Larry Bird won three consecutive three-point contests, but none was more dramatic than the one that took place at the Chicago Stadium in 1988. After making it to the second round, Bird found his rhythm and delivered one of the most memorable shooting performances ever seen in three-point contest history.
His contest was so spectacular that he did it in his Boston Celtics top but also because of his second-round performance when he scored 23 points. The stadium gave him a standing ovation, and they were not the only ones who were impressed by Bird’s shooting ability. Allowing himself a small smile, the rarely-satisfied Bird sat between Ainge and Schrempf, knowing he was back in the finals.
Michael Jordan, who was watching the contest in the backstage with reporters, couldn’t believe what he saw. Bird was hitting one shot after the other, and you could see on Jordan’s face this is something he doesn’t experience every day despite being one of the best players in the NBA. The most surprising thing for Jordan was that Bird didn’t even take his top off during the entire contest.
“He didn’t take off his top yet. I’d hate to see when he takes off his top. I tell you, it’s hard to shoot after Bird just made 23.”
Bird would face off against Dale Ellis in the final round and delivered an excellent shooting performance that won him the contest. They were both tied, and with five seconds left on the clock, Bird released the money ball that went in, and he celebrated his victory by pointing his right index finger in the air.