NBA to honor Magic Johnson and Larry Bird with a lifetime achievement award

Dec 13, 2009 - Larry Bird battles for a rebound against “Magic’’ Johnson during a 1984 NBA Finals
The iconic photo of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson battling for rebounding position during the 1984 NBA Finals.
(Andy Bernstein / NBAE / Getty Images)

The NBA will honor Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and Celtics legend Larry Bird with a lifetime achievement award at the league’s awards show, the NBA announced Wednesday.

Johnson’s and Bird’s intertwined legacies, which began when they met in the NCAA championship game in 1979 and evolved during their professional careers, continue at the NBA Awards on June 24 in Los Angeles.

Johnson and Bird met three times in the championship series, starting in 1984, and the Lakers won two of those meetings. The Lakers went to eight NBA Finals in the 1980s and won five titles. The Boston Celtics were in five NBA Finals during that decade and won three championships.

It’s the third time the league will host an end-of-the-season awards show. Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson were previously given lifetime achievement awards.


The awards show will be held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica and will be televised on TNT.

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