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When the Game Was Ours

Bird, Larry, 1956- (Book - 2009)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
When the Game Was Ours
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Houghton
A compelling, up-close-and-personal portrait of basketball’s most inimitable duo. It is also a rollicking ride through professional basketball’s best times, the golden age of hoops for the boomer generation.

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.

Baker & Taylor
Two NBA legends offer a definitive account of their decades-long rivalry and friendship, exploring Bird's struggles with chronic pain and Johnson's discovery that he had contracted HIV.

Blackwell North Amer
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 8 NBA Championships, and 6 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.

Baker
& Taylor

Two NBA legends open up as never before to give the definitive account of their decades-long rivalry and friendship, in a book that transports readers to an electric era of basketball and explores Bird's struggles with chronic pain and Johnson's discovery that he had contracted HIV.
With intimate, fly-on-the-wall detail, "When the Game Was Ours" transports readers to an electric era of basketball and reveals for the first time the inner workings of two players--Larry Bird and Earvin "Magic" Johnson--dead set on besting one another.

Authors: Bird, Larry, 1956-
Statement of Responsibility: Larry Bird & Earvin "Magic" Johnson with Jackie MacMullan
Title: When the game was ours
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009
Characteristics: xi, 340 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm.
Notes: Includes index
Subject Headings: Bird, Larry, 1956- Johnson, Earvin, 1959- Basketball players United States Biography Basketball United States History
Topical Term: Basketball players
Basketball
Additional Contributors: Johnson, Earvin 1959-
MacMullan, Jackie
LCCN: 2009020839
ISBN: 9780547225470
0547225474
Branch Call Number: 796.323 B
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Jan 30, 2012
  • austinmurphy rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

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.

Jun 17, 2010
  • nora1965 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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!

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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