Monday, 26th August 2019

Retro Reviews: When the Game Was Ours

Posted on 05. Jul, 2018 by FSM Staff in General Sports, NBA

Retro Reviews: When the Game Was Ours

Reading this book has the same effect as stepping in to a time machine and setting the dial for any year in the 1980’s. Sure, there is some discussion of 1979, the early nineties, and a few events in this century, but for the most part, When the Game Was Ours is a beautifully written sports chronicle anchored in one of the greatest eras in NBA history. There is a beginning and an end to the story of Magic Johnson versus Larry Bird, but it is the middle of the journey that is the highlight of this collaboration written by Johnson, Bird, and sports journalist (as well as Around the Horn alumni) Jackie MacMullan.

The book is easy to follow and alternates between Magic and Bird’s anecdotes. It is a nice treat for sports fans to hear directly from both men about some of the biggest moments in NBA history. Many famous and not so famous names pop up throughout the voyage. Both Magic and Larry are straight forward and pull no punches. This is not one of those “dirt” books however. Besides some disturbing comments Magic makes about Isiah Thomas during the time of his HIV announcement, When the Game Was Ours is relatively drama free.

The impact of Magic and Bird’s rivalry on the struggling NBA in the early 80’s is well documented in this book. Former league commissioner David Stern’s role in turning the NBA’s fortunes around is discussed many times as well. Sports fans will have a new respect for Stern after reading this tale. His intelligence and creativity helped bring the NBA brand back in to the mainstream and his attempts to globalize the league are truly groundbreaking in sports.

There is also talk about Michael Jordan in this book though not as much as one might expect. This should not be too surprising however as this is not his book. When the Game Was Ours is based solely on events experienced mutually between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Those events usually involved the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers, though this book is not exclusive to that storied rivalry. You will bump in to many familiar names and happenings from the last thirty years as you read and everything and everyone will always somehow connect back to Magic and Bird. That is the beauty of this book and this story. Magic and Bird’s fierce rivalry and eventual friendship transcended basketball and had an impact on many aspects of social life.

When the Game Was Ours is highly recommended for both casual and avid readers. You do not have to be a sports fan to appreciate the story that is being told. There is nothing complex or cryptic about Jackie MacMullan’s writing style. She tells a famous tale in simple fashion. There is an accurate account of events and her descriptions often conjured up some of my favorite NBA memories that I had completely forgotten about. Many direct quotes from NBA greats are included as well which is an added bonus. It was nice to get insight from people besides Johnson and Bird when certain topics were being discussed. For 324 pages you will be transported to a time when the game truly belonged to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Some of the highlights of your trip will include:

*1979 NCAA Championship Game between Indiana State and Michigan State

*1984 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers

*1985 “Choose Your Weapon” Converse commercial where the Magic/Bird friendship begins

*1987 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers

*1992 NBA All Star Game in Orlando, Florida where Magic comes back for the first time after announcing he is HIV positive

*1992 Dream Team going for Olympic Gold in Barcelona, Spain

Free Cash for Buying Sports Stuff!

Posted on 01. Jul, 2018 by FSM Staff in General Sports

Free Cash for Buying Sports Stuff!

Friends have been telling me about EBATES for years, but I was always a bit skeptical. Someone is going to give me free money just for shopping? Yeah Right.

But one day, boredom struck and I decided to sign up for EBATES. I received $10 bonus cash just for signing up. Okay – so far so good.

I then took a look at which stores they partner with (which were many). I thought there is no way my beloved Nike is a part of this. It was. Wow. Okay, I’ll give this a shot I thought to myself. I clicked through to and purchased a pair of Nike SB shoes. The next day I got an e-mail from EBATES notifying me I had just earned 7% cash back on the purchase.

A few weeks later I needed a motel room for part of a road trip. So I tried my luck again with EBATES. I clicked through to a Best Western and made my reservation. After my trip (which was awesome), I got an e-mail letting me know I just received 5% cash back on my purchase. Nice!

About a month later, I received my first EBATES cash back check in the mail. Was it life changing money? No. But it was nice to get some spending cash for making purchases I would have made anyway. It was enough for a tank of gas and bite to eat by the way.

So how does EBATES work? Stores pay them a commission for sending people to their websites. EBATES then shares that commission with you. It’s that simple! Additionally, the EBATES site is always letting you know about sales, coupons, and promo codes!

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Jordan’s Dream is Charlotte’s Nightmare

Posted on 18. Mar, 2010 by FSM Staff in General Sports, NBA

Jordan’s Dream is Charlotte’s Nightmare

Michael Jordan recently said that owning the Charlotte Bobcats is a dream come true. Jordan’s dream might very well end up being a nightmare for sports fans in the North Carolina area. Though number twenty-three is considered the greatest basketball player of all time, his greatness has yet to step foot in to the front office.

The running joke amongst NBA insiders is that Michael Jordan makes deals on the golf course which is also where he spends most of his time. The running joke should be that Michael Jordan now owns an NBA franchise.

Just because you want something really bad doesn’t mean you should have it.

Basketball fans in Charlotte deserve better. Let me rephrase that. PROFESSIONAL basketball fans in Charlotte deserve better. Undoubtedly there are those UNC fanatics that are drooling over Michael Jordan and everyone else UNC related who is affiliated with the Bobcats. But what about the true NBA fans? The ones that saw the birth of the Charlotte Hornets and the scrappy duo of Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning. The ones that were teased by Baron Davis and Jamal Mashburn then screwed by BET mogul Robert Johnson?

The Bobcats’ fortunes did not truly turn around until the hiring of Larry Brown as head coach. Michael Jordan gets credit for one great move and no more. It wasn’t until Brown’s arrival that the team started to add solid role players (the kind you need to win). This is no coincidence as Larry Brown has Michael Jordan’s ear and Jordan is listening.

I wish I could be a fly in the head of a Bobcats fan. Close your eyes and think. Better yet, close your eyes and dream about it. Momentum is building and the team is changing for the better. NBA fans in Charlotte are getting anxious. They are afraid to have hope. It’s looking like the Bobcats will make the playoffs for the first time ever. This is great. Finally things are looking up again. Michael no! Now is not the time. Michael please. You know how Larry gets. He gets itchin’ to move on. We only have a few years left with him and we need to focus on doing some damage in the East. Do you understand? When Larry leaves you’ll be in charge again. No more great suggestions from coach. It will be back to drafting Adam Morrison and trading for Vladimir Radmonovic. Back to trying to get big money players who won’t help us like Jason Richardson. Oh my Michael. It might be worse than I thought….you’ll be the owner too…I think I just had a nightmare.