National Championship game meeting? Check. Three NBA Finals match-ups and reliving the greatest rivalry in NBA history? Check. Fighting for countless MVP’s and a Rookie of the Year? Check.
If you thought the competition between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird was going to end after the two joined forces to play together on the Dream Team in 1992, you were sorely mistaken. Only this time, neither Johnson nor Bird are contributing to the competition.
Bill Wolfe, an artist from Indiana, is building a 15-foot bronze statue of Bird outside of Indiana State’s basketball arena, paying homage to the school’s biggest star. It’s no coincidence that the Johnson statue outside of Michigan State’s Breslin Center stands 12 feet tall.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Magic/Bird rivalry, or new to basketball, Johnson’s Spartans defeated Bird’s Sycamores in the 1979 National Championship game, setting a forward chapter for one of the greatest rivalries in NBA history.
Between the two of them, Johnson and Bird went on to win eight NBA Championships, an NCAA Championship, six MVPS, five Finals MVPS, a pair of Olympic gold medals and make 24 All-Star teams. To say they left their mark on the sport is the understatement of life.
We’ll keep you posted if there are any alterations made to any statues outside of basketball arenas in East Lansing.
For hoops, hip-hop and other random commentary, follow Jared Mintz on Twitter @JaredMintzTruth