Grampa Celtic Talks about the "Overrated" Label

May 1987

BOSTON -- Larry Bird had just gotten through scoring 37 points, to go with nine rebounds and nine assists. He played 48 minutes in near-90 degree heat. He made big shot after big shot, and he`s going to the Finals. Oh, and he`s a three-time MVP.

Apparently, this isn`t enough to impress Dennis Rodman and Isiah Thomas.

``He`s a smart player,`` admitted Rodman, the hyperactive Detroit rookie who wound up guarding Bird after the departure of Adrian Dantley with a concussion late in the third period. ``I give him all the credit in the world. He takes advantage of his strengths. He can read picks, and he can go around picks fo dish-offs, but other than that, he`s a decent player.``

Said Thomas, ``I think Larry Bird is a very, very good basketball player, an exceptional talent, but I have to agree with Rodman. If he were black, he`d be just another good guy (in this league).``

There was an early report that Rodman had called Bird an ``overrated white player.`` When queried, Rodman was horrified at the reference to the word ``white.`` Said Rodman, ``I said he was an `overrated` player, but please tell people I didn`t use the word `white.` I`m not a racist. I don`t want to start anything like that. We`re rivals.``

``He is overrated because people talk about him so much. It`s `Larry Bird this` and `Larry Bird that.` I wouldn`t mind if people didn`t talk about him so much,`` continued Rodman.

``He`s probably in the top five,`` Rodman decided. ``Magic`s probably the best player. You can`t forget Michael Jordan. Bird`s good. I might put him two or three.``

Bird was amused. ``This isn`t Russia. There`s nothing wrong with that. This is America. But you also have to play basketball.``

When apprised of Rodman`s statement, Kevin McHale laughed. ``They should just hang Dennis Rodman from the Silverdome and slap the (censored) out of him. That is like the most idiotic thing I`ve ever heard in my life. How can you say that about a three-time MVP?``

And how could the Pistons generate this ridiculous issue on this particular day?

``Sour grapes,`` decided Kevin McHale.

There was also an obvious sign of frustration from Thomas, who completed his season with a bang. Not a gentle tap, mind you, but a blindside push at Danny Ainge that sent the Boston guard flying into the press table late in the game.

Was there any better time to spot the frustration of Thomas? Few were close enough to watch his face when he strode off the court with three seconds left. Those who saw him swear there were tears in his eyes.

``We wanted to foul, so I fouled him,`` said Thomas when asked about his less-than-graceful exit. ``Why don`t you ask them about all the hard fouls Danny Ainge gets? Bleep Danny Ainge. He plays just like that.``

He was there again after a three-point dagger by Ainge, the sixth shot of a five-rebound possession for the Celtics that eventually won the game.

But if the Celtics were going win this, Thomas would make them play out their hand. When he drained a long jumper after Ainge`s huge trifecta, the message was clear: I`m not through yet.

``They put pressure on us with that three-pointer,`` said Thomas, who had 25 points and nine assists. ``After Ainge hit that three, we knew we had to convert every time after that.``


FLCeltsFan said...

Just wanted to let you know that I have had to moderate comments on CG for a bit. Some trolls from Celtics Life have been harassing me in the comments because I chose to leave there and not write for them any more and so I just don't need that.

FLCeltsFan said...

By the way, did you get that link to the Walton article in Wicked Local?

Lex said...

Hey, FCF. I didn't know you left there. Where are you writing now?

Don't let them get you down. You are a Celtic institution. Why would anyone harass you?

People. Sad.

Lex said...

Hey, FCF. Saw the link earlier. Now I have it up for later reading today. Looks interesting. Will report back a bit later. Been crazy at work over the last two weeks.

Thanks for the link!

Where are you writing now?

Celtic Thunder?

FLCeltsFan said...

Great! I just wanted to be sure that you would see it cause I knew you'd like it.

FLCeltsFan said...

I'm writing for Celtics Green and my own Perk blog Celtics Thunder. That ones mostly for Thunder stuff and Perk but I post Celtics stuff on Celtics Green where you have been reading.

Loy, CG's owner left for a year or so and I was writing for Celtics Life. When Loy came back I returned to CG and the owners of CL didn't like my leaving and so have been harassing me via email and comments on CG. So, I'll be moderating comments for a bit until they get tired of it :)

FLCeltsFan said...

I left Celtics Life. I'm still posting on Celtics Green. That has been my Celtics home since 2006 when I first found it.

There are a couple of very immature people at Celtics Life and I guess they don't have anything better to do than to harass an old lady LOL.

I tried answering them in the comments and they just amped up their vitriol and got really nasty. So, I'll just ginore them.

Lex said...

Ah, now I get it. Yeah, I couldn't believe you had left CG. Good to know you are still there.

Very interesting article about bill.

I talked to him once on a radio show.

Someday I'd like to meet him.

Glad he is doing better.

FLCeltsFan said...

If there's any justice in this world, one day you will get to meet Mountain Man.

Lex said...

That would be awesome

Lex said...

I clicked on one of your links to cb the other day and saw all the bs back and forth.

I dont miss it at all.

And that what all the negative commentary is.


FLCeltsFan said...

That was such a strange controversy. They tried to make racism where there was none. But it was good press for awhile.

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