“I Love You Too, Magic Johnson, but…”: When A Hall of Fame Basketball Coach Admitted to Liking Larry Bird More than The Lakers Legend!

Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were the two most well-liked NBA players in the 1980s. The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers, the two men’s respective clubs, were fierce rivals.

They have amassed eight NBA Championships and six MVP awards between the two of them. Both had Hall of Fame careers and were comparable to one another in terms of popularity and skill.

So, the argument over whether to play Magic or Bird has been ongoing for years. Until this day. One Hall of Fame coach, however, has already made up his mind regarding Larry Legend even before Larry Bird turned pro.

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Legendary NCAA coach Nolan Richardson preferred Larry Bird to Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson or Larry Bird. an ongoing argument for many. But before he ever took the court in an NBA game, Nolan Richardson, a coach in the NCAA Hall of Fame, had Bird as a favorite player.

Richardson remembered how he first learned of the Hick From French Lick in his Hall of Fame speech in 2014. He happened to be listening to a game between Indiana State and New Mexico State when he was driving. a game where Bird was the only name that kept coming up.

 Larry Bird

“I’m listening to the radio and I have no clue about the players on either team. All of a sudden, this name keeps coming. Bird! He goes to the right. Bird! He makes the stop. Bird! I said, “God damn! Who is Bird?”. By the time I got to the end, I said, “Damn that brother can play!”. When I got the newspaper the next morning and saw Larry’s picture. I said, “Damn!”. To be honest Larry, the young lady who said you were her favorite player. You’re mine too. I love you too Magic, but not as much as I like Bird!”

Given how enamored Richardson seemed when telling the story, it’s hard to imagine Magic ever stood a chance. But, that didn’t stop him from competing and defeating his long-time rival.

Magic Trumps Larry Legend when Comparing Their Head-To-Head Record

The bird may have a positive relationship with a Hall of Fame coach, but when considering his head-to-head record against Magic, the same cannot be true. Additionally, Larry has lost to the Lakers icon more times than not. By the end of his career, Magic had defeated Bird 11 times while losing only seven times.

Despite everything, their competition was unique, which cannot be disputed at the end of the day. NBA fans are undoubtedly happy that they were able to see it for themselves or at the very least hear about it.


Deepak works on Sportoversy as a senior content editor. He reports on the latest events and changes in the sports industry. Moreover, he is quite interested in knowing every single piece of information about athletes available on the internet. In his spare time, he enjoys playing and watching a variety of sports, as well as spending time with his family.

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