Skip to main content

The reason Shaquille O'Neal used to hate Larry Bird

Shaquille-O'Neal-Larry-Bird

As much as he is iconic, Larry Bird can be talked about as relatively underrated, as his unbelievable run in the '80s is often overlooked and in the shadow of the careers of other greats like Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson. But don't get it twisted, Bird is one of the best basketball players ever, and everybody who faced him on the court is aware of that.

On an Open Court segment that revolved around maybe three of the most notorious NBA players in history: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird, the crew gave their thoughts on the three and memories of facing them or watching them. Another NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal had a fascinating take on how he saw Larry Bird.

"I really never had the chance to play against Larry Bird but I actually used to hate Larry Bird. I was sort of jealous of him or something because he was a regular guy who did everything. He shot it in your face, he had the fadeaway. One time, I was watching a game, and he was falling out of bounds and he shot that thing over the backboard and I was like… I thought most of what he did was luck but as I got old and kept watching I knew it was skill. For him to have his name in so many categories with Magic and Michael Jordan says how great of a player he was."

Shaquille O'Neal, Open Court

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Shaq shared the opinion of many non-NBA players at the time, who simply couldn't believe a player like Bird with no impressive psychical attributes could dominate the game so easily due to his skill. At the time, athletic phenoms were thriving in the league, and Bird was the odd man out showing something completely different. Unfortunately for Shaq, he never got to face Bird, as he just entered the NBA when Bird retired. But he still learned a valuable lesson from his peers, who convinced him that man was the real deal - despite his off days' diet.

Dominique Wilkins shares his Mount Rushmore of NBA dunkers

Dominique Wilkins shares his Mount Rushmore of NBA dunkers

Dominique Wilkins is clearly one of the best dunkers in NBA history, but who does he think is on the same level as he is when it comes to dunking?

The Golden State Warriors & Andrew Wiggins may have just figured out how to slow down Luka Doncic

“He was moving them puppies tonight” - The Golden State Warriors & Andrew Wiggins may have just figured out how to slow down Luka Doncic

The Mavs had no answers for the Warriors' tight defense in Game 1, and Wiggins is a big reason behind that success

Larry Bird shares a trash talking story involving Larry Bird

"You better ask for a double team, bruh" -- John Salley on the time he was tasked with guarding Larry Bird 1-on-1

One jumper later, Salley realized Chuck Daly and the Pistons might need to change their defensive approach on Bird

New Jersey Nets guard Kenny Anderson

Kenny Anderson on his legacy — “Young kids don’t know me too well, but their parents do”

Kenny Anderson doesn't feel the need to explain that he was once one of the best point guards in the game.

magic-johnson-larry-bird-michael-jordan-min

Magic Johnson shares who is the greatest player he ever played against

Magic played against a lot of great players, but one guy particularly stands out!

Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green and Bill Simmons

Jalen Green has a message for Bill Simmons after earning a spot on the All-Rookie first team

As soon as the list of awardees was announced, the first thing Jalen Green did was tweet a special shoutout to Bill Simmons.