When the Game Was Ours

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Nov 4, 2009 - Sports & Recreation - 352 pages
44 Reviews

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.

  

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Review: When the Game Was Ours

User Review  - Anthony Harris - Goodreads

What I liked about the book was that it was based off of my favorite point guard of all-time (Magic Johnson), and a great, a legend, Larry Legend (Larry Bird). I like the book because it talks about ... Read full review

Review: When the Game Was Ours

User Review  - Hunter Cohen - Goodreads

I thought the book was amazing, They really went into depth with explicit details and described everything from their childhood up until their decision of retiring in the National Basketball ... Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

1
1
2
27
3
60
4
91
5
112
Photo Insert 1
144
6
145
7
169
9
226
10
255
11
281
12
296
Larry Bird
325
Earvin Magic Johnson Jr
328
Acknowledgments
331
Index
332

Photo Insert 2
200
8
201

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About the author (2009)

Larry Bird, in his 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics, claimed 3 NBA titles, 3 MVP awards, and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998. In 1992, as part of the “Dream Team” he brought home an Olympic gold medal. He served as head coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1997 to 2000. In 2003, he assumed the role of president of basketball operations for the Pacers, which he currently still holds.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jr., in his 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, claimed 5 NBA titles, 3 MVP awards and was elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2002. He also won an Olympic gold medal as part of the 1992 “Dream Team.” Currently, he is the Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises and Vice President and part owner of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Jackie MacMullan is a nationally recognized sports columnist, who spent three decades at the Boston Globe and covered the NBA for Sports Illustrated in the late 1990s. She is a frequent correspondent for ESPN, CNNSI and local Boston television networks. She is also a regular contestant (and the only female one) on ESPN's Around the Horn.

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