Larry Bird Trivia

Such is the legend of Larry Bird that you tend to forget the things that other, more human players end up becoming known for.

For instance:

Did you know that Larry Bird was the first player since Elgin Baylor who made it a practice to throw the ball off the backboard in order to get it back so he could lay it in? After Bird had done so in a 1982 game against the Bullets (getting himself a 3-point play), one of his teammates was aghast. "You should have heard McHale," laughed Bird. "He said, 'Damn, Larry. It's a close game!' "

And, to the question "Did Larry Bird ever goaltend?" the answer is "Yup." On Feb. 9, 1988, he goaltended an Akeem Olajuwon shot in the course of a 44-point (17-for-27) effort against the Rockets. This is the same Olajuwon he beat in a jump ball in the first quarter of Game 6 during the 1986 Finals. It defied the laws of physics, but Bird did it.

On Jan. 24, 1982, Bird had two up-and-down violations in the same period (third) during a home loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

On Jan. 2, 1981, he went scoreless while shooting 0 for 9 from the floor during the famed "Eight Bricks and a Block" game in Oakland. Two nights later, he scored 12 seconds after the opening tap, hit his first six shots and had 33 points in a victory over Portland.

The Celtics were famous for the hordes of so-called Green People who cheered them from coast to coast during the Bird Era, but it may have reached a peak in 1988 when cries of "Lar-ree Lar-ree" came rolling down from the rafters . . . at Madison Square Garden.

Larry Bird had 61 teammates, not counting exhibition game mates. The tallest was Artis Gilmore, at 7 feet 2 inches. The shortest was Andre Turner, at 5-9 (or so).


FLCeltsFan said...

Some great bits of trivia there. There are so many Larry Bird stories that we probably will never get to hear them all. Thanks for posting these.

Lex said...

: )

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