Legend of Larry Bird
by ORTAK CALISMA on Apr 14, 2021
You know you're a legend if your nickname includes the very word.
Larry Bird, also known as 'Larry Legend,' is one of the most famous faces in NBA history and is arguably the greatest player in Boston Celtics history – we can't forget about Bill Russell.
Bird spent 13 seasons with the Celtics, leading Boston to five NBA Finals appearances and three NBA titles in the process – in 1981, 1984 and 1986.
Bird won Finals MVP twice and NBA MVP three straight years from 1984-86. He was a 12-time NBA All-Star and 9-time All-NBA First Team selection. He is the only player in NBA history to have two seasons where he shot 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three and 90 percent from the free-throw line – in 1986-87 and 1987-88.
He won Rookie in the Year in 1980, All-Star Game MVP in 1982 and won the NBA Three-Point Contest three times between 1986-88.
The Last Dance has given us a glimpse into 1980s NBA basketball, but we haven't seen too much of Bird and the Celtics outside of Michael Jordan's 63-point playoff outburst against Boston in 1986 and when the Celtics walked off the floor after losing to the Detroit Pistons in the 1988 Eastern Conference Finals.
Part of the reason, however, is that the docuseries has focused mainly on the Chicago Bulls' struggles overcoming the Pistons. But before that, the Pistons had to overcome Bird and the Celtics in a similar fashion.
From 1988-90, the Pistons defeated the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Playoffs en route to three consecutive NBA Finals appearances. But from 1984-87, the Celtics represented the East in four consecutive NBA Finals, defeating Detroit in the playoffs in 1985 and 1987 behind Bird.
Bird and Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson indeed ruled the NBA for the better part of the 80s. From 1980-89, the Lakers made the NBA Finals eight times and the Celtics made it five times.
Bird holds career playoff averages of 23.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 6.5 assists.
You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who didn't think Larry Bird was one of the greatest of all-time and couldn't have played in today's game.