Countless stories prove how tremendous and badass Larry Bird was, especially during his playing days with the Boston Celtics. Numerous great trash-talking stories are known to the public, which pretty much showcased why Bird is regarded as one of the best NBA players ever to lace them up. Talent and the pure feel for the game always stay with great players, and it’s the same with Bird, who, even after his career was over, was able to showcase his talent in specific situations.
In one of his older interviews with Slam Magazine, while he was still a member of the Indiana Pacers, Paul George shared what happened in practice one time when Bird came for a visit. He didn’t often come down when the team was practicing, but one time he did, he left everyone in absolute shock. According to Paul George, a ball rolled over to him, and he proceeded to make 15 shots in a row, leaving everyone speechless.
He picked a ball up that had rolled over. He rolled up his sleeves and made about 15 in a row, and just walked out like nothing just happened. It was the craziest thing I’ve seen. We were speechless. We didn’t know whether to keep shooting or just to end the practice. It was sweet, man.Paul George, via Slam Magazine
Early on in his career with the Pacers, Bird was supportive of George, and he was the one who initially drafted him because he saw the potential he might have one day in the NBA. Bird was also his mentor and helped him elevate his game and become one of the most versatile forwards in the NBA.
He’s had a lot of influence. Larry was the first person I really talked to when I was struggling in the Playoffs against Miami. We had at least a one-hour or two-hour phone convo about what I need to improve on, what areas I can get better at. How to attack, how to play within the team. He’s been someone in my corner during my career.Paul George, via Slam Magazine
Bird was a remarkable player who relied on his high basketball IQ and exceptional fundamentals combined with deceptive athleticism. He was always one step ahead of everyone in the game, and the respect he gained around the league comes from situations like the one Paul George described, which proves how talented he was, even after he retired.