“Major Difference Between Them and Michael Jordan”: Celtics Legend Detailed What Made Larry Bird and Magic Johnson Better than MJ
Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan have left an enduring impact on the NBA’s storied history. These players redefined greatness on the court with their unique playstyles and unwavering commitment to excellence. These three extraordinary individuals not only transformed the game of basketball with their unparalleled skills but also established an enduring legacy that continues to inspire generations of players and fans alike.
The rivalry between ‘Magic’ and ‘Bird’ is what most people consider the saving grace for the league in the ’80s. McHale even took it as far as to say that both ‘Magic’ and ‘Bird’ were superior players to Jordan, pointing to the duo’s efficiency and usage.
Bird and Johnson captivated the basketball world with their finesse and artistry, and did so even when functioning off the ball. On the other hand, Jordan took a more ‘isolated’ approach to winning the game. With a total of 14 rings among the three, we can all agree that each of the approaches ‘worked’ just as well.
Jackie Macmullan on Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan
Jackie Macmullan in her book When the Game Was Ours further into the debate. In Jackie’s opinion, all three players were absolute forces on the court, but Magic and Bird had an extra edge. Bird and Johnson were masterful orchestrators, using their exceptional basketball IQ and playmaking skills to elevate their teammates’ performance.
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Their court vision and ability to make precise passes allowed them to influence the game in profound ways beyond scoring, something often found lacking in Jordan’s.
Furthermore, Jackie in her book quoted McHale saying:
“Larry and Magic are still the only two guys I know who could take ten or eleven shots and still dominate the game. That was the major difference between them and Jordan. If you got Michael to take eleven shots, you had dominated him.”
The Hall Of Famer was completely on point with his opinion as Magic and Birds’ field goal attempts throughout their careers stayed at 13 and 18 shots respectively while Jordan attempted over 20 shots in his career.
The ‘locker room’ debate from the 1992 Summer Olympics
The argument between Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan about who was the best in the world became a legendary tale among basketball enthusiasts. It showcased the unwavering confidence and competitive spirit that drove these two remarkable athletes to the pinnacle of their sport.
The encounter took place during the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. Both the players were representing the United States as part of the legendary “Dream Team.” One evening, as they were shooting hoops at a local gym, the topic of their individual greatness arose.
As the debate intensified, their teammates and friends joined in, eagerly sharing their opinions and taking sides. Larry Bird, a longtime rival of Johnson, interjected with his own perspective, adding fuel to the fire.
Ultimately, The debate ended unresolved, shifting to an appreciation of their shared love for basketball. The focus changed from determining the best to cherishing the talents and impact Johnson and Jordan brought to basketball.