HBO Sports Begins Bird/Magic Documentary

Chronicles rivalry, unlikely friendship of two basketball immortals
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Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, two NBA superstars whose careers and greatness are historically linked, will take center court again in an upcoming HBO Sports documentary, the network announced Tuesday.

The documentary, which will debut next March on the eve of March Madness, will trace the history of the competition between Bird and Johnson as well as exploring the different cultures that shaped them and gave them their differing, individual styles of play.

“Larry Bird and Magic Johnson are basketball royalty,” said HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg. “Their accomplishments speak for themselves at every level, but their intersecting back stories are just as rich and compelling as their championship performances.”

Both Bird and Johnson grew up in the Midwest and both led their universities to the 1979 NCAA Championship game.  In the NBA, Bird’s Celtics and Johnson’s Lakers battled throughout the 1980s in some of the fiercest, most-storied competition in the league’s history.

The HBO special features interviews with Pat Riley, who coached the Lakers in the ‘80s, and teammates Kevin McHale, Cedric Maxwell and Michael Cooper, in addition to Bird and Johnson themselves. Journalists Bryant Gumbel, Jackie MacMullan, Charles Pierce and Steve Springer are also among those interviewed.

The documentary is executive produced by Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein and produced by Ezra Edelman.

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