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'Magic & Bird' were classic rivals

Tuesday night I attended a screening of the new documentary "Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals," which debuts at 8 p.m. Saturday on HBO.

Among the media luminaries in attendance was ESPN's Hannah Storm, who politely declined to speak publicly - for now - about the recent controversy involving Tony Kornheiser criticizing her on-air attire.

What about the documentary itself? I highly recommend it, both for people who lived through the college and NBA rivalries between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson and those too young to remember it.

As usual, HBO has assembled some rarely seen footage - such as Marty Glickman and Red Auerbach calling a game from the 1978 "World Invitational Tournament," during which Bird and Johnson first met and played together.

But by far the most intriguing part of the documentary is the separate sitdown interviews of Johnson and Bird by producer Ezra Edelman.

(I spoke to Edelman Tuesday about his recent trip to Haiti for "Real Sports." But that's another story.)

Johnson and Bird reveal themselves with humor and emotion, and discuss the evolution of their relationship in a way most viewers never will have heard before.

The perspective of middle age has softenend the extremes of each of their younger personalities and in the process made them more human and relatable.

New York Sports