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When the Game Was Ours Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 4, 2009
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Amazon Exclusive: Bill Walton Reviews When the Game Was Ours
Bill Walton played in the NBA for 13 years, and in 1996, was named one of the top 50 players in NBA history. He's been an analyst for CBS Sports and NBC Sports, and since 2002, he's been a game analyst for ESPN NBA telecasts. Read his guest review of When the Game Was Ours:
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson are transcendent, iconic and timeless standard bearers of excellence who changed "The Game" forever, always bringing out the best in each other and never failing to put a smile on all our faces.I was one of the lucky ones. I had the incredible good fortune to have witnessed firsthand the Bird/Magic rivalry. It was an intense and constant thing for us all. But even I didn't realize how powerful their connection was until I read When the Game Was Ours, a riveting and page-turning masterpiece that could only be written with the help of someone like Jackie MacMullan, who was there every step of the way and who sensed there was a whole lot more to their story than what happened on the court or got played over and over again on the highlight reels. In this book, Larry and Magic tell stories like they never have before. I was enthralled, page after page. Theirs was a unique relationship. They were polar opposites, but in ways few of us realized they were very much the same. They both wanted the same thing, day in and day out--to win. And did they know how to win. When the Game Was Ours perfectly captures the defining moments of their lives from the very beginning of their fiercest of rivalries through their constantly evolving historical relationship and friendship right up to the present. This epic tome is the capstone of their landmark careers. It is also so much more than anyone could ever dream for. When the Game Was Ours brilliantly explains why "The Game" will always belong to Larry and Magic.--Bill Walton
(Photo © Joe Faraoni/ESPN)
Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson
(Photo © Marc Serota RRA Media)
Photographs from When the Game Was Ours
(Click on images to enlarge)
"Finallya 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."
"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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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 it...it reads as if Jackie wrote it and had interviewed them as well as many others...like 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 series...man I was sad about that.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There's so much talk now-a-days about "Who's the best basketball player/shooter" and unfortunately many of the peeve doing the talking have never been exposed to the generation of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Josh Woodward
This book was received the day before Father's Day for a special dad. The spine of the book was covered from top to bottom with some sort of heavy, chunky adhesive. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amy E Williams
This is a great read. I took a trip and it made the flight go by very fast. If you want to know what kept the NBA going then read this book.Published 1 month ago by Bochski
Five stars for Bird's story, three for Magic's. All in all, a good hoop read about the game and the men.Published 2 months ago by Hills of New Hampshire
A great look back at the Bird/Magic rivalry, especially for people who know about them but never got to see them play first handPublished 4 months ago by Alex Holter
The author does a excellent job letting the reader relive the Magic vs. Bird (and Lakers vs. Celtics) rivalry. Read morePublished 5 months ago by davidc