Posts Tagged ‘Larry Bird’

Larry Bird, Dennis Johnson and their special connection

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In Bill SimmonsThe Book of Basketball, the longtime Celtics fan wrote about how Larry Bird and Dennis Johnson shared a “secret” play in the 1980’s. The play isn’t so much a play as it is a backdoor cut or pass, before anyone else on the floor has a chance to get ready. This video edited by Colin Stanton shows exactly how the play worked, and more precisely, just how well it worked. Pretty cool stuff…


VIDEO: Bird/DJ

Throwback Thursday: Celtics win 14th championship


VIDEO: Celtics win Game 6 over Rockets to capture 14th NBA championship

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!

Throwback Thursday: Larry Bird


VIDEO: Larry Bird scores 60 points on the Atlanta Hawks in 1985

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: Larry Bird drops 60 on Hawks

Few players in NBA history are more associated with the word clutch than Boston Celtics great Larry Bird. Over his 12 NBA seasons, he was an All-Star 11 times, won three NBA championships, was a three-time MVP, a two-time Finals MVP and created memory after unforgettable memory in the regular season and postseason.

On this date in 1985, though, Bird accomplished one of his best games ever, torching the Atlanta Hawks for 60 points before 10,079 fans. He was 22-for-36 from the field and 15-for-16 from the free throw line and, shockingly, nailed just one 3-pointer. (You can check out the box score from the game here.) But the memories of that game live on 30 years later.

With that in mind, we take a look back on the career that helped earn Bird the nickname “Larry Legend”.


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: Larry Bird’s career

What’s your most lasting Bird memory? Leave your comments below!

Larry Bird can’t stop talking trash to Dominique Wilkins

Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERLarry Bird was known for not only being one of the greatest players of all time, he was also known as one of the greatest trash talkers to ever play the game. Back in his day, Bird would talk trash to anyone he had to square off against. In fact, just a few weeks ago, Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins told a funny story about Bird talking trash to him…

“One of the first times I ever played against him, I went out for the opening tip and I went to shake his hand. He just stood there and looked at me stone-faced with his hands behind his back,” Wilkins said recently.

“I was like, ‘Whoa.’ Then we were getting ready for the tip and he says to me, ‘You don’t belong in this league, Homes.’ I couldn’t believe it, but it happened so fast, I didn’t know what to think.

“Then they had the ball and I was on him and he said, ‘I don’t know why they got you guarding me, Homes. You can’t guard me.’ Then, whap, he hit a 3. Then he came down again and said, ‘They made a mistake putting you on me, Homes,’ and he took another 3.”

Getting into the story, Wilkins began to act things out with his facial expressions.

“So now I’m hot,” he said. “I’m hot. I mean, I’m steaming.

“Then a little while later, I came down on a break and he was backpedaling. I just went right after him. I jumped up and he tried to challenge, but I took that right through the rim. He fell and hit the basket support.

“He got up and said, ‘I like you, rookie. You’ve got(guts).’ I was happy for a second, and then he said, ‘But I’m still going for 40 on you tonight.’ ”

He then paused the story, stepped back and smiled.

“But I got him,” Wilkins said. “He only scored 39.”

So it was only fitting that yesterday, as the Atlanta Hawks unveiled a new statue in honor of Wilkins, Bird was involved. Bird was unable to be there in person, but he appeared via video and couldn’t help but take another poke at Wilkins…

Hang Time Road Trip — Day 3

HANGTIME_PASSENGER

PHILADELPHIA — Day Three is in the books, and after a night on the (bumpy and not-so) open road, we just rolled into Philly and it feels like we’re trying to chase our tails, so to speak. The plan was to drive overnight from Indianapolis to Philly, and be here in Philly in time to grab some showers and breakfast before our first interview of the day. But apparently there was some sort of slowdown on the turnpike last night and we spent nearly two hours stopped on the highway.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Let’s talk Day 3: At some point yesterday morning before sunrise, we pulled into a hotel parking lot near Plymouth, Indiana. We had two hotel rooms reserved, so we took turns using the facilities and getting prepped for the day. Once we were all cleaned up and ready to roll, we boarded the bus and chugged toward Indianapolis. We rolled through cornfields and amber waves of something or other, and it was a lovely ride through the heartland of America.

Morning in Indiana #Hangtime

A video posted by Lang Whitaker (@langwhitaker) on

Unfortunately, by the time we got to Indianapolis, we were running late, and one interview we lined up had to cancel at the last minute. Hey, stuff happens. Luckily, we had Rick around to make some smoothies with a blender he bought at Wal-Mart, to help me get my voice back.

Rick Fox outchea making smoothies on the bus. #hangtime

A photo posted by Lang Whitaker (@langwhitaker) on

David Benner, the Pacers’ longtime senior VP or PR, was standing in the parking lot holding an umbrella waiting for the bus upon our arrival in Indy. For Sekou, this trip was something of a homecoming. Back in the 1990s, Sekou spent five years living in Indianapolis and writing about the Pacers and the NBA for the Indianapolis Star. (more…)

Throwback Thursday: The Dream Team


VIDEO: Relive some great All-Access moments with the Dream Team

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.

Today’s Topic: The 1992 Dream Team

Back in 1992, the U.S. Men’s Olympic National Team was no longer comprised of the best college players around. In that year, the best NBA players were allowed to represent the U.S. and America changed the way basketball was perceived worldwide with a squad led by Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone and others.

On July 5, 1992, The Dream Team won the final game of the Basketball Tournament of the Americas against Venezuela 127-80. Team USA won all six games by an average of 51.5 points en route to a performance in the ’92 Olympics that wowed crowds and led to a gold medal.

To celebrate, this Throwback Thursday we look back at the players who made up the 1992 Dream Team.

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: TBT: The 1992 Dream Team

Who do you remember most about The Dream Team? Leave your comments below!

Throwback Thursday: Three-Time MVPs


VIDEO: Best Small Forwards: Larry Bird

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.

Today’s Topic: Three-time MVPs

On May 29, 1987, the Boston Celtics’ Larry Bird won his third straight NBA Most Valuable Player award. He became just the third player to ever accomplish this feat, joining legends Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.

To honor Bird’s incredible run, this Throwback Thursday we look back at the nine players who have won three or more MVP awards.

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: TBT: Three-time MVPs

Who’s your favorite of these MVPs? Leave your comments below!

Do Sleeved Jerseys Help Shooting?

Miami Heat  v San Antonio Spurs

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last week, after the Miami Heat lost to the San Antonio Spurs, LeBron James was not happy. He finished the game shooting 6-of-18 from the field, and he had one immediate suggestion for his poor shooting night.

“I’m not making excuses, but I’m not a big fan of the jerseys,” LeBron said. “Every time I shoot it feels like it’s just pulling right up underneath my arm. I already don’t have much room for error on my jump shot. It’s definitely not a good thing.”

(His teammate, Dwyane Wade, had a different response: “It ain’t the reason we lost. You’re just not used to it. They [the Spurs] didn’t have a problem with it. It is what it is. Let’s not make this about a jersey, please. We got our butts kicked. That’s it.”)

Ever since the NBA introduced sleeved jerseys last season, response seems to fall on both sides. Both players and fans have been vocal about their feelings — some love them, some hate them. Although as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at the All-Star Game, “From a fan standpoint, the greatest indicator is how are they selling, and I’ll say we’re having trouble keeping them in the stores. There’s enormous demand for those jerseys. Fans like them and I happen to like them, too.”

LeBron may not enjoy wearing them, but perhaps LeBron is the outlier here? While King James says he hasn’t been as successful in the sleeves, according to statistician Ed Kupfer, who works with the Houston Rockets, teams wearing sleeved jerseys have on the whole shot better than teams in tank tops.

https://twitter.com/EdKupfer/status/442092942233468928

Kupfer later clarified that this was eFG%, or “effective field goal percentage,” which basically factors in that three-pointers are worth more than two pointers. (Here’s an explanation.)

But even in raw numbers, three-point percentages seem to be up while wearing sleeves…

https://twitter.com/EdKupfer/status/442095114480267264

And sure, I understand that we’re dealing with a much smaller sample size here when it comes to the sleeved jerseys, but numbers never lie, right? Or maybe they do?

Either way, perhaps there are some players who are just beyond sleeves…


VIDEO: Bird in 1988

(via B/R)

Throwback Thursday: 60-Plus Point Games


VIDEO: LeBron lights up Bobcats for 61 points

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 TBT topic: Players to score 60+ points in a game

LeBron James became the 22nd player to score 60 or more points in a game earlier this week when he erupted for 61 points against the Charlotte Bobcats.

However, James’ high-scoring affair wasn’t the first time someone went for 60-plus points in March, as Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Rick Barry, Tom Chambers and Tracy McGrady all accomplished the feat in the past, too.

This week’s Throwback Thursday honors these players, as well as 11 others, who have scored more than 60 points in a game.

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: 60+ Scorers

Which of these performances was the most impressive? Leave your comments below!

Chris Bosh Guests On “Parks And Recreation”

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” is set in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, and the show has had plenty of NBA references, from the autographed picture of Larry Bird behind Leslie Knope‘s desk to guests appearances from Roy Hibbert and Detlef Schrempf. (Hibbert discussed his role last year on the Hang Time Podcast, along with former “Parks and Recreaction” writer Chelsea Peretti.)

Last night’s episode of “Parks and Rec” continued this trend, when Pawnee’s high school basketball team squared off against their nemesis Eagleton, which had a star player who seemed a bit mature for high school…

(via Sun-Sentinel)