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Publisher's Summary

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, and 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 Ours transports listeners 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 and a rollicking ride through professional basketball's best times.

©2009 Larry Bird and Earvin Johnson (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
  • Ed
  • Baldwinville, MA, United States
  • 10-30-10

Great insight

I'm a big sports fan, especially the Boston teams and I grew up watching this great rivalry. Still, sports books have never been my main read (usually King, Koontz, Grisham) and I only bought this because it was on special. Very glad I did. Jackie M. has always been a great writer and the fact that Bird and Magic were involved in writing the book, seemed to make a big difference. My favorite thing was hearing a lot of the little facts about different players and situations that you would never know. Solidly narrated this book brought back a lot of great memories of my childhood watching these 2 amazing players.

  • Overall

Great Insight on Two Great People

I thought the book was great and well worth the listen. The book gave great insight into the passion and dedication that both players had for the game. The only complaint I have is the book did not flow well during the first half because the authors were bouncing back and forth from the NBA days to childhood and it was tough to follow at times. It got much better on the second half and had a great ending.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A bit diappointing

I was really disappointed in this book. I don't know what I was expecting, but it didn't deliver for me. I did enjoy the first half which was about how they got their start. By the end of the book I was so sick of reading the phrase "Larry and Magic". I started to wonder if the whole thing was made up.

The book would have you think that the only players who ever contributed to the game were the two of them and Michael Jordan. Granted, they were good, but so were many others.

Magic took offense at NBA players not wanting to play with him after he had been diagnosed with HIV, and especially by Karl Malone. "Gee whiz, Karl, how rude of you not to want to die young of AIDS. Don't you know you are hurting Magic's feelings?" Truth is, he had a deadly virus in his body, and it wasn't fair, no matter how small the chance of infecting someone else.

Other than giving Magic a "Howard Kosell" accent, the narrator was pretty good.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jonnie
  • Panama City, FL, United States
  • 05-02-10

Boring...couldn't finish it

I wanted to like this book... but I just couldn't finish it. It reads as if the main audience was a group of college guys sitting around a bar getting blasted and talking about basketball.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful