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Celtics Legend Larry Bird Refused to Call Michael Jordan the Best NBA Player Only Due to 1 Huge Rival

It didn’t take long for Michael Jordan to assert himself as the best player in the NBA. The ten-time scoring champion had all the weapons to qualify as the man on the top. However, many legends weren’t ready to let go of their hold just yet. A legendary rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird was diminishing at this time. But until his last season in the NBA, Bird didn’t accept Jordan to be the best mainly because of his greatest rival.

The matchup between the and is one of sports most popular rivalries. Johnson and Bird were two of the pioneers in this legendary rivalry. In the , the two most successful franchises in league history met in the NBA finals three times over their illustrious careers. Their impact shaped the NBA and made it a household league for basketball fans around the league. However, outside the rivalry, they were able to forge a bond that couldn’t be broken.

Hence, even when it was the era of , the Hick from French Lick to see him as the best. His feelings towards the commander of Showtime Lakers, Magic Johnson surpassed his ability to see reality.

Larry Bird won’t accept Michael Jordan as the best

Bird was in his final season, the rivalry between him and Johnson had lost the buzz. However, it also gave them time to analyze the impact their battles had on the game. There came a time His Airness left Larry Legend calling him when he scored 63 points against the Celtics. However, despite the mighty praise, he claimed to have never seen anyone better than Magic Johnson.

The nostalgic element stuck with him until the final season. Johnson and Bird were the only players with an NBA championship and MVP. MJ had yet to enter his name into the elite list. Hence, it only added to Bird’s final conclusion to rank Magic as the best. But it was their generational rivalry that became the determining factor. Their names are attached together in the history books forever.

However, in just a matter of one year, Michael Jordan turned even the Celtics great into a believer. He won his first of six championships in 1991 and then became the face of the iconic 1992 Dream Team. It was here that both Magic Johnson and Larry Bird would relinquish their title of best and pass it on the Air Jordan. The two NBA all-time greats had their time and revolutionized basketball forever.

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