When the Game Was Ours

When the Game Was Ours

Book - 2009
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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. 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.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009
ISBN: 9780547225470
0547225474
Branch Call Number: 796.3230922 Bir 3558ad 1
Characteristics: xi, 340 p. :,ill. (chiefly col.)
Additional Contributors: Johnson, Earvin 1959-
MacMullan, Jackie

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Wsargeant
May 26, 2017

Very enjoyable and enlightening. This was a period in the NBA which I didn't know much about, since have become interested in basketball more recently. The psychology and competitiveness of the players was interesting as well as the dynamics between the players, coaches, managers, owners, and teams. This book may be aimed at an audience who has a more complete understanding of the sport than I do since it uses a lot of terminology of plays, some of which I don't understand, however it was still enjoyable.

austinmurphy Jan 30, 2012

This is an enjoyably comprehensive read about the Bird vs. Magic rivalry. At times I thought the writing seemed a bit scattered (jumping from one topic to the next with little segue), but it doesn't detract much. I'm especially intrigued by the negativity surrounding Isiah Thomas, Magic's once close friend who seems to have spent the last two decades burning every bridge he can find.

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nora1965
Jun 17, 2010

I just finished this book and absolutely loved it! I am a HUGE Laker fan and was curious to read Larry and Magic's accounts of their relationship. I grew up to hate Larry Bird, but in reading this I have developed a respect and fondness for him that rivals how I feel about "my Magic". This is a must read for any basketball fan!

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Deanne L R Coupal
Mar 23, 2010

I really enjoyed this book. I could not put it down. At first I was skeptical because I have never been a basketball fan and I'm too young to remember when Magic Johnson was playing. His public persona has been defined by his illness and his subsequent charity work. However, I was pleasantly surprised to read about this intense and, later, friendly rivalry between these two great athletes. It's nice to read about athletes who actually cared about the game and their performance, rather than the entitled athletes of today who sometimes have no respect for the game or their fans. If I ever see Larry Bird, I'll be sure to ask him if he's heard from Magic lately! haha

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lilnate123
Jan 04, 2015

lilnate123 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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