The abilities of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird that permanently altered the NBA

Bravo to David Stern for his ingenious marketing plan that transformed the NBA brand with spectacular passing.

Magic Johnson and Larry Bird elevated the NBA in the 1980s and prevented the league from going bankrupt. The NBA’s most entertaining performance featured two superstars representing two famous franchises: the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.


Additionally, it was the ideal chance for former NBA Commissioner David Stern to alter the league’s marketing plan. He achieved this by concentrating on a technique that made Magic and Bird the two greatest basketball players.


Their selfless wish to pass the ball around

Stern wanted to highlight Magic and Bird’s passing abilities, which seemed to be most appreciated by their teammates and supporters, despite their amazing game-winning performances under duress, their versatility as scorers, and their ability to lead their team to victory every single day


In order to keep viewers interested, the commissioner made sure to record every amazing moment of Magic and Larry’s passing and air it on national television. This increased viewership for the NBA and elevated the Bird-Johnson rivalry to a must-watch event.


Steve Kerr said, “To me, that was sort of the apex of NBA fandom in my lifetime,” on the podcast The Icons with Jackie MacMullan. It turned into a show that had to be seen at that point. Stern is deserving of great praise for this. You first encountered Bird and Magic during football game advertising. A new and unique Converse advertisement with Magic Johnson and Bird was shown, Kerr continued.



What distinguished Johnson and Bird from the previous NBA super stars was their pass-first mindset. The emphasis of the game before these superstars entered the NBA was on players who could score, slam with intensity, and compete for the scoring title.


The refreshing image of Johnson and Bird passing the ball together altered not only the game but also the NBA’s strategic marketing approach.


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