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YouTube Gold: Boston vs. LA, 1984 Game Seven

What an era for the NBA

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson battle for position under the net
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson battle for position under the net

We’ve talked periodically about the Larry Bird-Magic Johnson rivalry which was ultimately a subset of the Boston Celtics-LA Lakers rivalry which started in the 1960s and has endured to this day.

It may have peaked out in the 1980s though with Bird vs. Magic, two pure 6-9 basketball players from the Midwest.

In 1984, the Celtics had Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Danny Ainge, Dennis Johnson and Gerald Henderson, who famously stole a James Worthy pass in the very same 1984 Finals. Later he had a son, Gerald Jr., who gave Duke fans many thrills.

In 1984, the Celtics were able to force the Lakers out of Showtime and into a more halfcourt game more suited to Bird’s strengths. He was the kind of player who, as the old cliche has it, made everyone better. In his case it was absolutely true because he could get the ball to anyone in scoring position and at almost any time.

Plus he had an amazing connection with a number of his teammates including McHale, Parish and most of all Johnson, who he would later call his best teammate ever.

Anyway, here’s the full Game Seven from the 1984 Finals. After Boston beat up the Lakers in this series, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his Lakers teammates vowed to muscle up and to never get pushed around like that again. They won 4-2 in 1985. Meanwhile, in Chicago, a young rising superstar was about to take over the league.