In the NBA, there were rulers in each era. There may be a difference in degree, but as a player who represented the league, he showed off his powerful force with the two rabbits of popularity and career in the championship. As the players faded away, other newcomers appeared, and such a natural generational change continued. This is one of the reasons why the NBA has been known as the world’s best stage for a long time.
As the best contributor to the NBA’s popularity, Michael Jordan, the ‘Basketball Emperor’, is by far the first to be counted. Jordan’s outstanding performance, which combined splendor and story in addition to individual and team results, properly imprinted his existence to fans around the world. There was even a saying, ‘I don’t know basketball, but I know Michael Jordan’. Since then, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, etc. have shown off their star power to the world on behalf of the NBA.
If Jordan ignited NBA popularity, Irvin “Magic” Johnson (63‧206cm) and Larry Bird (66‧206cm) are the protagonists who ignited the flames before that. Their rivalry was enough to capture the attention of basketball fans around the world. Jordan’s basketball life is often described as a movie, but the storytelling of Magic and Bird, which are evaluated as masterpieces of all time, was no less. Two superstars appeared in a blockbuster series movie and gave the feeling of playing as double protagonists. It was not at all awkward to say that they were ‘pre-Jordans’.
The rivalry between Magic and Bird was full of interesting elements in many parts, as if it had been pre-scripted. The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, where they both played, are the two most prestigious NBA players. With 17 finals wins side by side, it is not unusual that they are tied for first place in the most wins ever, but perhaps that is why the pride of their team’s fans for the club is also very high.
The two joined both teams at the same time and were destined to become rivals in that they were reborn as the best rookies. It is dramatic from the fact that they, who had a tremendous confrontation in the final stage during college, unfortunately entered each team representing the east and west NBA. The free-spirited city of LA and the splendid play style of Magic, the conservative image of Boston and the rural schoolboy Bird, each character also perfectly matched their team and city.
Magic and Bird have already been evaluated as leading stars who will be responsible for the future since their rookie days, and their respective clubs reorganize their teams around them. At the time, the Lakers’ one-two punch was Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Boston’s Larry Bird and Kevin McHale had two top-class white players in the league. did.
Above all, it is evaluated that he was able to receive the attention of fans for a long time in that he did not focus on either side while sharing various individual awards and final championships. Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, who are called ancient monsters, share a common goal in that they are centers that dominated the same era, but the difference in the number of championships is too great, and it is true that Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett have a weak feeling as rivals in that respect.
Magic, who was once ranked second in the all-time player rankings, is a large point guard boasting a height of 206 cm. He was a disastrous player from the opposing team’s point of view because he had a fairly large, but not large, size, but had the ability to read and pass more than once. He showed the essence of a multi-player by devastating his front line with his big man-level height and digesting even a forward or center depending on the situation.
As can be seen from his nickname that is more famous than his name, the first image that comes to mind when thinking of magic is the wizard of the pass. He poured out dazzling and creative passes in every game to the extent that there were rumors that he cheated not only the opposing team but also his teammates. As soon as he grabbed the rebound, he made a quick and accurate outlet pass toward a colleague who was running toward the opponent’s post, and also made a no-look pass in a direction that did not match his gaze or movement, drawing admiration from even the opponent’s fans.
Magic’s magical pass was even more terrifying in a fast-breaking situation, and while running without hesitation, he produced kill passes with natural and smooth movements without the slightest hesitation, leading LA’s unique fast break at the vanguard. There was even a saying, ‘Even if you run alongside Magic when he runs, you can receive and eat the constantly pouring chances’.
On top of that, Magic also excelled in his offensive abilities. As a point guard, he preferred to play to save his teammates, but depending on the situation, he himself became an ace and stirred up the opponent’s camp. He was especially good at pennantation, but since he had two options, a pass and a direct attack, he was confused every time from a defensive standpoint.
One of the patents was the lay-up shot, in which he strides forward with a large physique, uses a fake motion pretending to give a pass, and then puts it up softly and flexibly. Maybe it was because he was with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the skyhook master. The baby hook shot, which neutralizes block shots after a momentary spin move, also earned a reputation as one of the most difficult magic skills to block.
It can be said that he is synonymous with versatility, recording more than 10 triple-doubles in 9 seasons. 5 Finals Champions, 3 Finals MVPs, 3 Regular Season MVPs, 9 First Teams, 4 Assists Champions, 12 All-Stars, 2 All-Star Game MVPs, 2 Steel Kings, etc. If he hadn’t announced his retirement by revealing that he had HIV, he might have become the owner of a record comparable to LeBron’s.
As can be seen from the fact that he was called Magic’s only rival, Bird was also the best technician who dominated the era. He didn’t have amazing motor skills like Magic, but with the power emanating from his solid body, his unique BQ, and various skills, he played what he could do against any type of player. Most of all, he was a player with a great desire to compete, so it was evaluated that the fighting spirit he exuded in the arena reminded him of a fighter going to the battlefield. 먹튀검증
Just as Magic was able to play 4 or 5 while being a point guard, Rival Bird was similar. Although he was a small forward, he was able to fight with quite a few big men and had the vision and passing sense reminiscent of a guard. Both had main positions, but it can be seen that the influence on the activity area or team was more than that.
Bird crossed the inside and outside and scored in a variety of ways, including outside shots, midrange, penetration, and post-ups. What’s impressive is his rebound, which is close to his career average of 10. It is the result of a combination of his unique predictive ability and fighting spirit, as well as being good at physical fighting and boxing out. Despite not being a team color that was good at fast-breaking, Boston was strong because Kevin McHale and Robert Parish were active in the rebound competition, including the 4th and 5th birds, as well as the 3rd bird.
Another strength of Bird is the fact that his passing ability here was top-notch. It was not the type to catch the eye with splendor like Magic, but as if revealing the color of Boston at the time, it showed synergy optimized for team play through a concise pass without superfluity.
His hands and feet were so well matched with his teammates that he exchanged quite a few passes in the form of a touch in the direction of each other, and even unfolded these plays in the style of a no-look pass. He stably put an entry pass to the big man under his goal, and after turning the defense’s gaze toward himself, the assist that penetrated the narrow gap made people exclaim.
The quality of the pass was also good, but most of the passes went quickly to the counter, so it was not easy to respond from the point of view of his opponent. Based on this versatility, 3 Finals Champions, 2 Finals MVPs, 3 Regular Season MVPs (3 consecutive years), 9 First Teams, 12 All-Stars, 1 All-Star Game MVP, 3-Point Contest Champions, Rookie of the Year, etc. He created a career that was not magic.
Unfortunately, like Magic, Bird didn’t live in his prime for long. Perhaps because he played without sacrificing his body, he suffered from chronic back pain and large and small injuries such as a broken Achilles tendon on both sides, and had no choice but to retire sooner than expected. If Magic hadn’t become HIV positive and Bud had been a little healthier… , In addition to that, what if the two had been active in different eras? It is true that there is no if in history, but it is true that I am curious about it again.