Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were ultra-competitive rivals dating back to their college days at Indiana State and Michigan State, respectively. Eventually, a healthy amount of mutual respect allowed the competitors to become friends off the court.
But they were still rivals.
And that rivalry continues on to this day, now apparently spreading to the sculptor commissioned to create a legendary statue of Bird on campus at Indiana State. Before we get to the sculptors vision for his Bird piece, I'm somewhat shocked a statue of Larry Bird isn't already in place on the ISU campus in Terre Haute. I just assumed there was some sort of statue of Bird in every building.
As for competing with Magic, sculptor Bill Wolfe is making sure Magic doesn't quite measure up to Bird in bronze, the same way he felt about the players on the court.
Wolfe said Monday that he wanted to be sure that Bird's statue was taller than any of his longtime basketball nemesis and now friend, Magic Johnson, who played for Michigan State University as well as the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers.
"I don't have anything against Magic," Wolfe said.
"Larry is just better," Wolfe and Jack Fox, director of development for the Indiana State University Foundation, said in unison at Wolfe's studio on Ohio Street in Terre Haute.