Larry Bird Unabashedly Trash Talked Bernard King: ‘Ain’t That the Prettiest Thing You Ever Seen in Your Life?’
Beyond Larry Bird‘s stellar play, the former Boston Celtics great earned the firm reputation as arguably the NBA’s greatest trash talker. Bird never backed down from an opportunity to verbally dismantle an opponent. One of those instances came against former New York Knicks’ great Bernard King.
Larry Bird’s illustrious NBA career
Bird spent his 13-year NBA career with the Celtics, where he anchored the franchise’s sustained success.
He established himself as an all-time great behind earning three NBA titles and two Finals MVP awards, capturing three regular-season MVP awards, and receiving 12 All-Star selections and nine All-NBA First Team nods. He remains the only forward in league history to win the regular-season MVP award in three straight campaigns.
Beyond that, Bird fueled his iconic status behind his infamous trash talk. Former Knicks great Bernard King had a memorable experience on the receiving end of that legendary banter.
Larry Bird unabashedly trash talked Bernard King: ‘Ain’t that the prettiest thing you ever seen in your life?’
Throughout Bird’s illustrious career, he never backed down from an opportunity to trash-talk opponents.
The Celtics great used it as a motivational tool to pull the best out of himself. That was certainly the case when he went toe to toe with fellow Hall of Famer Bernard King, as former Knicks teammate Butch Carter recalled some of Bird’s infamous trash talk.
“Bernard King is guarding Larry and Larry said, ‘Bernard, the next one is coming from right there,’ Carter said via The Athletic. “And then he’d catch it, shoot it, make it and he’d run down the court and Larry would talk cash-s–t to Bernard King: ‘Hey, B, how you like that jumper? Ain’t that the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen in your life?'”
Carter played one season alongside King for the 1984-85 campaign. It occurred at the height of the star forward’s playing days, as he averaged a career-best 32.9 points that earned him his lone scoring title.
Meanwhile, Bird was fresh off his second championship and first Finals MVP award. He was also amid his second of three straight campaigns earning the regular-season MVP award. In short, Bird’s confidence in his ability was booming at the time of his remarks toward King.
Beyond that, Bird’s banter to the former Knicks great falls directly in line with the numerous stories about him calling his shots. It wasn’t that he would tell opponents that he would score, but his outright confidence led him to tell them how he would do it and then make the shot.
That alone built tremendous respect from his peers as he always seemingly backed up his trash talking. Bird thrived off the in-game conversations with opponents that only fueled his play. In that instance, King got a first-hand experience of the former Celtics great’s unfiltered trash talk.
Trash talk fueled the Celtics great’s iconic legacy
Beyond Bird’s stellar play, his trash talk garnered him an even greater legendary status among his peers.
The former Celtics great never lacked confidence, making for incredible stories well after his playing days that further fuel his legacy. Bird is respected as an all-time great, but his banter took it to the next level.
Michael Jordan also voiced that Bird taught him the art of trash-talking opponents.
“Larry Bird is the greatest trash-talker and mind-game player of all time. He taught me everything I know about getting in folks’ heads,” Jordan said.
Although Bird played his last NBA game nearly three decades ago, his legacy remains strong as ever.
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