So much! Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird are both former NBA basketball players who helped their respective teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, take home championship titles. Both began playing in the NBA in 1979, and both won awards their rookie year: Magic Johnson was named NBA Finals MVP and Larry Bird was named Rookie of the Year. During the 1980s, Johnson won four NBA Championship titles with the Lakers and Bird won three with the Celtics.
After retiring from playing professional basketball, both players returned to work for the NBA. Johnson became involved in the Lakers operations and Bird became a coach for the Indiana Pacers and then the president of team operations. They were both later inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame. Needless to say, they had quite a bit in common.
While they were friends (they developed a friendship in 1984 during the filming of a Converse shoe commercial), the teams they played for were not. Some might even call the rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics legendary! Team rivalry aside, the two friends will be sharing another spotlight together later this month. Both Johnson and Bird will be awarded the NBA’s Lifetime Achievement award.