The 1980s are known as "The Golden Age" for the National Basketball Association. It is the greatest decade in the history of the association without question. The 80s saw the arrival of Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. "Magic" and Bird instantly developed a bitter rivalry that the NBA capitalized on and it propelled the league's popularity to heights that it had never come close to reaching before. This was the turning point of the NBAs existence, and subsequently the game would never be the same.
The NBA was everywhere now. "Magic", Jordan and Bird were in countless commercials, billboards and magazines. Every kid in the United States wanted to emulate at least one them. The NBA was evolving (on and off the court) right before everyone's eyes. It was exciting! Players and teams had a genuine disdain toward one another (unlike today's game where all of the players are friends off of the court and hang out in the off-season). It seemed like every foul was hard and every game was physical. Shorts became inappropriately small, but the game became unimaginably big. These are the Top 5 NBA Players of the 1980s: