Larry Bird showed you don’t have to be the most athletic to become one of the all-time greats. Bird, who played 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics, made up for that lack of athleticism with smarts and one heck of a shooting touch. If there was ever a player who truly made those around him better, it was No. 33. During his playing days, Bird always had a recurring dream that was far from his reality.
Larry Bird talked a lot but backed it all up
There was a certain cockiness to Bird. He was definitely confident, but he was also cocky, and he’d flaunt it. There was the time he asked who was coming in second place before the 3-point contest at the NBA All-Star Game. There was also the time when he told several players how he was going to score on them and then did just that.
Magic Johnson recalled a time when Bird trash-talked him during a game. Johnson was making an appearance at the AOL National Sales Conference and brought up the moment that was shared on a YouTube video. “Dennis Johnson) is coming down with the ball, and he passes to Larry in the corner,” Johnson told the crowd. “My first job was to stop DJ, but now I had to go out and close Larry Bird.
“So as I am running to Larry, he’s talking trash to me. ‘I don’t know why you are running out here.’ Who says that in the middle of the game? He said, ‘I’m going to wait until you get one step away from me, and then I’m going to shot it right in your face.’ So I got one step away, he shoots it, and it’s all net, three-pointer. He turns to me and says, ‘you did all that running for nothing.'”
Bird always had a recurring basketball dream
Bird was one of the best shooters ever to play in the NBA, but one would never know it, judging by the recurring dream he had during his playing days. The former Celtics star said when he slept at night and had dreams, they were always the same one. He could never make a shot.
“Every dream I’ve ever had about basketball, I can never make a basket,” Bird told Dan Patrick during a 1991 ESPN interview. “Never make the basket. I always shoot it but never make it and I don’t know why. I have a lot of dreams about playing basketball, of course, because this is all I do, but I can never make a basket in my dream.
He did say that even though he can’t make a shot, his team always comes out on top in those dreams. “We always win the games, but someone else always makes the shots,” he said.
Bird went on to create ‘Larry Legend’
Bird went on to play 13 years in the NBA and made the most of them. Always hustling and diving all over the court, injuries finally caught up with Bird but not before he had himself a Hall-of-Fame career. He spent all 13 seasons with the Celtics, winning three NBA titles.
Bird was an NBA All-Star in 12 of those 13 seasons. The only time he wasn’t was during the 1988-89 season when injuries limited him to six games. He finished his career with a 24.3 points-per-game average. He also pulled down 10 rebounds per game.
Bird captured three straight MVPs and was named to the All-Defensive Team for three seasons. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998.