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@MalePatternBoldness Again, why would we ask Larry, since I told you how he responds to questions. If you asked him, what he thought of Tiny (Archibald), he'd tell you some superlative that made Tiny sound like the best point guard that ever lived. If you asked him about himself, he's say something to the effect of; "Well, I guess you might have to put me up there in the Top 50, because I was voted in the Top 50." I' never thought I was exceptional at anything, I just tried to work real hard in practice and be ready when the season started." yada, yada, yada.....
I find it hilarious that you "walk through" each team Jordan's team had to beat to win a championship. Do you not understand your own writing? Each of those teams was a ONE SHOT WONDER, that barely made the playoff run in each of those years with superstars that were NO LONGER superstars at the end of their careers. Tell me, what we the scoring, rebound and assist averages for those superstars in those finals???
Jordan's teams struggled with Detroit for years before getting over the hump, they struggled with the Lakers, they NEVER got over the Celtics (the Celtics were gone and no longer in the playoff hunt with Bird retired, Parish, DJ & McHale on their way out the door).
So think Jordan was highly intelligent? It is supposed to be a team game, that's the gift that Bird & Magic gave back to the NBA upon their arrival in the 1979-80 season. Jordan would shoot against double teams and never look for the open man his first three seasons. He SLOWED the development of his own team because of his selfish play, along with his competitiveness early in his career. Hell, you have Pippen saying things over the years that gives one an inside track to some of the things the other players felt. With Bird and Magic you don't hear any of that crap because they were throwbacks to the 1950's as far as being a tremendous teammate.
You want to start asking some ex-players some questions, start there for more incite. Ask ex-Chicago players (not Steve Kerr either as he was just happy to be along for the ride) how good a teammate Michael truly was to them. Why do you think Jordan was up there ranting and raving like a madman at his own Hall of Fame induction speech. Until you know as much as I do, try not coming out with stupid stuff before reading up a little more or at least investigating some of your points ahead of time.
2 years ago on Why I Never Cared About Larry Bird
Those that bring up Magic and Jordan aren't apparently aware of the differences. Magic on average had a 4-5 inch, sometimes 6-7 inches advantage NIGHTLY over the people that were guarding him. Bird was usually playing against people that were taller or faster or both. Yet, Bird in the post, up top where ever on the court made most of them look like ass clowns as they tried to guard him. That is, they tried to guard him even though they didn't have to worry about him blowing by them. Jordan had major physical advantages over the players guarding him NIGHTLY. Early his career, he would blow by defenders with his speed edge. Later in his career, he would fake the blow by and the defender would be off balance and Jordan would be open from 15 feet. I don't know about you, but I played basketball all my life and I'll pick the guy that could score from anywhere on the court when it matter the most and more so, with someone draped around him. I don't remember Magic dropping too many jumpers on defenders in their face. I remember Show Time where he had guys filling both lanes on fast breaks. Wow, that's great talent. I could see where one would rank him with Bird. When Johnson first got in the league, he wanted no part of the BIG shot. He deferred first to Jabbar for years, than to Worthy, then to Scott. Hell, his free throw percentage kind of blew too, until he started to mimic Bird's work ethic after the two met up for a commercial shoot.
That's the difference in the end. Bird would kill someone on the court if he had to, to win a game. And he is the only one of the three players that could score from anywhere with someone contesting his shot.
@MalePatternBoldness @MarkMcDermott I already mentioned how Bird's personality off the court was exactly the opposite of his personality on the court. That is why when Bird has ever answered a question in public about him or his team, the same answer comes out - "ah, they were better than us. He's better than me." etc. etc. On the court, if you sat as close as I did, you'd hear things coming out of his mouth that would apparently stun you, but for those that knew him slightly better than the author of this piece, we were never surprised. And go back and watch those tapes. You'll notice Bird came out with a little extra offense just to show MJ that if so called knowledgeable fans thought scoring was such a big deal, he (Bird) could do it with the best of them. You had MJ (who wasn't too bright to say the least) NOT looking for open guys when he was getting double-teamed.
Here's a question for you: Who was around that Jordan had to go through to win a championship when he finally was winning them.
Answer: No one. The NBA looked almost like it did prior to 1979 and Bird and Magic's arrival with a bunch of clowns with no dominant great play out of several teams.
P.S.S. I watched the above game versus Atlanta (at their home away from home game in New Orleans). I have watched the NBA for 44 of my 49 years. The above game is the single greatest shooting performance I have ever seen to this day. But, arguably I would say Bird's greatest individual game was and will always be with everything on the line Game 5 1984 NBA Finals against the Lakers. Winner takes control of the Series that was tied at 2-2 going in. The Garden was beyond hot with temperatures reaching 100+ on the parquet. The players took showers and changed uniforms at half time. Jabbar was sucking wind and needed an oxygen mask at times. Parish was pouring the water he was given to drink down the front of his chest to cool down. Bird, took no aid. He gutted LA individually. His took their heart away. For as much of the public that thinks Jordan was the best basketball player of all-time. Go back and watched Bird take down that team with all-time Hall of Famers on it as well as not caring about the unreal temperatures and stagnet air quality in the old Garden. P.S.S.S. Go take a look at how many times Jordan's Bull beat the Celtics in the playoffs. Here's the answer for those to lazy to look it up - NEVER.
P.S. I think it probably read 14 Championship banners back in 1982. But, then again, I don't think they put that white & green banner that covered the scorer's table as well as some press until the playoffs started each year which would have been about 12 weeks later from those dates quoted below. Funny, how it takes a few minutes to go back 30+ years ago in your head to see things as they were.
If anyone should be writing a story on-line about Bird and the 80's Celtics it should probably be me. I grew up in the same Berkshires (western, MA) as yourself, but the difference is, I was at the practices and in the locker rooms and at the games. If you go back to Boston vs. Detroit (Jan 10 1982) I know this was the date since it coincided with Dallas vs 48ers "The Catch" as my buddy, that drove me to the game at the Hartford Civic Center, was in the stands with my Dad's TV set to watch the football game. If you watch the tapes I can be clearly seen as the only photographer on the baseline shooting the game. I also was located somewhere where you never see anyone these days a few weeks later in the old Boston Garden (located between the Celtics bench and the Denver Nuggets bench) on Feb 5, 1982 on the green border in front of the 16 Championships banners. I had to listen to Coach Moe scream at his players to try and play something that resembled a defense as the score at the end of the 1st quarter was something like DEN 34, BOS 50! The memories are fun, but Bird (my hero) was not the coolest person off the hardwood. What drove Bird that most people do not realize is that he was the consummate competitor with insecurities galore. That's why he's almost a totally different person on the floor versus off the floor. On the floor, he would talk trash and let whoever was guarding him know they HAD NO CHANCE. Off the floor, the average fan has heard his responses to questions such as; Who was better, You or Magic? Who would win, the Dream Team or the new Olympic team? Usually, his insecure side (the one that walks around in public, on streets, in hall ways, etc) would win out away from his sanctuary: the hardwood. Maybe better stories could be told if people just knew who to ask...