IMDb > Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals (2010) (TV)

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An exploration of the fierce rivalry between NBA superstars Larry Bird and Magic Johnson during their decade of dominance. | Add synopsis »
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
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  (in credits order)

Magic Johnson ... Himself

Larry Bird ... Himself
Steve Springer ... Himself - LA Times
Evelyn Johnson ... Herself - Sister
George Fox ... Himself - High School Coach

Bryant Gumbel ... Himself
Rick Robey ... Himself
Mark Bird ... Himself
Jim Jones ... Himself - High School Coach

Bill Russell ... Himself (archive footage)
Jerry West ... Himself (archive footage)
Charles Pierce ... Himself - Boston Globe (as Charles P. Pierce)
Cedric 'Cornbread' Maxwell ... Himself
Michael Cooper ... Himself

Arsenio Hall ... Himself

Pat Riley ... Himself
Ted Shaker ... Himself

Brent Musburger ... Himself
Jerry Sichting ... Himself
Chuck Klosterman

Dennis Rodman ... Himself (archive footage)
Isaiah Thomas ... Himself (archive footage)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ... Himself (archive footage)
Dan Dyrek ... Himself - Orthopedic Therapist
Kevin McHale ... Himself

Charles Barkley ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

George Bush ... Himself (archive footage)

Walter Cronkite ... Himself (archive footage)
Jackie MacMullan ... Jackie MacMullan

Ronald Reagan ... Himself (archive footage)
Chris Wallace ... Himself (archive footage)
Dick Schaap ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Ezra Edelman 
Writing credits
Aaron Cohen 

Charles Olivier 

Produced by
Rick Bernstein .... executive producer
Ezra Edelman .... producer
Ross Greenburg .... executive producer
Joe Lavine .... senior producer
Rahul Rohatgi .... associate producer
Original Music by
Gary Lionelli 
Cinematography by
Samson Chan (director of photography)
Rob Newman (director of photography)
Thom Stukas (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Charles Olivier 
Production Management
Holly Peterman .... production manager
Art Department
Terri Finaro .... graphics
Heather Steckley .... graphics: desktop
Angela Tyler .... graphics: desktop
Sound Department
Jason Fox .... audio editor (as Jason N. Fox)
Camera and Electrical Department
Frank Baglino .... additional interview camera
Mark Berg .... additional interview camera
Tom Fahey .... additional interview camera
Warren Jones .... additional interview camera
Animation Department
Aaron Kent .... animation
Editorial Department
Ultan Byrne .... on-line editor
Phillip Chalmers .... on-line editor
Other crew
Vinnie Cintolo .... production support
Marquis Daisy .... production associate
Tripp Dixon .... creative director
George Fox .... archive source
Suzanne Glickman .... clearances
Arsenio Hall .... source: photos
Gary Holland .... source: photos
Christine Johnson .... source: photos
Joseph Keyes .... production secretary
Nicole Little .... production support
Liev Schreiber .... narrator
Susanna Schwartz .... clearances
Max Segal .... clearances
Florence Zissler .... production support
Mary Bahl .... special thanks
Paul Beatty .... special thanks
David Benner .... special thanks
Linda Bird .... special thanks
Perry Crowell .... special thanks
Seth Davis .... special thanks
Tommy Heinshohn .... special thanks
Fred Heumann .... special thanks
Ice Cube .... special thanks
Jill Leone .... special thanks
Brent Musburger .... special thanks
Lon Rosen .... special thanks
Dick Stockton .... special thanks
Marla A. Watson .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

USA:85 min


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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Wow, 3 April 2010
Author: Ed from Philly

As a basketball fan and knowing that HBO does an excellent job with documentaries, I had high expectations for this, and it certainly didn't disappoint.

Born in 1981, I never fully appreciated the rivalry as it was happening, but this certainly put it in perspective. It covers every intricacy of both the rivalry and the two men as individuals. After viewing it I'm not sure that there is any story in the history of sports that's as unique and special as Bird and Magic.

It started in 1979 with the NCAA championship and continued on to the NBA for several years.

On one hand you have Bird, the introverted type-A personality from Indiana; on the other you have Magic, the happy-go-lucky extrovert. The two men couldn't be more different personality-wise. So naturally in the early stages of the rivalry they had every reason to dislike each other. Yet as things progressed and as they found out more about each other, the relationship softened. For all their differences, they were eerily similar on the court and because of that there was a deep-rooted respect. Things really started to change when they got together to shoot a commercial for Converse at Bird's home in Indiana. And when Magic first announced he had HIV, Bird was one of the first people to reach out to him. It's obvious how much that meant to Magic.

I believe that every professional athlete can learn so much from both of these guys. The respect they have for the game and for each other represents the greatness of sports. It's really what it's all about and this documentary captures it like nothing else I've ever seen. Brilliantly done.

I also found it amazing how much pain Bird was in during the latter stages of his career. Yet he kept toughing it out game after game, season after season. You'd be hard pressed to find any one who'd do that in today's game.

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