When The Game Was Ours

When The Game Was Ours cover

When The Game Was Ours

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The New York Times bestseller from Hall of Fame basketball legends Larry Bird and Earvin Magic Johnson.

From the moment these two players took the court on opposing sides, they engaged in a fierce physical and psychological battle. Their uncommonly competitive relationship came to symbolize the most compelling rivalry in the NBA. In Celtic green was Larry Bird, the hick from French Lick, with laser-beam focus, relentless determination, and a deadly jump shot, a player who demanded excellence from everyone and whose caustic wit left opponents quaking in their high-tops. Magic Johnson was Mr. Showtime, a magnetic personality with all the right moves. Young, indomitable, he was a pied piper in purple and gold. And he burned with an inextinguishable desire to win.

These were the basketball epics of the 1980s  ​— ​ Celtics vs Lakers, East vs West, physical vs finesse, Old School vs Showtime, even white vs black. Each pushed the other to greatness  ​— ​ together Bird and Johnson collected eight NBA Championships, six MVP awards and helped save the floundering NBA at its most critical time. When it started they were bitter rivals, but along the way they became lifelong friends.

With intimate, fly-on-the-wall detail, When the Game Was Ours transports readers to this electric era of basketball and reveals for the first time the inner workings of two players dead set on besting one another. From the heady days of trading championships to the darker days of injury and illness, we come to understand Larry’s obsessive devotion to winning and how his demons drove him on the court. We hear him talk with candor about playing through chronic pain and its truly exacting toll. In Magic we see a young, invincible star struggle with the sting of defeat, not just as a player but as a team leader. We are there the moment he learns he’s contracted HIV and hear in his own words how that devastating news impacted his relationships in basketball and beyond. But always, in both cases, we see them prevail.

A compelling, up-close-and-personal portrait of basketball’s most inimitable duo, When the Game Was Ours is a reevaluation of three decades in counterpoint. It is also a rollicking ride through professional basketball’s best times.

LARRY BIRD played thirteen seasons with the Boston Celtics and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1998. He was a three-time NBA Champion, a three-time NBA MVP, and a twelve-time NBA All-Star, among other honors. He was head coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1997 to 2000 and served as their President of Basketball Operations from 2003 to 2017. His famed rivalry with Magic Johnson was chronicled in their New York Times bestseller, When the Game Was Ours.

EARVIN MAGIC JOHNSON played thirteen seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2002. He was a ten times NBA Champion, a three-time NBA MVP, and a twelve-time NBA All-Star, among other honors. A former president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, he is chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises and the founder of the charitable Magic Johnson Foundation to help underserved communities and combat HIV. His famed rivalry with Larry Bird was chronicled in their New York Times bestseller, When the Game Was Ours.

JACKIE MACMULLAN is the author of New York Times bestsellers Basketball: A Love Story and When the Game Was Ours. She has been a writer for the Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated and ESPN.com.

ISBN: 9780547394589

ISBN-10: 9780547394589

Publisher: Mariner Books

Publication Date: 10/01/2010 - 12:00am

On Sale: 10/01/2010 - 12:00am

Pages: 368

Language: English


Sports & Recreation / Basketball

Biography & Autobiography / Sports

Sports & Recreation / History