What Made Larry Bird So Good? It turns out it’s because of this

Mary Raleigh
19/09/2023

The true story of legendary NBA player Larry Bird and why he was so goodYouTube Gold: Larry Bird's Shot Was Never What It Could Have Been In The NBA - Duke Basketball Report

Larry Bird is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, but how did ‘Legend’ Larry, get his reputation?

Mark Price shares what made Larry Bird so unique in comparison to other great NBA players - Basketball Network - Your daily dose of basketball

Legendary Larry Bird playing for the Celtics

Larry Bird does not get as much adoration or recognition as other players. This is because he wasn’t quite as quick or athletic as a lot of players today.

Bird also had a major nemesis in Magic Johnson, who played with the rival Lakers.

The 80s was a decade in which the Celtics and Lakers dominated, as they combined for eight championships between the two teams.

Bird and Johnson even met in the NCAA finals in the 1979-1980 NCAA tournament.

Just like a lot of other NBA stars throughout history, Bird doesn’t hold any of the major all-time scoring records.

However, he is the only player in NBA history to average twenty points, ten rebounds and five assists during his career.

In this article, find out what made Larry Bird so good!

Larry Bird’s skill on the court

What Bird lacked in athleticism, he made up for in effort, skill, mental toughness and creativity.

He didn’t just catch, shoot or pass. He also wasn’t afraid to tap or bat the ball to a teammate if it could be done.

What Made Larry Bird So Good? The Story of an NBA Great — The Sporting BlogBird wasn’t just skilled at beating people with the basketball, he was also skilled at getting in your head!

There are countless stories of Bird telling his opponents what he was going to do on the court, executing what he said he was going to do and then making a comment afterwards.

The most classic example of this was during the 1988 three-point contest.

Before the contest, he asked all the other opponents who would come in second place, and then he won the contest without even taking off his warm-up.

It’s not like Bird wasn’t a pro at winning three-point contests, too.

Keep in mind, at the time the three-point contest was only in its third year and Larry Bird was the only one to win it in its history.

On a side note, Bulls guard Craig Hodges also won the three-point contest three years in a row a couple of years later, between 1990-1992.

Larry Bird and Kevin McHaleHere's Why Larry Bird's 'Behind-the-Backboard' Shot Didn't Count | Snopes.com

While he often got in his opponents’ heads, sometimes Larry Bird also loved to tease his fellow teammates.

An example of this is on the night that he scored 60 points, a performance in which even the Atlanta Hawks, who were the Celtics’ opponent that night, congratulated themselves for witnessing such a performance.

He told Kevin McHale, who scored 56 points in the game- a Celtics record less than a week earlier- that he should have tried for 60 points when he had the chance.

The 1985-1986 Boston Celtics

So, besides pure skill and determination, what else drove Bird? He was on a team that personified success.

As a matter of fact, he was part of arguably the greatest team in NBA history.

This was the 1985-1986 Celtics, a team that won the championship and got to 40-1 at home.

Over the course of his career, Bird also won three championships.

Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson

As well as his incredible skills out on the court, Bird’s rivalry with Johnson fueled him.

As a matter of fact, a lot of basketball historians consider the rivalry between Bird and Johnson the driving force in putting the NBA back on the map.

Larry Bird’s Major championship wins

During this period, both the Lakers and the Celtics had tremendous success!

The Celtics and Lakers won eight NBA championships- five by the Lakers and three by the Boston Celtics.Legends profile: Larry Bird | NBA.com

The two met head to head three times in the 1980s, a series in which the Lakers won 2-1.

Don’t worry, Larry is retired now so you don’t have to worry about him getting in your favourite player’s head!

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