This is a category where, let’s say, Magic and Bird wanted it their way.
Magic wasn’t always on board with the Lakers coach. In 1981, in the early part of Paul Westhead’s third season with the Lakers, the team was struggling despite having many stars, and Magic demanded a trade because he "wasn’t having any fun." Soon after that, the Lakers unloaded Westhead and elevated Pat Riley as coach.
It was like turning on a light switch. Riley introduced a fast-paced tempo that kicked off the "Showtime" era, and Magic was suddenly on board. "Before we weren't getting any easy baskets,"said Johnson. "Now we're getting the layups, the back-door plays, the fast break. That's the way it should be. If we don't play like this, we're just an average team."
Bird, on the other hand, supported coaches like Bill Fitch, who was a tough disciplinarian and demanded a lot from players, even though many of Bird’s teammates did not get along with Fitch.
K.C. Jones came in and brought a more easygoing technique that Bird adapted to, but he made it clear to Jones who gets the ball when it was crunch time. One time in a game against Portland in the closing moments, Jones recalled, "I started to set up a play for Max (Cedric Maxwell), but Larry said, "To hell with that, give me the ball."
And guess what happened? Bird made the game-winning shot.
Edge: Pick 'em