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Indiana State won’t let the Bird-Magic rivalry die


The rivalry between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson is, more or less, over.

From heated rivals on the two most dominant teams in the NBA in the 1980’s, Bird and Magic eventually became friends and co-captains on the 1992 Dream Team.

But where the rivalry started was back in college, when Bird -- who spent only weeks at Indiana -- led the Sycamores of Indiana State to the 1979 NCAA title game, where they would eventually lose to Magic and his Michigan State Spartans.

And while the rest of us have accepted the fact that any rivalry between two of the greatest to ever play the game is nothing more than a memory that pops up on NBAtv from time-to-time, the good folks at Indiana State’s Terre Haute campus aren’t yet ready to put the rivalry to rest.

You see, after eight years of trying, plans are finally in motion to put a statue of Larry Bird outside of ISU’s Hulman Center. The statue will be 15 feet tall, more than twice Bird’s actual height, for one reason and one reason only.
From the Tribune-Star:

Wolfe said Monday that he wanted to be sure that Bird’s statue was taller than any of his longtime basketball nemesis and now friend, Magic Johnson, who played for Michigan State University as well as the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers.

“I don’t have anything against Magic,” Wolfe said.

“Larry is just better,” Wolfe and Jack Fox, director of development for the Indiana State University Foundation, said in unison at Wolfe’s studio on Ohio Street in Terre Haute.

“I think [the statue] will be an interesting point of conversation for Larry and Magic when they see each other again,” Fox added.

That’s awesome.

(Photo credit: Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza)

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.