Magic Johnson's Shocking Confession: Bird Hatred Revealed, Jordan Exemption Explained! - footballivenews
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Magic Johnson’s Shocking Confession: Bird Hatred Revealed, Jordan Exemption Explained!

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Magic Johnson and Larry Bird are forever intertwined in basketball lore, their storied rivalry emerging from the legendary 1979 NCAA championship game and evolving into a cornerstone of NBA history.

Their paths diverged as Bird joined the Boston Celtics and Johnson landed with the Los Angeles Lakers, reigniting an age-old rivalry between the two teams. What was once a clash of franchises became synonymous with Bird versus Magic, spanning 13 intense years in the NBA. Despite initial animosity, their rivalry eventually blossomed into a deep friendship, a sentiment Magic confessed was not shared in his encounters with Michael Jordan.

The landscape of the NBA shifted dramatically following Johnson’s Michigan State victory over Bird’s Indiana State in the ’79 championship. Johnson became the top pick for the Lakers, while Bird, after opting to finish his senior year, signed the richest rookie contract in NBA history with the Celtics. Together, they reshaped the league, propelling either the Celtics or Lakers to the NBA Finals every year in the ’80s, facing off thrice for the title.

Their matchups became must-see television, prompting multiple preseason meetings and fueling the NBA’s meteoric rise. Magic and Bird’s on-court banter evolved from silent stares to playful exchanges, reflecting a mutual respect forged through fierce competition.

Reflecting on their early days, Magic acknowledged the intense rivalry born out of their opposing teams. However, a pivotal moment came in 1987 when, shooting a commercial at Bird’s home in French Lick, Indiana, their relationship transformed into a genuine friendship.

While Bird, Magic, and Jordan would later become the faces of the NBA, Magic revealed that his animosity towards Jordan never reached the same level as it did with Bird. Their one-on-one encounter in the 1991 Finals prevented the deep-seated rivalry that defined his relationship with Bird, grounded in collegiate competition and NBA clashes.

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