When the Game Was Ours

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When the Game Was Ours

by Earvin Johnson, Jackie MacMullan, Larry Bird

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | October 1, 2010 | Trade Paperback

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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 Ourstransports 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 Oursis a reevaluation of three decades in counterpoint. It is also a rollicking ride through professional basketball''s best times.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 368 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.58 in

Published: October 1, 2010

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0547394586

ISBN - 13: 9780547394589

Found in: Sports and Fitness

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– More About This Product –

When the Game Was Ours

by Earvin Johnson, Jackie MacMullan, Larry Bird

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 368 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.58 in

Published: October 1, 2010

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0547394586

ISBN - 13: 9780547394589

About the Book

From the moment Larry Bird and Magic Johnson took the court on opposing sides, they engaged in a fierce physical and psychological battle. Their uncommonly competitive relationship came to symbolize the most thrilling rivalry in the NBA.

Read from the Book

APRIL 9, 1978 Lexington, Kentucky The errant shot came off the glass at a sharp angle, but Larry Bird, charting the flight of the ball, pulled down the rebound and advanced without hesitation, swiveling his head as he examined his options. Earvin Johnson had already begun to head down the court the moment the ball was in flight. He''d been playing with Bird for only six days on a team of college All-Stars in this international roundrobin competition, yet already Johnson had determined that Bird was the most resourceful rebounder they had. Bird filled the center lane, and Magic streaked down the right side, calling for the ball, but the forward looked away, as if he had pressing matters elsewhere. For one brief instant, Magic was disappointed. "I guess he''s not going to give it to me," he murmured. And that''s when it came: a behind-the-back missile that landed directly on Magic''s right palm. It remained there just long enough for Johnson to disarm defender Andrei Lapatov with a crossover dribble, then sling it back over his shoulder with a no-look feed to Bird. Indiana State''s star barely aligned the seams before his touch pass was back to Magic, leaving no time for the overmatched Soviet player to react. As Johnson banked in the lay-up, the crowd at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, roared with delight. Magic turned and charged toward Bird to offer him his signature high-five. Bird slapped the teenager''s hand, and the two jogged back down the floor, side by side, one sk
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From the Publisher

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 Ourstransports 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 Oursis a reevaluation of three decades in counterpoint. It is also a rollicking ride through professional basketball''s best times.

About the Author

Larry Bird played thirteen seasons with the Boston Celtics and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1998. He was head coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1997 to 2000 and currently serves as their President of Basketball Operations.

Editorial Reviews

"MAGICBIRD, BIRDMAGIC really should be the titled "When the Game was Mine" because that is how they went after each other on the court. In When the Game Was Ours you will enjoy an exhilarating ride down one of the most competitive rivalries ever." - Pat Riley "Finally-a book that tells the story of Magic and Larry from their vantage point. When the Game Was Ours took me inside their fascinating rivalry with new insights and revealing details about two men who evolved from bitter competitors into lifelong friends." - Denzel Washington "At long last the great book on Bird and Magic-their own account, told from behind the scenes, inside huddles, confidential phone conversations, backseats of cars, and most importantly, from their inner hearts. Their book is alive with truth-it''s a story of brilliance, brilliantly told with the help of prize-winning writer Jackie MacMullan." - Sally Jenkins , author of The Real All Americans, Funny Cide, and It''s Not About the Bike with Lance Armstrong " When The Game Was Ours is the ultimate insiders'' account of the rivalry, the friendship, the tension and the bond between Bird and Magic that launched the modern NBA. A real treat for all hoops fans." - Tom Verducci , author with Joe Torre of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Yankee Years "You know that game where you pick a certain number of characters for your favorite dinner party of all time? (The one where you picked Gandhi, Babe Ruth, Li''l Wayne and, who was it, Jenna Jameson?) I ju
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