Larry Bird’s Extreme Confidence Turned Him Into a 1-Man Show: ‘Get Out of the Way’

Former Boston Celtics great Larry Bird remains one of the NBA’s most influential players. Bird’s dominated the league throughout much of the 1980s behind leading the Celtics to championship success. His stellar play sprouted unfaltering confidence in his ability regardless of the situation.

Larry Bird’s legendary NBA career

Bird spent his 13-year career with the Celtics, where he anchored the franchise’s push back into championship relevancy.

The French Lick native dominated the NBA throughout much of his career, establishing himself as an all-time great. Bird won three NBA titles and two Finals MVP awards in five appearances, earned three regular-season MVP awards, and received 12 All-Star selections and nine All-NBA First Team nods.

His sustained excellence rooted the unwavering self-confidence in his ability, especially in high-leverage game situations.

Larry Bird’s extreme confidence turned him into a 1-man show: ‘Get out of the way’

Bird’s sustained excellence sprouted tremendous internal confidence in his ability.

He especially found comfort in late-game moments as he routinely thrived in under pressure pivotal instances. Former Celtics forward Kevin Gamble recalled Bird’s utmost confidence in the huddle exemplified through an unfiltered response.

“I’ve been in the huddle with him and he’d be like, “Hey man, just give me the f—ing ball and get out of the way,'” Gamble said via The Athletic.

Bird proved on numerous occasions that he shined in high-pressure moments in the playoffs and NBA Finals. Beyond that, his teammates held an unwavering strong belief that he could excel in those situations, which further propelled him forward.

Bird didn’t possess any unique athletic ability, but his innate instinct to make the right play through scoring or passing elevated him to legendary status. He played the game in a manner that earned the respect of his peers, while his trash talking took his league-wide recognition up another notch.

It became a crucial part of his DNA as a player that guided him toward establishing himself as an all-time great. It’s stories such as Gamble’s that further underline the game-changing talent Bird was.

Larry Bird’s illustrious NBA legacy remains strong

Although it’s been nearly three decades since Bird’s last NBA game, his legacy remains strong as ever.

The former Celtics great left an enduring impact that lifted the league to heights it hadn’t reached before. Bird sits as one of the gold standards for excellence that many of the game’s best players aspire to achieve.

He helped set the bar for the generations of NBA talent that followed him. Bird’s presence over the league has waned since stepping down from his front office position with the Indiana Pacers, but he’s still recognized as one of the most influential players.

“He’s one of the greatest players to ever play the game,” LeBron James said in December 2017. “Kid from French Lick. Boston. And one of the few guys that ever be in a 3-point contest and shoot with a warm-up shirt on. And, but just his like, he played until he couldn’t play no more. Obviously, we know that. He just played until he literally couldn’t play the game no more. He gave everything he had.

“And for young guys that don’t know him, they think of Larry Bird as a jump shooter. But he was so much more than that. He was a passer. He averaged double-digit rebounds. He defended. He took charges. And it’s just straight up complete basketball player and me as a small forward, Scottie (Pippen), Bird, Doc (Julius Irving), George Gervin, the guys I kind of looked up to being a small forward.”

Beyond that, Bird will always remain a key part of shaping the NBA into what is become.

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