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March 07, 2010

Comments

Angelo

There was Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem---and the exciting Dr. J. Pro basketball was already a great sport. But three guys came along, who set things in motion for the multi-billion dollar enterprise that is today's NBA: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Jordan was the one who was the Babe Ruth of basketball---people paid to see him, even as a visiting player. He put bodies in the seats on the road and had more fans in many cities than the home team had. But Magic and Larry sort of set the table for Jordan. This is basketball royalty---competition and class. I seem to recall that Magic asked Larry Bird to introduce him at the Hall of Fame ceremony. I remember hearing that Johnson said induction wouldn't be the same without Larry Bird being an important part of it. Bird loved Magic's work ethic---and respected the fact that he could play almost any position and went the extra mile for his team. When Magic failed at coaching---he (Magic) had an interesting take on it. He said that when he played the game, Kareem, Rambis and him would spend time in the locker room talking about how many titles/rings they could get. Magic had no patience for the modern players---who he claimed were more interested in who had the better cell phone than winning titles. He couldn't relate to that enough to coach them.

Jeffrey McMahon

Angelo, well said. They were the greatest athlete complement of all time, more than Ali and Frazier.

Angelo

Jeff: Agreed. Ali and Frazier helped make each other (sort of like Ali and Cosell did). But the feud between Ali and Frazier, still smoldering, is a sad thing. Ali has tried to get past it, but Frazier is the one who feels he was wronged by Ali and Frazier can't seem able to forgive. It's a pity.

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