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“I’m the coldest white boy in the league!” — that time Larry Bird trash-talked Pat Riley

Larry Bird had to holler at Pat Riley to let him know what's up.
New York Knicks head coach Pat Riley and Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird

Pat Riley and Larry Bird

Larry Bird’s trash-talking is legendary - that's why it was not a problem for us to create a list of 10 times Bird was a trash-talking genius. But he took it to a whole other level when he tried to say something to L.A. Lakers coach Pat Riley.

“I’m the coldest white boy in the league!”

Dee Brown played in the NBA for 13 seasons, suiting up for the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, and Orlando Magic. In Boston, he got the chance to play with all-time greats such as Larry Bird, and the shooting guard had another legendary Bird moment he was able to share in an episode of The Amateur’s Edge on 1010XL 92.5 FM JAX Sports Radio.

“I'll tell you the funny one and I’m sure you heard this before. I think we were playing the Lakers and I think they had Kurt Rambis on them and he was killing him. He went over to the bench, he said, ‘Hey Pat Riley, you know you can’t put another white boy on me because I’m the coldest white boy in the league. You better put a brother on me!’

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And there was some truth in it. Bird was an absolute nightmare at his peak, and no other “white boy” could do or achieve what he’d done in the league -- or talk to NBA greats such as Pat Riley in a certain way. This wasn't even the only time Bird had a problem with a ”white boy” guarding him

The thing with the Celtics forward was his ability to make shots no matter how the opponents defended him. He was also deceptively strong and quick for his size. Riley probably should have sent “a brother” to guard him, but Larry Legend was also a good passer. It was pick-your-poison for Celtics’ opponents at that time.

Dee Brown’s iconic Celtics moments

Brown suited up for the Celtics for eight seasons. While he failed to win a title there or make the All-Star game, he did have some iconic moments, especially in the All-Star Dunk contest in 1991, where he attempted a no-look dunk. He won the event, competing against taller competitors Shawn Kemp, Kenny Williams, Rex Chapman, and Kendall Gill, among others. 

Standing at a shade of about six feet, Dee’s dunk contest title could be considered one of the highlights of his career and probably inspired all other guards who dreamt of competing in the event someday.

Unfortunately, Brown suffered a career-altering injury, and he wasn’t the same after it. He tore a cartilage in his left knee, which robbed him of his explosiveness. He may have lost his chance to showcase what he could do on the court, but the special memories he was able to share with the legends and the fans were more than enough to last a lifetime. 

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