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Jamal Mashburn shares an unforgettable Larry Bird Dream Team story; "Bird got the ball and told him what he was going to do"

Jamal Mashburn will never forget when Larry Bird torched Rodney Rogers in practice
Jamal Mashburn details an unforgettable Larry Bird Dream Team story

Larry Bird made his presence felt during the Dream Team training camps

Legend has it that the late Chuck Daly allowed then-hungry college standouts to beat the 1992 Dream Team. To this day, the famous story is still a timeless hit and is still worth hearing for apparent reasons.

Mashburn didn't know what to expect

Imagine what the outcome would be when a team of youngsters takes on the most outstanding basketball team ever formed in a practice game. Surely, there will be a lot of unforgettable moments.

One of them is a story shared by a former 12-year NBA veteran Jamal Mashburn, one of the select college hoopers who played the Dream Team that year. According to Mashburn, he, along with guys like Chris Webber, Allan Houston, and Rodney Rogers, was given first-hand experience of Larry Bird's trash-talking the very first time they met Larry Legend.

Mashburn said Bird told them, "get some f*****g rest, it's gonna be a long week" on the first day. At the time, "Monster Mash" didn't know what they were in for.

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Practice day came, and Mashburn's team let the Dream Team have it on both ends of the floor. The college kids were winning when all of a sudden, organizers stopped the game, and Mashburn said that's when the word came out that coach Daly let them win.

After the game, everything seemed pretty normal until Rogers said something to Bird. Based on Mashburn's recollection, Rogers told Bird that he hadn't nailed a jumper for years, and Magic Johnson heard it.

"So we lit they a** up and then something happened. We're sitting there , and we get back to the hotel. Rodney Rogers said something to, it's a group of them. It's Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and everybody's shooting the s*** and Rodney Rogers said, 'Hey Larry! You ain't hit a jumper since '84.' Magic heard that s***," Mashburn said on The Players' Tribune.

Bird was hitting every shot

Mashburn and his team headed back to the hotel, thinking it was just cheap trash talk, and Bird didn't take it seriously. However, they were proven wrong the next day.

When the two teams played again, Mashburn said Magic kept feeding the ball to Bird, who had Rogers manning him up. Seemingly fueled by what Rogers had told him, Bird consistently called every move and nailed shot after shot.

"We ain't thinking nothing of it. The next day we came in, Magic Johnson fed Larry Bird the ball probably about eight times in a row down the court. Larry Bird got the ball on Rodney Rogers and everytime he was about to make a move, he told him what he was going to do. [Bird was like] 'One dribble pull-up, going left off glass. Bucket! One dribble, going right. Spin. Shot. Bucket.' He scored nine times or eight times in a row, left the court to go lay down because he couldn't sit on a bench. He had to lay down because of his back and said 'Young fella, look like '84 huh?'," Mashburn recalled.

Mashburn reckoned that it was the time when he realized Bird was a completely different animal and that all the stories about him were real. He was a fierce competitor and an ultimate trash-talker that always wanted to get under the skin of his competition. 

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