There is a debate today, which is stupid, about whether or not Larry Bird could play in today’s game.
What this fails to take into account is his brutally competitive nature. In his rookie season, he stood up and told his teammates to get it straight: he was never going to carry anyone’s bags or bring them coffee or any of that stuff rookies are typically expected to do.
And they accepted it.
In the 1986 three point contest, he came into the locker room and asked who was playing for second place.
That was the end of that.
He won again in 1987 and in the 1988 contest, he was up against Dale Ellis. a superb shooter.
Ellis shot first and got up to 15 points.
Bird followed and uncharacteristically missed quite a few. On the second-to-last rack he caught up some but on the final rack, he had to hit the last three to win and he did. When he let the last ball go, he held his finger up and walked off as it was about to fall through the net.
What you don’t see is that other NBA stars, including Michael Jordan, are watching and marveling that he doesn't even take off his warm up top.