This is one of the great plays in NBA history.
In 1987, the Pistons were rising but still had to go through Boston and Larry Bird wasn’t ready to yield to the Bad Boys.
The Celtics were on the verge of elimination with time running out and the Pistons had the ball, ready to inbound it.
But Bird had other ideas. He saw Isaiah Thomas make eye contact with Bill Laimbeer, a guy he couldn’t stand (nobody could. Duke’s Scott Goetsch was ready to kill in in the 1978 Final Four, reportedly rocking on the bench and saying “Laimbeer sucks,” according to John Feinstein in Forever’s Team).
Bird stepped in and stole the ball, the game and the series.
But the key here is the pass. Watch how Bird hangs on the baseline, almost falling out of bounds, before hitting Dennis Johnson for the game winner.
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