Of course, most all of us remember Larry Bird as an all time great player. But I enjoyed watching this short clip of some of his greatness, as it has now been some time since I had seen him play. Some younger posters may only know the name, since it’s been a while now since Bird was playing.
OF COURSE, he could shoot - everybody knows that. But it was the other things he did instinctively that set him apart. Some of these passes take your breath away. Some happen so quickly that you’ll miss them if you blink. He was not as athletically gifted as most NBA players are, but his basketball IQ was off the charts, as was his effort and his competitive spirit.
Also, I had seen the clip of “Bird steals the ball” several times - but the one they show here is a bit longer, and it shows what happened right before that, which I had never seen (or, more likely, forgotten). Boston lost the ball out of bounds with 5 seconds left to play. The other team (Pistons) started to celebrate as if the game was over and scurried to simply inbound the ball and run out the time left on the clock or be fouled. But they forgot they were playing Larry Legend.
Truly worth the watch. Love him or hate him, no one can deny his greatness on the court. If you love basketball, this clip will pump you up.
And I’ll admit I leaned toward the Celtics. That traced back to the Bill Russell/John Havlicek days.
Regardless of who you were pulling for - or, if you were a fan of some other team - those match-ups guaranteed the watcher a series of great plays made by great players. Sports doesn’t get any better than when you have two rival teams, with top-notch players at the zenith of their game playing each other several times over a period of time. That’s what galvanizes fan bases and makes for indelible memories.
Larry Bird was one of the greatest, but a whole lot of reasons drove me towards Lakers. Those Laker wins over Celtics and Bird were the sweetest wins as a fan that I have experienced right below the Razorbacks victories at the highest level. There was this belief that Celtics had higher IQ players for the obvious reasons, similar to how Duke was perceived to higher IQ in the NC game against Arkansas. That made those wins sweeter.
But regardless, I put Bird right after Jabbar and Jordon as the greatest. I am still trying to decide where LeBron fits in,
From where he came from and how hard he had to work at it, Bird is the perfect example of how far desire can take you. It doesn’t hurt being 6’8" tall to boot though.
Still a little disappointed he couldn’t cut it for Bobby Knight.
I always thought the greatest ball handler ever was Pistol Pete and a dang good shooter as well. He may have averaged 50-60 pts a game annually if the 3 pt shot had been in effect then.