When Reggie Miller was at UCLA, he idolized his hometown Lakers but he studied Larry Bird. Needless to say, when he got to the NBA and faced Bird it was a career milestone, a dream come true.
But he learned quickly that trash talking Bird was pointless. You can hear the story on this video, but Bird was at the line with the game in the balance and Miller tried to distract him. Bird lets him know in no vague terms that that sort of thing doesn’t apply to him. Miller said he felt like a major idiot.
He tells another Bird trash talk story here - well, sort of anyway.
He said Bird came up to him on the court and told him to keep working hard because he was going to be a really good player.
It’s not the sort of Bird trash talk he made famous but it was an insightful comment from one great to one soon-to-be great. That must have been a great moment for Miller.
Interestingly their fates were somewhat tied together as Bird later coached him and the pair helped get the Pacers to the NBA Finals.