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When the Game Was Ours [Kindle Edition]

Larry Bird , Earvin Johnson , Jackie MacMullan
4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)

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“MAGICBIRD, BIRDMAGIC really should be the titled “When the Game was Mine” because that is how they went after each other on the court. In When the Game Was Ours you will enjoy an exhilarating ride down one of the most competitive rivalries ever.”
Pat Riley

"Finally—a book that tells the story of Magic and Larry from their vantage point. When the Game Was Ours took me inside their fascinating rivalry with new insights and revealing details about two men who evolved from bitter competitors into lifelong friends."
Denzel Washington

"At long last the great book on Bird and Magic—their own account, told from behind the scenes, inside huddles, confidential phone conversations, backseats of cars, and most importantly, from their inner hearts. Their book is alive with truth—it's a story of brilliance, brilliantly told with the help of prize-winning writer Jackie MacMullan."
Sally Jenkins, author of The Real All Americans, Funny Cide, and It’s Not About the Bike with Lance Armstrong

"When The Game Was Ours is the ultimate insiders' account of the rivalry, the friendship, the tension and the bond between Bird and Magic that launched the modern NBA. A real treat for all hoops fans."
Tom Verducci, author with Joe Torre of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Yankee Years

"You know that game where you pick a certain number of characters for your favorite dinner party of all time? (The one where you picked Gandhi, Babe Ruth, Li'l Wayne and, who was it, Jenna Jameson?) I just spent a couple of nights with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in the lyrical When The Game Was Ours and they should be in the mix. They're funny, frank, anecdotal and just plain interesting. This book is terrific."
Leigh Montville, bestselling author of Ted Williams and The Big Bam

"Unprecedented insight and commentary from the stars themselves on their unique relationship, a compelling mixture of bitter rivalry and mutual admiration... Offers a captivating look at the NBA’s greatest era." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Highly entertaining . . . A thrill-packed, lively and moving dual memoir." -- Shelf Awareness

"A terrific read." -- Sports Illustrated

"Spectacular." -- Dan Shaughnessy, The Boston Globe

"An unbelievable read." -- Improper Bostonian

"You have to read this book!" -- Conan O'Brien

"A must-have for any basketball fan." -- Jimmy Kimmel

"A winner...Deftly explores the relationship between the former NBA superstars that started at arm's length [and] became a lasting friendship." -- USA Today

"Greatness commands our attention . . . uplifting . . . If ever there was a two-man Dream Team, they were it." -- New York Times Book Review

"In MacMullan’s capable hands, the tale is re-energized . . . a wonderful waltz down memory lane . . . A compelling and enjoyable read, every bit as entertaining as watching Magic and Bird battling on the parquet." – Boston Globe

"Fascinating . . .The former Boston Globe reporter and columnist masterfully weav[es] the recollections of the two protagonists with those of dozens of observers . . .The book is at its most powerful when it hews close to its premise: the evolution of perhaps sports' greatest rivalry . . . The game of basketball has never been better than when it was theirs." -- Washington Post


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, 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 readers 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, When the Game Was Ours is a reevaluation of three decades in counterpoint. It is also a rollicking ride through professional basketball’s best times.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 2973 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 368 Seiten
  • Verlag: Mariner Books; Auflage: Reprint (4. November 2009)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B003K16P6E
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #212.177 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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4.5 von 5 Sternen
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A No-Look Pass at the Pre-Jordan NBA 20. Januar 2010
Von Donald Mitchell TOP 500 REZENSENT
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
"Yet He finds occasions against me,
He counts me as His enemy;" -- Job 33:10 (NKJV)

When I first started going to NBA games, you could buy a last-minute ticket for a seat at half court for less than a movie admission cost, and most of the seats in the stadium were empty.

All that changed about the time that Larry Bird and Magic Johnson entered the NBA after an auspicious beginning to their rivalry in the NCAA Championship game between Indiana State and Michigan in 1978.

When the Game Was Ours recaptures the feel of the league then, the histories of the league's two rising superstars, and the evolution of stern competition into grudging respect and friendship.

If you lived through that time and watched or attended many of the key games, this book is pure nostalgia. Unfortunately, it doesn't go very much past what was reported at the time.

If you are younger or only know today's NBA, you will probably wonder what all the fuss was about. You'll need to look at some games that featured Larry and Magic to understand. In fact, a book is a poor way to introduce what these two men meant to the game for those who don't already know. A video would have told the story better and been a better tribute. At a minimum, it would have been good to include some key game highlights along with the book.

The writing is crisp. The details are accurate. The photographs are wonderful. The slant is a well-chosen one.

However, I was left unsatisfied. I would have liked to have gone deeper into the nature of the game then and the kinds of keen insights that allowed these two great students of the game to amaze one and all.
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Dieses Buch ist ein Muss!! 21. Januar 2010
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Dieses Buch ist die Geschichte hinter der Geschichte. Magic Johnson und Larry Bird reflektieren über ihre Karrieren. Jeweils aus der Sicht von Magic und Larry. Die Kapitel sind immer aus der Sicht der beiden geschrieben und befassen sich mit den großen Erlebnissen der beiden, College Championship, NBA, Dream Team, Rücktritt.
Für jemanden, der die NBA in der 80ern verfolgt hat ist diese Buch Pflichtlektüre, für alle anderen Basketballfans empfehlenswert.
Man bekommt so eine andere Sicht, auf die Dinge, die man verfolgt hat oder aus Erzählungen kennt.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A must to all basketball fans 29. Juni 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verifizierter Kauf
A must to all basketball fans. Bird and Magic made the NBA popular again after some years with low attendance.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Nette Erzählungen 7. März 2012
Ein alles in allem sehr schön geschriebens Buch mit vielen Anekdoten und dem ein oder anderen lohnenden Blick hinter die Kulissen der Celtics, Lakers und der NBA.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.4 von 5 Sternen  217 Rezensionen
34 von 38 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Magic and Bird Together Again At Last 22. Oktober 2009
Von Joseph J. Slevin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I thought it was really cool to see a book about the rivalry that brought us a new and improved NBA that was Larry Bird and Ervin Magic Johnson. The two, as you will see, could not be further apart in so many was as they were. They almost played on the same college team, you find out, but then they play against each other for years in so many venues.

The book is layed out so we have a target date or highlight date, whether it be the college finals, an allstar game or the NBA finals, you see each event as a time in history, from both of their perspectives and from those of others with a bit of history between events and from each of their lives. You learn a lot without brutal details about our two heroes. And really for some of us, that is just what they were. I hed the chance to talk to Ervin one day on the phone, really. He was a down to earth guy, and I thanked him for what he and Larry had done to the game. He said he heard that a lot. Interestingly, that was in 95, before he returned to play again. Who would have known that it truly was what got the game of Basketball back to what it could be.

Jackie MacMullan does a great job weaving and bobbing through the lives of both. Passing back and forth between the two of them and scoring with each chapter. (sorry, I just could not help myself).

This should go down as one of the most intriguing and best reads about pro basketball and even sports. This is a great book for those who experienced it, those who are interested in the game and even kids interested in the sport. It is written tastefully so young kids could read it.

These were two men of character that started off as fierce rivals and went on to mutual respect and became great friends. To see all of this behind the scenes and how the two of them kept their game great is a treat.

Highly recommend.
59 von 72 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen I just didn't enjoy this book nearly as much as I expected to... 27. Oktober 2009
Von Richardson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I'm sorry to be the one voice in opposition to the other reviews but I was so excited to get this book and had the worst time getting through it.
First...I never got the impression anybody but Jackie MacMullan was the author. If Larry Bird and Magic Johnson had not been listed as authors I'd have never wondered reading this why not. It doesn't read like they wrote it and Jackie put form to reads as if Jackie wrote it and had interviewed them as well as many a typical biography. I was more expecting that I'd be reading what I felt was direct writing from the two stars of the story.
My biggest gripe is the non linear story telling style used. In the brilliant book on Sandy Koufax the author alternated chapters of his life with a chapter about each of the innings of his perfect game and that was a clever way to tell the story and the biographical chapters were pretty much in chronological order. Books about folks who really don't have a great life story but a recent event of significance often begin with a "teaser" about something recent and then after the reader is grabbed take you back in time. The story of Bird and Magic needs no such gimmicks as this is a meaty story full of drama and much of it in my opinion is LOST because the author bounces around from year to year back and forth with no respect for chronological order so much of the story is confusing and drama lost. I say that as someone who knows the story and feels that the natural story arc is truly something special...and not needing of the continual back court dribble that the author employs.
The author also spends more pages on the first Converse commercial they filmed than either the 84 or 85 playoff I was sad about that. I was looking for a lot of juicy inside the huddle type of talk and was let down.
To sum up ....I am happy to have read this book, but it wasn't as enjoyable or easy as I hoped. I did come away with even a greater respect for Bird (and being a life time Laker fan that is saying something).
I think the "Sizzle" on this one is much tastier than the actual "Steak" which is more like hamburger in my opinion. If you are a fan of Larry Bird I'd recommend his autobiography "Drive" if you haven't read that before this book.
25 von 29 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von Rick Shaq Goldstein - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
For twenty-years basketball fans have heard and read from many sources what the true feelings of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were like as these two unbelievably competitive men changed the game of basketball. They were so totally different... and yet at the core... so totally alike. For the first time Larry and Magic collaborate to reveal what they "really" thought about each other through each and every step of their game-changing careers. It's like having a split screen with Magic on one side and Larry on the other as they share their childhoods... college... and NBA careers... and even their post playing lives. At the end of each historical milepost the split screen becomes one as both Hall of Famers summarize in real-time... adding comments that are more sage with the blessing of age and maturity.

When Magic and his Michigan State team met Larry's Indiana State team for the National Championship Game in 1979 it drew a 24.1 Nielsen rating, "THE HIGHEST IN COLLEGE BASKETBALL HISTORY, A NOTEWORTHY MILESTONE THAT REMAINED UNTOUCHED THREE DECADES LATER." From that time forward Larry and Magic were forever linked-compared-and-intertwined for the rest of their lives. A mutual hatred breeded mutual respect and in the end a lifetime friendship. Along the way they were universally credited with saving the NBA. "IN 1979 THE LEAGUES FOUR-YEAR DEAL WITH CBS WAS WORTH $74 MILLION. BY 2002 THE LEAGUE HAD INKED A SIX-YEAR DEAL WITH ABC, ESPN, AND TNT VALUED AT 4.6 BILLION." The author's pull no punches as they both admit that starting in the aftermath of their NCAA showdown that one hated the other. After Magic won the NBA championship in his rookie year Bird now admits extreme jealousy. Though neither one admitted it in those days they each followed the others stats and accomplishments like madmen possessed. As some individual awards went Bird's way... Johnson felt slighted. But through it all they both admit this feverish competition between the two made them both rise to athletic levels they would never have reached without the burning desire to outdo the other. And then in 1985 they both agreed to take part in the now infamous Converse commercial entitled "CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON"... and Magic came to Larry's home in Indiana... and the miraculous took place. These two fiery... hating... competitors... started to talk and found out they were very much alike... and their childhoods were extremely similar. And then in the unlikeliest of scenario's they became extremely good friends. They realized then... and now... that their lives were forever interlaced. Magic couldn't go anywhere without people asking how Larry was doing... and Larry couldn't go anywhere without being asked how Magic was doing.

Any true basketball fan will not only share the exhilaration of the glorious pinnacles of the author's careers... but you will also feel the grief as their careers come to an end. And of course Magic becoming HIV positive. The definitive epitome of the friendship that had been born through these competitive games... was when Magic demanded that Larry be contacted and made aware of his disease before it was made public. Along with the accepted fact that Bird and Magic saved the NBA... potential readers will also truly enjoy the coverage regarding Michael Jordan taking the baton and leading the NBA to reach even higher goals. The detailed story telling regarding the 1992 Olympic Basketball Dream Team is a must read for all basketball fans. A scene between the greatest players in the world at the Olympic Village during a game of pool with Jordan, Magic, Larry, Barkley, Ewing... and others... as they banter between themselves as to who "was" the greatest... "is" the greatest... and "would-have" been the greatest... if time had been shuffled differently... is one of the greatest behind the scenes look at these famous stars I've ever come across. It is akin to the stalking of lions in the jungle as they contemplate changing the pecking order.

The rabid rivalry that was Magic and Bird raised each of these legendary "team-first" ballplayers to levels... that in this retrospection... they publicly agree... they would have never reached without the other. It's left to the imagination how much higher Jordan may have gone if he had had his own Larry or Magic in their prime. Basketball is forever greater because of this rivalry... and no discussion of one... will ever take place without a discussion of the other... for all eternity!
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The best book about basketball I've ever read 14. Dezember 2009
Von Big Red - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Despite my Boston fandom, When The Game Was Ours is the best book about basketball I've ever read. I was too young to truly appreciate the play of the man often referred to as Larry Legend, but I've been well aware of his influence on the sport, not to mention the Celtics pride he exemplified. In his time, Bird was the Celtics. Magic Johnson was the Lakers, and this book shows just how alike - yet different - they were.

An excess of stats and game notes can be dragging, but When The Game Was Ours looks past that and focuses more on the personalities and relationships of the two superstars, both between each other and with their teammates, families, etc. Jackie MacMullan seamlessly goes back and forth between Bird and Magic's lives and you're guaranteed to learn something about either man you hadn't known before. For instance, I never knew Bird first enrolled at Indiana before transferring to Indiana State, nor did I know that Magic was recruited (unsuccessfully) by Coach Bob Knight at Indiana. Imagine if the two had played together for the same school...

To me, the most intriguing part of the book is the second half. Bird and Magic were becoming better friends, the Dream Team was assembled, and drama surrounded the end of their careers. Upon the very last page I found myself asking, "All this actually happened?"
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Shines at times 6. Dezember 2009
Von J. M. De Moor - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I was so looking forward to reading this book. And, as it turns out, there is plenty to recommend it. Having both perspectives on the same events, especially when they were either on the court -- or even in the same room -- together is priceless. The section that covers the HIV announcement and what followed was riveting. Probably the best part of the book. I was a Bird watcher during this rivalry, but it was what happened during Magic's brief coaching stint that best defines why I seldom watch the NBA anymore.

But the book is not without its problems. Sometimes the time tripping got confusing for me. And the story really bogs down in the end.

Bottom line though is that I expect even the most avid fan of either man or team will find at least a couple of surprises. Recommended.
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