by Ryne NelsonWhen the Game Was Ours

For some people, the past defines them. They talk about the times of yesteryear like they were civilization’s greatest moments. Some people choose to remember the past so fondly that they barely seem to be present. Not only do these people make for poor company (‘Oh, it’s this old story again…’), but they often remember events to be more grandiose than what they were.

No doubt, the majority of reporters and fans who witnessed the 1980s NBA agree, it was Golden Era for the League and Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, in no small part, were the heart and soul of that Era. And even if you didn’t experience the depth of rivalries and talent during that time, you’ve surely heard your fair share about it.

But very few have heard the stories straight from the era’s two biggest stars. Rest assured, this isn’t like listening to the same old story for the 52nd time.

If you put two TVs next to one another — one playing the 1987 Finals and the other playing the 2009 Finals — there would be major differences, and we’re not just talking about visual broadcast quality and camera angles! Clearly, basketball has changed in the past 20 years. The product certainly is different, but still full of instances ‘Where Amazing Happens’ (please remove these memories from history though, please!).

I believe the keys to a successful future for the NBA lie in its past. Books like When the Game Was Ours provide not only a unique perspective into a ‘Golden’ NBA landscape, but also inspiration and direction for the future. So, with that thought in mind, I pose this question: What aspects of the Magic and Larry Era — the 1980s and the early 90s — could improve today’s NBA?

Based on the responses, we will choose three winners to receive a hardcover, first edition book signed by Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Have at it!