Even though the rivalry is more than 20 years old, even though Larry Bird and Ervin Johnson are friends — Bird and the “Magic” persona slightly less so — I love that Bird vs. Magic is still a dividing line.
At Indiana State, Larry Bird’s alma mater, where he took the school to its only NCAA title game, you can guess which side of the debate they fall on.
Sculptor Bill Wolfe said he wants to make sure Bird’s statue is taller than those of Magic Johnson, whose Michigan State team beat Bird’s Indiana State team in the 1979 NCAA championship game.
‘‘I don’t have anything against Magic,’’ Wolfe said.
‘‘Larry is just better,’’ Wolfe then said in unison with Jack Fox, director of development for the Indiana State University Foundation.
Bird deserves a lot of statues. He and Magic resuscitated a sport where the finals were tape-delayed and shown after midnight and turned it into must-see television. They brought the sport into the mainstream and laid a foundation that Michael Jordan built on.
But bigger than Magic’s… I don’t know. Of course, Magic is a baseball fan now…