Larry Bird and Magic Johnson accept the Lifetime Achievement Awards onstage during the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on TNT at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner Sports)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — This year's NBA Lifetime Achievement Award went to a pair of Celtics-Lakers rivals and old friends—Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
Bird stepped right to the mic.
"I'll go first, get back there and be quiet," Bird said, before handing over his trophy and saying, "Hold this for me."
"Retirement is great for you, because you never talked this long," Johnson joked in return.
Magic teased back, but remains grateful to Bird.
"I think we pushed each other to greatness," Johnson said. "Every day I watched your box score, and I said, 'Man, he had a high triple-double.' I always wanted to be just where you were, so thank you for pushing me, and I hope I did the same for you."
Bird also had one last message.
"You see these old, broken-down NBA players talking about their era, and how great they were back then, and the players today are not as good as they were back then," Bird said. "That's crazy, man. I mean, it's just amazing how these guys are playing the game today, and I couldn't be more prouder of 'em. The game's in a good place, and what I tell all these young players coming in today is, keep the game the way you found it, and it can go on for generations to come."
WBZ NewsRadio's Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) reports