Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!
Today’s Topic: Celtics win 14th NBA championship
On May 14, 1981, Larry Bird delivered for the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the 1981 NBA Finals to score 27 points with 13 rebounds as Boston dropped Houston to win the franchise’s 14th NBA championship.
Bird, 24 years old at the time, was already a dominant force during his second season in the league. He averaged 21.9 points, 14.0 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.3 steals during the 1981 Playoffs and 15.3 points, 15.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 2.3 steals during the 1981 Finals. His late 3-pointer during Game 6 was key to the Celtics’ winning their first of three championships in the 1980s, but Cedric Maxwell’s steady performance during the Finals was good enough for him to win 1981 Finals MVP. Maxwell averaged 17.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists to go along with stifling defense throughout the series. The Celtics’ acquisition of Maxwell along with Kevin McHale and Robert Parish during the summer of 1980 was critical to Boston’s success in the 1980-81 season and for years to come. That, along with the continued rise of three-time MVP (1984-86) Larry Bird.
This Throwback Thursday, we honor the 1981 Celtics by looking back at the historic career of Larry Bird.
Gallery: Larry Bird’s Career
What are your favorite Larry Bird and/or Boston Celtics memories? Leave your comments below!