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Sports Then and Now



Greatest Moments in NBA Finals History: 50-26 8

Posted on June 01, 2010 by A.J. Foss

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson combined for many great moments in the NBA Finals.

The NBA Finals begin this week and I have decided to take a look back at the history of the NBA Finals with the 50 greatest moments in NBA Finals history.

In this list, there are multiple moments from one series to make up the top 50.

For example, four of the moments are from the 1984 Finals between the Lakers and the Celtics, while there are three moments from the 1997 Finals between the Bulls and the Jazz.

Here now are moments 50-26 in the countdown of the 50 most memorable moments in NBA Finals history.

50. Game 6 2003 Spurs-Nets
Spurs center Tim Duncan has a near quadruple-double (22 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists, and eight blocked shots) as San Antonio goes on a 19-0 run in the fourth quarter for a 88-77 victory over the New Jersey Nets to clinch the franchise’s second of four championships and send David Robinson out as a champion in his final game.

49. Game 5 1984 Lakers-Celtics
This was the infamous “Heat Game” as both the Lakers and the Celtics had to play the fifth game of this series in oppressive heat as it was 97-degrees in Boston on this day and the Boston Garden had no air conditioning.

The heat did not seem to effect the Celtics as they defeated the Lakers 121-103 thanks to a 34-point, 17-rebound performance from Larry Bird.

48. Game 5 1999 Spurs-Knicks
Point guard Avery Johnson makes the winning basket as he drills a baseline jumper with 47 seconds left to give the San Antonio Spurs a 78-77 win and clinch the first championship in franchise history. Read the rest of this entry →

30 Years Ago: Magic Johnson is the Center of Attention 10

Posted on May 16, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Magic Johnson led the Lakers to the first five titles in the 1980s 30 years ago.

Though he was already known as a glamorous player and NCAA Champion, Magic Johnson’s legacy as an NBA all-time great had its cornerstone in an NBA Finals game played 30 years ago today.

Leading the Philadelphia 76ers three games to two in the NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers were still in a somewhat challenging position as the team headed to Philly without the services of their MVP center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who had been injured in game five and stayed home in Los Angeles to nurse his injured ankle.

The 20-year-old Johnson took up the slack scoring 42 points with 15 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Lakers to to a dominating 123-107 victory.

After that victory, Johnson’s reputation as the leader of “Showtime” was secure and he went on to lead the Lakers to four additional titles during the decade.

Enjoy some of the great moments from the sixth game of the 1980 NBA Finals:

Read the rest of this entry →

Book Review: When The Game Was Ours 2

Posted on December 04, 2009 by Joe Gill

“When The Game Was Ours”

Written by: Larry Bird and Earvin Magic Johnson with Jackie MacMullan

What can I say about this book? For one, I could not put it down.

This is a must read for any sports fan.

This is a must read for any sports fan.

A book has to grab my attention right away or it finds its way to the Land of Lost Toys AND Books.

“When The Game Was Ours” did not find its way to that place. This book brought me back to memories of my youth.

As a child of the 80’s, my fondest sports memories were of Celtics-Lakers on Sunday afternoons.

Bird. McHale. The Chief. Magic. Worthy. Kareem.

These are all names that are interwoven into the fabric of my sports soul.

To say I was excited to read this book is an understatement!

The journey starts with the tandem of Bird and Johnson telling the stories of their childhoods in French Lick and East Lansing. You learn about their high school playing days and how they were courted by the big time college basketball programs.

Bird would choose the powerhouse of Indiana coached by the infamous Bobby Knight and Magic stayed with his hometown school of Michigan State.

You will discover the reasons for Bird’s transition from Indiana to dropping out of school and then being wooed by Indiana State. Bird was very close to cutting his basketball career short.

The rivalry between Magic and Bird would start in college culminating with the 1979 NCAA championship.

This is when Magic and Bird followed each other’s career obsessively.

This is when the rivalry bloomed.

This is when the NBA became relevant again.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Bob Cousy: The Houdini of the Hardwood
      January 31, 2020 | 4:05 pm
      Bob Cousy

      As we reach the halfway point of the NBA season, we recognize as the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month the first in a long line of superstars to play for the Boston Celtics.

      Before there was Bill Russell and Larry Bird, the Boston Celtics were powered by a 6-foot-1 inch guard from Holy Cross. Bob Cousy was the on-the-court leader for the Celtics in the era during which they emerged as a basketball power.

      Read more »

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