Bird, Magic and Slash
Some quick highlights of the presser:
***Bird says he's never watched the 1979 Indiana State-Michigan State game, in which Magic's Spartans beat Bird's Sycamores.
"Why?" he asked, rhetorically. "Truthfully, I can't remember a lot of games I've played in."
Magic, of course, has watched it quite a bit.
"I watch it enough for him and I," he said, with his trademark smile.
"Every day," chirped in Bird.
"Every day, that's right."
"Especially if he knows he's gonna be with me."
"You know, Larry is so competitive, just like I am. I mean, if he had won it, trust me, I wouldn't have watched it, either. Just like I don't watch '84, when the Celtics beat us."
"Or ''85 or '87. I don't remember them years, for some reason."
***Magic called Bird "one of my best friends" and later added, "There would be no Magic without Larry Bird."
***Magic says Tom Izzo and Roy Williams are two of the top three coaches currently in college basketball. The third? Coach K. No mention of Jim Calhoun.
***Magic called new Hall of Fame inductee Michael Jordan "the greatest in the air that I've ever seen, and Larry Bird is the greatest that ever played on the ground, because Larry couldn't jump that high, so … (holding his fingers apart about an inch)."
"It's not like you were flying through the air," Bird noted. "You'd trip over the painted lines."
In other events:
***I'm sitting in my hotel room Sunday night, and outside by the Riverwalk, there's a Fergie concert going on, as part of the Final Four's free concert series. I'm not a Fergie fan (though I hear she's Fergilicious), but it was impossible not to hear the show. Then, I hear her say, "And now, I'd like to welcome on the stage my good friend …" and the opening chords of "Sweet Child O'Mine" break out.
I get off my chair, look out the window and, sure enough, onstage and on the big screen, it's Slash. Pretty wild. I went outside and caught the end of their version of "Barracuda," by Heart.
I was telling a friend not long ago that I had never been to a concert where a big star popped up onstage, unannounced, and jammed. This wasn't exactly Keith Moon sitting in on the bongos with Led Zeppelin in 1977, but it wasn't bad.
***Heading down to courtside to watch the national championship game. Should be fun.