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Michael Cooper was humbled by Larry Bird's sentiment towards him -“Of all the accolades that you can win, or awards, that’s probably the one I cherish the most”

Michael Cooper recently sat down with Byron Scott to discuss Larry Bird’s assessment of his defense
Michael Cooper

Michael Cooper

With each passing season, the legend of Boston Celtics' great Larry Bird continues to grow. Bird has been retired for three decades now, but it doesn't stop his legacy from being further cemented in the memory of NBA fans worldwide as stories of his greatness continue to surface.

Cooper is flattered by Bird's comments about his defense

Recently on his podcast, former Los Angeles Lakers guard Byron Scott shared one of these stories with special guest Michael Cooper, highlighting the respect Bird had for Cooper as a defensive stopper.

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Scott: "To this day, one of the greatest players in our generation, you know, Larry Legend, Larry Bird says every time anybody talks to him about guys who guarded him back in the 80s, who was the best. He doesn't even hesitate to say Michael Cooper was the best defensive player he ever played against, what do you think about that coming from a guy like Larry?"

Cooper: "Of all the accolades that you can win, or awards or anything like that's probably the one I cherish the most. But what I always tell people about that is you guys, you, Magic, Worthy, Kareem I was only as good as you guys were giving me my help. Larry got by me several times, but you were always there B Scott, Magic was always there so it was like me and you tag teaming on these great scorers. The job that I did wouldn't have been great without you guys my teammates."

Cooper was one of the best wing defenders in the NBA

Cooper was humble in his response, but his defensive stewardess during his playing days was one of the primary reasons why the "Showtime" Lakers were so successful in the 80s.

Cooper was handy on the offensive also, chipping in 9 points and dishing 4.2 assists per game in limited touches alongside the dynamic duo Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The Celtics and the Lakers shared the most storied rivalry in NBA history, and outside of their battles on the hardwood, the respect and admiration they had off the floor set an example for what every great rivalry in sports should be. That rivalry was especially big in the 80's when it pretty much saved the NBA, as the Celtics and Lakers met up 3 times in the NBA Finals while establishing themselves as one of the most iconic teams in league history. 

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