There have been many players who have flaunted their talents in the NBA. While some have had very little impact on the league, there are a few who are considered the legends of the game.
NBA Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Larry Bird certainly fall in the second category. The two superstars played for two of the most iconic franchises in NBA history. They arguably had the greatest rivalries in the history of the league when they faced off against one another while donning the jerseys of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics.
Despite being retired from the league for a long time, the two superstars are still idols of many and will continue to be the same for years to come. But when we talk about who was the better player from Bird and Magic, that's when a serious debate gets started.
There are some who might prefer Bird, while others would side with Magic. However, the actual answer to the debate was probably given by Larry Bird himself in his 2009 book 'When the Game was Ours.' Bird wrote about a lot of things in the book, and one of them was when he revealed he was never truly able to Magic's game.
"I'd watch highlights of Magic after a game and I'd say, 'How did he do that?' He controlled the tempo of the game like nobody else I've ever seen. There were times when we played the Lakers, and I'd be the only guy back on one of their 3-on-1 breaks.
Even though I'm not that quick, I used to be able to read the point guard in those situations and have an idea of which way he was leaning. Not with Magic. I never had any idea what he was going to do with that ball.
We didn't like each other that much. It was too hard. We were trying to beat each other year after year, and people kept comparing us. I wanted what he had, so I didn't want to get to know him, because I knew I'd probably like him, and then I'd lose my edge."
It's astonishing that even a player of Bird's caliber was unable to read Johnson's game. This certainly proves that Magic had a certain swagger to his game that has played a huge role in NBA fans recognizing him as arguably the best point guard in NBA history.
The respect between the two legends has always been mutual. That was proven when Magic showed up to Bird's jersey retirement while wearing a Boston Celtics jersey. There are many moments like this one, and fans always cherish them.