Very few players have given opposing teams more trouble than Larry Bird. Larry was one of the most gifted goal scorers in NBA history and is considered by many to be one of the best players to ever wear the Boston Celtics jersey.
Larry Bird was one of the most dominant figures in the NBA in the 1980s. He and the Boston Celtics had a dynastic run during the 1980s, and his rivalry with Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers was one of the most memorable basketball games in NBA history.
Larry and the Celtics dominated the Eastern Conference for much of the 1980s, facing the Detroit Pistons. In the meantime, a young Michael Jordan entered the league in 1984 and was improving year by year.
Jordan and Larry faced each other regularly, with the Bulls and Celtics playing in the same conference. Jordan even said that Larry Bird had a big influence on his ability to speak in a trashy way. On one occasion in 1987, Larry Legend decided to teach Michael Jordan a lesson in what it was like to keep him.
In a Celtics game against the Bulls, Larry decided to take Michael Jordan at the post with a midfield possession. And from there he continued to score on MJ. That would have been enough to make MJ want to keep Larry.
But he kept repeating the streak 2 times, making it 3 straight possessions in the half court where he led Michael to the post, scoring 6 points on him. Larry really taught Jordan a lesson in how to dominate as an NBA goalscorer.
Jordan has spoken on several occasions of playing against Larry Bird, how it has been a huge learning experience for him. In fact, Jordan even joked that Larry Bird ruined some of the best games of his career.
MJ and Larry have clashed on several occasions. In Jordan’s first playoff series against the Celtics, Jordan scored 63 points in a single game, the record for most points in a single playoff game.
Larry said after the game that it was actually God disguised as Michael Jordan achieving that 63-point performance. Larry and the Celtics have faced off against Jordan and the Bulls twice in the NBA Playoffs and swept them both times, leaving Jordan 6-0 against Bird in the playoffs.
Bird was virtually automatic from any part of the yard. He really was a great shooter and could convert from anywhere on the court if he wanted to. But on top of that, Larry also had excellent ball and body control and would use this skill to gain the upper hand over players tasked with protecting him.