Most of us know Larry Bird as an all-time great and a vicious trash-talker. Over the years, we rarely hear Larry Legend commend his fellow NBA stars, probably because of how intense and competitive players were during his time. However, that doesn’t mean “The Hick from French Lick” doesn’t give credit, especially when it is due.
Three names top Larry Legend’s list
Some may not know, but Bird has a long list of favorite modern-day NBA players. Like some of his fellow legends, Bird’s list also consists of the usual suspects.
Unsurprisingly, Bird’s top three picks play the same position as him and of course, are NBA champions like him. According to the Boston Celtics icon, he loves watching LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.
“A lot of them,” Bird replied when asked to name his favorite players in today’s NBA in a rare Q&A with The Undefeated in 2019. “Obviously, LeBron [James]. I can’t compare him to anybody because he’s so great, just like Michael [Jordan] was. They’re very special, and I don’t know how in hell he stays healthy. But that’s probably one of the great qualities of his game, being able to stay healthy playing that many minutes.”
“Kevin Durant is special,” he continued. “Kawhi Leonard’s run last [season] in the playoffs, unbelievable.”
Being arguably one of the most clutch shooters of all time, Bird also named Golden State Warriors marksman Klay Thompson an honorable mention, mainly because of the Splash Brother’s incredible performance against his native Indiana.
“I am still amazed that Klay Thompson could score 60 points on 11 dribbles [against Indiana],” he added. “There’s just so many of them, you hate to just pick one.”
An old-timer but a huge fan of today’s NBA
In recent times, a host of NBA legends have expressed their disappointment with how the game is being played these days, primarily because of the lack of physicality. Shockingly, Bird, who is also known for being a notably physical player during his time, sees the good thing about it.
“I love the game now, I like where it’s at,” he explained. “I like where it’s going. A lot of people say, ‘Well, they don’t have to guard, you can’t touch anybody.’ Well, yeah, that makes a difference because you can show everybody your skills.”
For sure, the old school NBA vs. new school NBA debate will continue until who knows when. However, it’s always nice to hear a legendary player from the past like Bird appreciates the modern era.