Larry Bird provides clear evidence legendary 1984 NBA Finals were rigged and that David Stern forced Celtics to play Game 7 vs Magic Johnson’s Lakers for money

Larry Bird provides clear evidence legendary 1984 NBA Finals were rigged and that David Stern forced Celtics to play Game 7 vs Magic Johnson’s Lakers for money

Larry Bird is one of the greatest basketball players and an undisputed Boston legend.

But while the NBA is a global sport in 2024 and Game 1 of the Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Celtics and will be watched across the world, things were much different for the league in the early 1980s.

Michael Jordan hadn’t entered The Association.

Major League Baseball was still America’s most popular sport.

The NFL was on the rise.

Then there was the fact that the NBA was desperate for increased TV ratings and fan relevance.

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Enter Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, Bird and a fierce Los Angeles Lakers vs Celtics rivalry that still inspires passion 40 years later.

“The trophies and the rings and all that didn’t matter. It was all about beating the Lakers and beating Earvin,” Bird said. “That’s all that mattered.”

 

Johnson’s Lakers won it all against Philadelphia in 1982, then fell to Moses Malone, Julius Erving and the 76ers in the Finals a year later.

In 1984, the NBA’s first big stage was set.

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers defined basketball for a generation of fansCredit: Getty

Johnson’s Lakers vs Bird’s Celtics for a shining trophy.

Game 1 went to Los Angeles.

 

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Game 2 was won by Boston.

Game 3 was claimed by the Lakers.

Game 4 saw Bird grab 21 rebounds while the Celtics evened the series at 2-2 with a tough 129-125 road victory at The Forum.

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