During a Converse commercial shoot, Larry Bird spoke of Magic Johnson visiting his house, “I had my brothers there, I was going to fight him.”

Bird acknowledged that his mother and brothers had a soft spot for the LA Lakers guard.

Known as the best college basketball players, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were associated with each other ever since their epic match in the 1979 NCAA Championship Game. Their rivalry only grew more intense as they made the move to the NBA and took on leadership positions on two of the most illustrious teams in the league.

But it wasn’t until they worked together on a Converse ad that they seemed to overcome their differences and gain a fresh perspective on one another.


Bird jokingly stated that he intended to beat Magic.

During the actual shoot, the superstars remained silent from one another, but Bird stunned Magic by inviting Johnson to lunch at his house.


Even though the move would sound strange coming from a tough rival, the three-time NBA champion gave an iconic sarcastic response when interviewer Dave Letterman questioned him about his motivation, hinting that he intended to confront the LA Lakers guard.

That commercial created an enduring friendship.

Johnson acknowledged that he had been hesitant to visit Bird’s home at first and had planned to eat lunch alone himself in his trailer, but that all changed when Larry’s mother gave him a big hug at the door. Her admission that he was her favorite player also immediately eased any tension and left Johnson feeling warm and fuzzy.

Over a lunch, Magic and Larry discovered they had more in common than they had previously realized. They talked about each other’s modest beginnings and similar ideals. The former No. 1 pick eventually acknowledged that day that a new sense of brotherhood had developed between them as a result of this revelation.

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