As the 40th anniversary of the rookie season of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson approached, I wanted to write an article or two to commemorate that momentous 1979-80 season. In parallel, I had also been toying with the idea of producing an updated version of the Pride and Passion book/abstract that I wrote in 2014; it had focused on the NBA between 1979 and 1987, a period that I had dubbed the “80s Era.”

But the organization of Pride and Passion made it difficult to add the type of content I had in mind, and some of my planned additions – such as more complete box scores for games between the Celtics, Lakers and 76ers – became available elsewhere and did not justify the creation of a second edition. Instead, I will be posting a series of articles on this part of the site, covering the same time period but with a sharper focus. Some, like the pieces on Bird and Magic during their rookie year, will be 99% new content. Others will be based on excerpts from my earlier work (and labeled as such) that have been refreshed and updated.


  • Part Six: 1980-81 Season Review
  • Part Five: Celtics Rally to Win 1981 East Finals
  • Part Four: 1979-80 Season Review
  • Part Three: The 1979-80 Playoffs – April/May 1980
  • Part Two: Bird & Magic Meet Again – December 1979/January 1980
  • Part One: Opening Weekend – October 1979
  • Introduction: The 80s Era Defined