Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals is a 2010 television documentary film broadcast on HBO. The film chronicles the rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird that began with the 1979 NCAA Basketball Championship Game and lasted throughout their lengthy Hall of Fame careers in the NBA.
The film makes an argument that without the massive media attention that was placed on the rivalry that Magic and Bird had, the NBA might not have made it through the 1980s following the merger with the ABA, among other things.
The rivalry between basketball legends Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird first garnered national attention during the 1979 NCAA National Championship. Johnson led Michigan State to victory, defeating Bird and Indiana State in the highest rated college basketball game of all time. Both players had captured the nation's attention in the NCAA finals, and they moved seamlessly to the NBA, where they reinvigorated their teams. Bird brought life back to the Boston Celtics' franchise, while Magic became the star of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Maybe the best rivalries ever in the NBA... Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.