Before LeBron James showed up, many considered Larry Bird the greatest Small Forward in NBA history. Bird led the Boston Celtics to three NBA titles in the 1980s, but it was his approach to the game that truly landed him the nickname "Larry Legend." To commemorate Bird's career achievements, a Larry Bird Museum is planning to open sometime in 2022. According to a report from BasketballNews.com, organizers are working hard to obtain memorabilia for display from both fans and Larry Legend himself.
"The museum will be part of the new Terre Haute Convention Center, which remains under construction with an anticipated completion date of March 2022. It will include items donated by Bird and others from his career with the Boston Celtics, Indiana State University and the U.S. Olympic team."
Basketball fans should be thrilled at the idea of a Larry Bird Museum because apart from Michael Jordan, I can't think of anyone who played with the same bold confidence Bird had, with the stories of opponents to prove it. Needless to say, it will be nice to see all Larry's jerseys from back in the day, but that museum will not be complete without screens playing some of Bird's greatest hits. To get the party started, we recount a few of Larry Legend's most memorable plays.
That time "Larry Legend" played a game left-handed.
Bird was so confident in his abilities that one game against the Portland Trail Blazers, he told his teammates before the game that he was going to play using only his left hand. No one ever even attempted to do this because not only was it crazy to eliminate the skills of your dominant hand in your repertoire, it was outright disrespectful. However, as Larry probably expected, he finished the game with 47 points, 14 rebounds, and eleven assists while hitting the game-winner to give Boston a 120-119 victory over Portland. Don't believe it? See for yourself.
That time Bird scored 60 and got the opposing team cheering for him.
Larry Legend loved to compete against the best players in the game, with Dominique Wilkins of the Atlanta Hawks being one of Bird's favorite adversaries. Dominique, or Nique, was nicknamed "The Human Highlight Film," but in one of their games against the Celtics, Bird was the one drawing oos and aahs from the crowd. Bird went on to score 60 against Dominique and the Hawks. He was not getting above the rim like Nique but the people in the building got off their seats for Bird, including some of the Hawks' players (which had serious consequences.)
That time Bird told Xavier McDaniel precisely what he was going to do to him.
Remember that bold confidence I was talking about earlier? Well, Larry let his opponents in on some of that by way of his trash talking. Bird loved to get in opponents' heads by talking trash, but of all his quotable quotes, his demoralizing words to Xavier McDaniel take the cake. McDaniel was one of the best defenders in the league at that time, but Bird wasn't buying it. He told McDaniel the spot where he was going to catch the ball and how he would drain the game-winner over him.
"I'm going to get the ball right here, and shoot it right in your face to win the game."
In true Larry fashion, he talked the talk, then walked the walk, hitting the game-winner over McDaniel and another teammate who came to double. This is also the time when Bird famously said to coach KC Jones in a timeout to just "give me the ball and get out of the way." Relive this moment and other epic trash-talking moments from Larry Legend via the link below.