue; he hated being called the "Great White Hope" of the NBA. To all outward appearances, he was the only man in America who really just didn't see race.

The film captures all of these psychological and cultural contrasts between Magic and Bird in living color, but more importantly, it chronicles their historic rivalry on the court. Between 1980 and 1989, every NBA Finals featured either Magic or Bird. Magic's Lakers and Bird's Celtics met head-to-head three times, in 1984, '85 and '87. You see all the key moments, from Bird's heroic performance in '84 to Magic's famous "baby sky hook" that sank the Celtics three years later.

For all the great moments on the floor, there were traumatic moments off it. Bird endured a childhood of poverty, with fighting parents and an alcoholic father dealing with post-traumatic stress after a tour in Korea. His parents eventually split up and his father committed suicide.

Magic's lust for life caught up to him. His diagnosis with HIV in 1991 brought his career to a halt and made the world realize his mortality. Magic was 32, and his reign as one of the greatest players of all time had been tragically cut short.

But his legacy lived on, as did Bird's, despite a multitude of nagging injuries that kept him from playing on into his late 30s. Both men are remembered as saviors of a game that had lost its place in America's hearts.

There's a great moment toward the end of A Courtship of Rivals where Bryant Gumbel, one of the media figures featured prominently in the film, violently dismisses the idea that Michael Jordan saved the game of basketball. Magic and Larry saved the NBA, he argues. Magic and Larry.

After you've seen this documentary, it's hard to disagree. That's what the film is about: Two players who saved the game, and two men that a generation of fans will never forget.
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:46 PM   #2
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A great documentary, made me wish I was alive in their haydays to see them play. Arsenio Hall's commentary on the wild days of LA was priceless was hell.

[Liev Schreiber] Bla bla narration bla bla bla
HARD CUT TO ARSENIO
Arsenio: Everybody was getting high!
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:52 PM   #3
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Originally Posted by J-Town Fan 1988 View Post
A great documentary, made me wish I was alive in their haydays to see them play. Arsenio Hall's commentary on the wild days of LA was priceless was hell.

[Liev Schreiber] Bla bla narration bla bla bla
HARD CUT TO ARSENIO
Arsenio: Everybody was getting high!


heh...yea, Arsenio was great. I wish he would make a comeback.

Oh, and Bryant Gumbel swears again. I love it when he swears! LOL
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Deberg_1990 View Post
heh...yea, Arsenio was great. I wish he would make a comeback.

Oh, and Bryant Gumbel swears again. I love it when he swears! LOL
Chunky A had a good gig
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:44 PM   #5
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This came on a few weeks ago when I was about to go to bed. Figured I'd watch 5 minutes and go to bed. Stayed up and watched the whole thing. It was a great show. Highly recommend it.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:03 PM   #6
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great rivalry
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:09 PM   #7
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I really feel for you guys who didn't have the opportunity to see them go at it in real time. What a rivalry.

I was always a Celtics fan. I attended one of the last games at the old Garden. Bird, Parish, McHale, Ainge ... what a team. McHale has post moves that were nothing short of amazing. Those were the days when the NBA was king.

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Old 03-18-2010, 02:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by FAX View Post
I really feel for you guys who didn't have the opportunity to see them go at it in real time. What a rivalry.

I was always a Celtics fan. I attended one of the last games at the old Garden. Bird, Parish, McHale, Ainge ... what a team. McHale has post moves that were nothing short of amazing. Those were the days when the NBA was king.

FAX
agree
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:24 PM   #9
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This documentary was really good. I was really impressed, learned a lot of things i didnt know before. I was too young when all this was going on
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FAX View Post
I really feel for you guys who didn't have the opportunity to see them go at it in real time. What a rivalry.

I was always a Celtics fan. I attended one of the last games at the old Garden. Bird, Parish, McHale, Ainge ... what a team. McHale has post moves that were nothing short of amazing. Those were the days when the NBA was king.

FAX
Growing up in the Portland area, I HATED the Lakers. The Blazers had some good teams but couldn't get past the Lakers.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:30 PM   #11
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McHale was extraordinarily physical considering his frame.

I saw him play the Atlanta Hawks one time when the Hawks had Moses Malone matched up against him. McHale would take the ball, post up, and Malone would put a forearm in his chest. He would hit him so hard with his forearm that it knocked the wind right the hell out of McHale's body, I swear. McHale would suck air, make his move and sink it. Every time. It was amazing to watch. Those guys left it all on the floor. In those days, the Garden was like a religious experience. It was a cathedral dedicated to the saint of kicking basketball ass. And, for those of you who are too young or don't remember, they actually had things called "plays".

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Old 03-18-2010, 02:33 PM   #12
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Growing up in the Portland area, I HATED the Lakers. The Blazers had some good teams but couldn't get past the Lakers.
The only Laker I really liked was that forward they had ... James Worthy. The best first step in the post I ever saw and probably ever will see.

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Old 03-18-2010, 03:18 PM   #13
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hate, hate, hate, the lakers
don't like boston much either
but those 2 were the best

they did save the NBA
jordan made it more popular
and Sir Charles is my role model
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:35 PM   #14
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This showed up on my DVR same day as the new 30 for 30 documenting the Pacers/Knicks rivalry in the Reggie Miller era. Also good stuff. Reggie's 8 points in 6 seconds is an all time classic.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:37 PM   #15
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The only Laker I really liked was that forward they had ... James Worthy. The best first step in the post I ever saw and probably ever will see.

FAX
That steal he had in the finals where he intercepted it at the top of the key, dribbled ONCE at midcourt* and dunked from the free throw line melted my brain.

* not traveling, he just covered so much ground so fast that he only HAD to dribble once.
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