Discussion in 'Nuttin' but Net' started by gatormonk, Jul 6, 2018.
The guy was amazing. You
don't see players like him anymore.
This to me was the best era of basketball. It’s like looking at a beautiful painting or scenery when you watch 80s games (even though the 90s were more entertaining) I’m certain that Bird would’ve gone down as the greatest to ever play if not for a recurring back injury. To me he’s probably #3 all time.
Bird made everyone around him so much better. The jaw-dropping passes, the amazing marksmanship, the rebounding, and the sheer competitive will made him the ultimate team player. I remember reading a quote from some young gun with the Celtics when Bird was with the Celtics in his last year. Bird had just dropped 30 on the opposition, and the young gun was gushing over the performance to a veteran teammate. The old-timer looks at the rookie and says something like, "Yeah, Bird was just okay today. You should have seen him when he was good."
"Bird is on fire!" is probably my favorite Marv Albert soundbite.
Crazy how little money he earned playing basketball. About $20 million. If you take away the season he made $7 million, he averaged around $2 million a year.
Dale Ellis is my favorite NBA player, so I am definitely biased, but Bird is Top 5 all-time along with Drazen Petrovic and you probably have to include Curry.
Took a visit to French Lick on a family vacation. There is a Larry Bird bar there and also this...
I've mentioned this a couple of times before when Bird came up here. He signed with Indiana first, went there for the summer, hated the way All-American center and jackass Kent Benson treated him, left school, never went back. Sat out a year before going to Indiana State (where he and the Sycamores beat IU and Benson). Before he settled on Indiana State, he considered 3 or 4 schools. One of them was Florida.
Man. What could have been.
Oh yeah. Whenever the Celtics played a Kent Benson team in the NBA, Bird really poured it on. Dude never forgets.
In "Pond Birds", by Bill Koss, there is a story that Bobby Knight almost became the Florida head coach when he was at Army.
Years apart, but another weird Indiana basketball connection.
Great passes all.
My greatest pass ever was not a pass. I caught an outlet pass deep in my end near the block with no teammates and two defenders close by. I faked a pass to a non-existent teammate cutting to the basket, both defenders bit on the fake, I spun left and laid the ball in. The seven guys at the other end of the court fell down laughing.
Great stuff @GatorPlanet and Lurker! I'd forgotten that Bobby Knight anecdote.
PS: It's funny because all this Gators MBK history discussion via the current Fantasy Draft etc. got me to thinking about Pond Birds. But when I went to look for it, I discovered I no longer had the copy I'd stolen from my dad years ago (choosing to believe I gave it back to Dad v. that I lost it ).
Anyway, I'm super excited because I found a brand new hard cover on half.com/ebay (at the time several other online retailers were out of stock, but it's currently available from select Amazon retailers)! Highly recommend Mr. Koss' book to anyone interested in the origins and evolution of Florida Gators Basketball!
Wilt Chamberlin had tremendous stats. 30 plus points, 20 plus boards, 4 assists per game
Russell Westbrook has now averaged a triple double for two consecutive seasons with 20 plus points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Larry’s numbers are great for any era and put him in the HOF, but Wilts are hard for any player to mirror
True, but in Wilt's day, he was like the only 7-footer in the league. Lots easier to dominate then.
As a sixers fan whose heart was broken many times by the Celtics during the early 80s, it's taken me a LONG time to be able to say this . . . watching Bird play is a thing of beauty. He was one of the most savvy, gritty, and clutch players to play the game.
Yep. He not only had the talent, he played hard every second of every game. Your point about "savvy" is a good one; he seemed to possess an uncanny sense of what was about to happen before anyone else.
There may be a handful of players who shot a better frew throw percentage and I'm a huge Jordan for GOAT fan but I can't think of anyone in history I'd rather have shooting free throws with the game on the line
I believe Jordan is probably the greatest ever, but you know what? I'd rather have Bird on my team. He could make stiffs like Danny Ainge look like all-stars.
Don't know if this was tongue-in-cheek, but I'll take MJ thanks.
Ainge was one heck of an athlete. As I recall, he was a good baseball player.
Ainge is the only person in history to be named a HS first team all-american in 3 sports (football, baseball, basketball). I’d say he’s probably not a stiff.
Yeah, I probably shouldn't label the Ainge a "stiff." I'll revise my thoughts to "barely passable NBA guard."
Why the hate?
I mean he was a really unlikable player but yeah, he was a solid player