The fight between Larry Bird and Julis Erving is most definitely one of the most notable and iconic altercations ever in NBA history. The fact two superstars got into it and threw punches shocked many fans, but Bird's teammate Robert Parish was not surprised things escalated.
It might have only been a 1984 early regular-season game, but the rivalry between the Celtics and the Sixers was alive and in full effect. The battle between the two superstar small forwards was in the center of attention, but Bird was torching Dr. J.
Bird had 42 points as opposed to Erving's 6 points, and being the notorious trash-talker, he is, Larry was all in Julius's ear. That escalated things, with the two getting into a punching match, both benches getting cleared, and causing all-out mayhem.
Robert Parish, who was Bird's long-time teammate and in that game, spoke about the infamous fight, surprisingly sharing he would have done the same thing in Dr. J's position:
"He had probably one of his worst basketball outings ever at the most inopportune time. Larry constantly reminded him of it...If you heard what Larry said to him, you'd understand why. And we all know Larry is legendary at trash-talking...Oh, man, the trash-talking. Oh my goodness. I would've threw a punch if it was me."
Robert Parish, 957 The Game
If someone is known for being a savage and out-of-line trash taker, it's "Larry Legend." The Celtics legend was unstoppable on the court and full of coolness, and his demeanor followed his skill on the court. So when he was torching a legend like Julius Erving, Larry decided to go even past his usual talk and definitely disrespect The Doctor.
Erving, being the legend he is, just had to defend his pride and respond violently. If Bird's teammate and friend in Parish even thinks Larry went overboard with his words, you can't help but justify Erving's reaction. But in the end, Larry got the last laugh, getting the win with a dominant individual showing.