Set your DVR to record Magic vs. Bird: A Courtship of Rivals, the understated and straight-forward documentary produced by HBO, airing continuously this month.
Presented in the fashion of a 60 Minutes/NPR approach, there are few frills – no jazzy soundtrack, no flashy highlight compendium, just the story of the greatest individual rivalry in sports. The dichotomy between the Rivals is well-documented, but the intimacy and openness of both Bird and Magic provides a wonderful insight into the psyches, motivations and mentalities of both Icons. Magic is candid about everything from his dual personas of Earvin and “Magic” to his exploits with women (Jerry Buss quite literally indoctrinated Magic with the Playboy lifestyle); Bird was honest about his father’s suicide and its affect on his life & career, as well as his loss of love for the game when he found out Magic was HIV-positive.
This all is presented, of course, against the backdrop of ‘black vs. white,’ ‘west vs. east,’ ‘showtime vs. lunchpail.’ Amazing slice of Americana personified on a basketball court. Again, set your DVR – showtimes (all times PST) HERE.