Last night I finally watched HBO Sports' Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals, a documentary I'd been anticipating seeing as soon as I heard about its existence.
The film did not disappoint, in fact Magic & Bird far exceeded my expectations. I was blown away, so much so, that I had tears rolling down my cheeks the last twenty minutes of the film which is NOT common for me.
I have a soft spot for sports documentaries as it is, and as I grew up in the late 80s and early 90s, much of my youth was spent obsessing over Magic, Bird and the Dream Team. I remember sitting at my counter eating breakfast before school and my dad quizzing me on the names of the Dream Team members. We used to have the plastic cups with all their pictures and stats - Magic Johnson was the first time I heard about or understood what HIV and AIDS were. I know that many other children who grew up in the same time would agree, and that nostalgic component makes the film that much more enjoyable.
My dad instilled a great love for the game of basketball in both my brother and I, and there was no better time to appreciate the sport then during the years of the Magic-Bird rivalry, and even I only got the tail end of that. This film is so spectacular, not only for showing the extent of their rivalry, but for showing their profound connection to each other, and sincere friendship. A must-see.