"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Friday, February 19, 2010

Magic & Bird on HBO - plenty of Marquette references

Wednesday evening I attended the premier of Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals by HBO Sports. A red carpet affair with Magic, Doc Rivers, Bill Walton, Jack Nicholson, Dane Cook, Billy Crystal, Barry Bonds, Frank Robinson, and a whole host of other former and current sports figures from across the spectrum.

The 1.5 hour documentary takes you back to the days when the NBA was at it's peak, with two great players on opposite coasts, two opposite styles, east vs west, black vs white, subdued vs style. It brought back great memories for me, a time when the NBA was fun for me and worth watching. I wish I still had those NBA cravings, but I don't any longer. At least not to that level. I rarely watch a game anymore except for a bit of the playoffs. Back then, it was appointment television by the mid '80s.

Having grown up in Los Angeles with the Lakers, they were our team and we hated the Celtics and hated Larry Bird. I wish I had the appreciation for Bird then that I do now. The interview with him is fantastic. What a warrior that guy is...both players were, but Bird was something else. Talk about old school.

It's a movie that I think you will find to be incredibly interesting, humorous and sad, but generally a well put together documentary by HBO sports. It premiers on television on March 6th.

So what does this have to do with Marquette? It struck me while watching it how many Marquette references appear in the documentary that gave it another twist for me.

Marquette graduate Charlie Pierce, a sportswriter for the Boston Globe, plays a significant part throughout the piece with his musings of both players, but particularly from the Boston point of view. This is countered by the Lakers beat writer for the LA Times who offers the west coast view.

There are several newspaper clips showing the top 20 teams in the nation with Marquette highlighted and another that references the top 10 NCAA basketball games in television viewership of all time....MU vs NC State was on the list (the MSU - Indiana State game was the highest in history). There are several other MU references but you need to keep your eyes peeled wide open.

For the basketball fan, you will enjoy this documentary considerably. Even if you are not a NBA fan, this film will take you to a time when everyone was.

1 comment:

Spritefan919737 said...

Sorry but the talent in the NBA is at its highest levels since at least the late '90s and there are tons of good players: LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Anthony, Paul, Howard, D. Williams, Durant, Roy, Nowitzky, S. Curry, T. Evans and many more others. Just about every team has at least a few players worth watching.

Last year's playoffs were some of the most exciting in years. This season is one of the best in recent memory: playoffs races are some of the craziest ever (it's to a point a 3-game losing streak or so could make teams miss the playoffs....check the standings for yourself), several surprising teams and young upcoming players who are coming out. So, as a huge fan of the NBA, it's really frustrating listening to people who don't pay attention to the L. making excuses about not watching it anymore. If you were fine watching the league in the '90s then there's no way you wouldn't be fine watching it now (unless Jordan was the only reason you watched the NBA back in the '90s because of him trascending the sport of basketball itself, which drew a lot of non-fans to watch the games, just like people watch golf only when Tiger is playing). But it's ok. TV ratings are starting to going back up for the NBA again, especially considering ABC had its most watched NBA season since 2003 last year, while TNT and ESPN had their most watched NBA seasons in history in 08-09 (source: Sports Media Watch.com and Sports Business Daily.com). So it just shows people are coming back given the amount of talent the league has right now.

As far as the Larry vs. Magic documentary, I can't wait to watch it. And this comes from a guy who hates both Celtics and Lakers.