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Shawn Kemp says Larry Bird would be James Harden in today's NBA


What if Larry Bird played in today's NBA? How would the Celtics icon compete in what many believe is the deepest pool of talent the NBA has ever seen? According to Shawn Kemp, Bird would dominate.

MVP. Such unfortunate people don’t know Larry Bird to the extent, but he was a slasher when he first came into the game. He had a nice jump shot, but he had a lot of athletic ability. Bird decided to pass the ball, spot-up shooting throughout the years, playing with so many great players, but he was an athletic guy like Magic Johnson when he first came into the game. He’d be MVP today.

Shawn Kemp, Inside Buzz

The thing about Bird is his basketball skills are transferable no matter the playstyle the league gravitates to. Put him in the 60s; he'd be dominant. Have him play through the 00s, and he would thrive. Put him in the NBA today; the outcome would be the same.

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Larry's all-time high basketball IQ, the ability to shoot the ball and make plays for himself as well as for others makes Bird a prototypical all-around forward for today's NBA standards. That's why there's an argument to be made about a Hall-of-Fame forward even taking his game to the next level playing within the present NBA parameters. His former teammate Cedric Maxwell best explained why. "No one would have touched him because of the tight whistles," Max said, "and of course, he could shoot the three.”

There's a certain someone who bases his game on things Maxwell claims would make Bird an even better NBA player in this era than during the 80s. It's a certain someone who Shawn Kemp also compared Larry to, as he believes that's the type of performer Bird would be in the league today. Just keep in mind, some of you won't like the comparison.

I see the parallel drawn by Reign Man. There are many similarities between Larry and James, and that may as well be the type of performer Bird would be in the NBA today. But I would argue Larry would even be a tier above the Rockets superstar. That's how suited today's three-point heavy NBA landscape is for him. And that's how talented he was.

Saying Bird would be James Harden on steroids might be a better way to put it. Just minus the manipulation of the rules and all the traveling The Beard gets away with. When it comes to those, there are no comparisons to No.13.

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