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Who had better career magic or bird??,
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jaybird44 Offline
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Post: #1
Who had better career magic or bird??,
I'm gonna say magic but man one could not have done it without the other
05-01-2021 06:25 PM
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bill dazzle Online
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Post: #2
RE: Who had better career magic or bird??,
Both had stupendous careers. Would be difficult to rank.
05-01-2021 07:09 PM
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goofus Offline
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RE: Who had better career magic or bird??,
This is easy: Magic

Magic won the NCAA championship game played vs Bird

Magic won 5 NBA championships vs. 3 for Bird

Magic was 2-1 in NBA finals head to head vs Bird

Case closed
(This post was last modified: 05-01-2021 10:06 PM by goofus.)
05-01-2021 10:05 PM
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quo vadis Online
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RE: Who had better career magic or bird??,
Magic
05-02-2021 08:24 AM
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bill dazzle Online
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RE: Who had better career magic or bird??,
Magic clearly won more but he had more help — both in college and in the NBA.

But "better" is very subjective. One could argue Bird had a "better career" than Johnson in that the NBA was elevated in the 1980s by the Celtics-Lakers rivalry more so than any other element (team, player, coach, rivalry, etc.) that prior to or since has benefited the NBA throughout its history. The dynamic of the "white Celtics from blue-collar Boston" vs. the "black Lakers from glitzy Los Angeles" created a level of interest in the NBA that was truly captivating and had never been experienced prior to that point. That dynamic set the stage for Michael Jordon and the Bulls to become a huge deal in the 1990s.

I started watching the NBA in about 1970. And there is no doubt that the seeds for the league's long-term popularity and health were planted in the 1980s with the Lakers and Celtics rivalry. For that popularity and health to reach full potential, the league needed a player who half the fans hated and the other half loved. Bluntly, it had to be a white player from the sticks who was nasty and fearless. Everybody liked Magic and Michael. Lots of folks (black and white) despised "The Hick From French Lick." And you can't put a price on how that positively impacted the NBA.

In short, Larry Bird became the one player that perhaps more so than any other yielded permanent and positive change and viability with pro basketball. And in that respect, one could argue Bird had the "better career" than Magic.
(This post was last modified: 05-02-2021 10:46 AM by bill dazzle.)
05-02-2021 10:41 AM
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SoCalBobcat78 Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Who had better career magic or bird??,
(05-01-2021 10:05 PM)goofus Wrote:  This is easy: Magic

Magic won the NCAA championship game played vs Bird

Magic won 5 NBA championships vs. 3 for Bird

Magic was 2-1 in NBA finals head to head vs Bird

Case closed

It is not quite that simple. It is never really one guy versus the other.

Michigan State had better talent led by Magic, Greg Kelser, and Jay Vincent, their three leading scorers. Kelser was their leading scorer and rebounder and third-team All-American. Vincent lead the Big 10 in scoring his junior and senior seasons and was 3rd team All-American in 1981. No one had ever seen a 6-foot-9-inch player like Magic, who was such a great ball-handler, passer and leader. Bird took Indiana State to a 33-0 season and the championship game without much help. Besides being the Wooden award winner as the Player of the Year, Bird led Indiana State in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, free throw shooting and shot 53% from the field. Two great players, but Michigan State had the better team.

In their first seven seasons in the NBA, Magic and Bird each won three championships. Bird also was named the Rookie of the Year and had won three consecutive MVP awards. He was also All-Star MVP in 1982. Bird had won two finals MVP's (1984 & 1986). Magic had won two finals MVP's (1980 & 1982). Magic won his first of three MVP's in his eighth season. Magic joined a team that had won 47 games and already had Kareem, Jamaal Wilkes, Norm Nixon, and Michael Cooper. The Lakers improved to 60 wins in Magic's first season. Bird joined a team that had won 29 games the season before and he led them to 61 wins in his first season. Bird had the edge over the first seven seasons.

The Celtics had to get through the the 76er's in the East in the first half of the decade and the Pistons in the second half of the decade. The Lakers never had that kind of challenge to get to the NBA finals. Things changed for the Celtics with the death of Len Bias, the No. 2 pick in the 1986 NBA draft. Celtic injuries and the Lakers stealing Michael Thompson from San Antonio helped as well. I do not think it is easy to pick between these two. I think they are both great players. Magic became a better shooter as he got older and Jerry West stole a No. 1 pick overall from the Cleveland Cavs for Don Ford, in the worst trade in modern NBA history. That pick ended up being James Worthy. That pick was big factor along with Thompson in the Lakers last two championships of the decade.
05-02-2021 06:52 PM
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Renandpat Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Who had better career magic or bird??,
(05-02-2021 06:52 PM)SoCalBobcat78 Wrote:  
(05-01-2021 10:05 PM)goofus Wrote:  This is easy: Magic

Magic won the NCAA championship game played vs Bird

Magic won 5 NBA championships vs. 3 for Bird

Magic was 2-1 in NBA finals head to head vs Bird

Case closed

It is not quite that simple. It is never really one guy versus the other.

Michigan State had better talent led by Magic, Greg Kelser, and Jay Vincent, their three leading scorers. Kelser was their leading scorer and rebounder and third-team All-American. Vincent lead the Big 10 in scoring his junior and senior seasons and was 3rd team All-American in 1981. No one had ever seen a 6-foot-9-inch player like Magic, who was such a great ball-handler, passer and leader. Bird took Indiana State to a 33-0 season and the championship game without much help. Besides being the Wooden award winner as the Player of the Year, Bird led Indiana State in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, free throw shooting and shot 53% from the field. Two great players, but Michigan State had the better team.

In their first seven seasons in the NBA, Magic and Bird each won three championships. Bird also was named the Rookie of the Year and had won three consecutive MVP awards. He was also All-Star MVP in 1982. Bird had won two finals MVP's (1984 & 1986). Magic had won two finals MVP's (1980 & 1982). Magic won his first of three MVP's in his eighth season. Magic joined a team that had won 47 games and already had Kareem, Jamaal Wilkes, Norm Nixon, and Michael Cooper. The Lakers improved to 60 wins in Magic's first season. Bird joined a team that had won 29 games the season before and he led them to 61 wins in his first season. Bird had the edge over the first seven seasons.

The Celtics had to get through the the 76er's in the East in the first half of the decade and the Pistons in the second half of the decade. The Lakers never had that kind of challenge to get to the NBA finals. Things changed for the Celtics with the death of Len Bias, the No. 2 pick in the 1986 NBA draft. Celtic injuries and the Lakers stealing Michael Thompson from San Antonio helped as well. I do not think it is easy to pick between these two. I think they are both great players. Magic became a better shooter as he got older and Jerry West stole a No. 1 pick overall from the Cleveland Cavs for Don Ford, in the worst trade in modern NBA history. That pick ended up being James Worthy. That pick was big factor along with Thompson in the Lakers last two championships of the decade.

Bird got better after they traded his drinking buddy, Rick Robey, to the Suns for Dennis Johnson and won additional two championships. Had Robey stayed with Boston, he would've hindered Bird's legacy.
Magic was a better player
05-02-2021 08:14 PM
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UCGrad1992 Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Who had better career magic or bird??,
(05-02-2021 08:24 AM)quo vadis Wrote:  Magic

Is that all?
05-03-2021 06:47 PM
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UCGrad1992 Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Who had better career magic or bird??,
This is closer than you think. You can't just limit it to head-to-head when the OP is asking for the better career. Let's dig down further in the weeds and look at some specific career numbers and awards.

HOF - Magic & Bird
NBA MVP - Magic 3x, Bird 3x
All Star - Magic 12x, Bird 12x
All-NBA - Magic 10x, Bird 10x
All Star MVP - Magic 2x, Bird 1x
All-Rookie - Magic & Bird
ROY - Bird
NBA Chip - Magic 5x, Bird 3x
Finals MVP - Magic 3x, Bird 2x
All-Defensive - Bird 3x
STL Champ - Magic 2x
AST Champ - Magic 4x

Games - Magic 906, Bird 897
PPG - Magic 19.5, Bird 24.3
RPG - Magic 7.2, Bird 10.0
APG - Magic 11.2, Bird 6.3
FG% - Magic 52.0, Bird 49.6
FG3% - Magic 30.3, Bird 37.6
FT% - Magic 84.8, Bird 88.6

Totals
Points - Magic 17,707, Bird 21,791
Rebounds - Magic 6,559, Bird 8,974
Assists - Magic 10,141, Bird 5,695
Steals - Magic 1,724, Bird 1,556
Blocks - Magic 374, Bird 755
3-Pointers - Magic 325, Bird 649
Free Throws - Magic 4,960, Bird 3,960
Turnovers - Magic 3,506, Bird 2,816
05-03-2021 07:24 PM
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