In the last year Larry Bird has surpassed Michael Jordan as my favorite Basketball player. SInce I have found old games online through the likes of youtube and other sites I have become more of a fan of classic NBA. Now thats not to say I don’t enjoy the current day of NBA because I do. I just find it more fun to go back and watch the NBA from say the 83-84 Season till the 92-93 which arguably had the best talent in the history of the league despite what people say about the mid to late 90s.
Something about Bird just took me in that Jordan never did. I was never a Celtic fan but I always found myself drew to the Celtic teams of Bird, McHale and Parrish more than the Bulls or Lakers. There was just something about those teams in the mid 80s that was so good and something that made Bird special to watch. I was born months after Bird had to retire from the league due to a number of injuries mainly a back issue he had battled since the mid 80s. But I can go back now and just enjoy what Bird did for the game and how he and Magic Johnson helped the NBA out of the gutter of the late 70s and launched it to what it is today with the help of the global appeal Michael Jordan had in the early 90s.
Maybe its because I listen to a lot of the BS Report with Bill Simmons that I became a Bird fan, Maybe it was because I have seen the Magic/Bird Courtship of Rivals documentary 100 times or maybe its cos im just a sucker for nostalgia and really can never get into current day trends and whatnot. Bird was just a great all around player who could Shoot, Pass and grab Boards. He was not the most athletic guy he couldn’t dunk like Jordan or jump but he sure had hustle and he must of done something right to the MVP from 84-86. I think Bird got robbed of several championships mainly 1985 and 1987. In 85 Bird played through the NBA finals with an injured elbow and was not the greatest shooter in the world the Celtics lost their first NBA finals to the Lakers in 6 games. In 87 the entire Celtic team was just to injured to go against the Lakers but if the Celtics were healthy what was essentially the 1986 team could of given the 87 Lakers a run for their money. After 87 the Celtics began to fall off from title contention. The Celtics would loose the 88 Eastern Conference Finals to the younger Detroit Pistons and would never make another NBA Finals with Bird. 88-89 Bird missed the season due to injury and it showed when the Celtics went 41-41 how much he added to the team. When Bird played the majority of the 90 and 91 seasons the Celtics were second seeds in the east behind the ever progressing Bulls of Michael Jordan. At the end of the 1992 Season Bird retired following the 1992 Olympics were he won gold as part of the Dream Team. After that the Celtics slowly died off and with Magic and Bird both out of the NBA it just felt really different not seeing them play and watch the laker/celtic games really boring for a long time until the rivalry got fun again after the 2008 finals.
In the end Larry Bird is one of the greatest ball players of all time and rightfully so. In my mind he is the greatest Boston Celtic of all time and the greatest player ever.