Was last night’s NBA Finals game a great game? Yes. Was it best viewed as a preview of this year’s NBA Finals? Maybe. Was it the best game of the season? Probably. Did it live up to the hype? Nah. Only one team can win the NBA Finals, and last night’s was a game where one team didn’t even come close to winning.

The first half of the San Antonio Spurs v. Houston Rockets NBA playoff game just ended, and the game’s MVP is Tim Duncan. Duncan had a field day in this one, racking up 16 points and 13 rebounds. Who could begrudge Duncan’s relative dominance over a disjointed Rockets defense? And given that Duncan is an old man who will soon retire and probably has little interest in winning games at this point, why should we care if he is the best player on the Spurs?

The NBA playoffs are over, and after a month of playoff basketball, the NBA Finals begin. It will be the first appearance in the Finals for the Los Angeles Lakers in more than 40 years. The last time the Lakers were in the NBA Finals was in 1970, when they won the championship. The last time they won it all was in 1972, when they defeated the Washington Bullets in six games—the same year that the Boston Celtics won their last NBA title in the Boston Garden.. Read more about youtube 1986 boston celtics and let us know what you think.

Larry Bird’s reputation for trash-talking is legendary. He couldn’t care less about who you were or how talented you were. Bird would let you know if he was in a zone by letting you know it was his universe and you were just whirling around on it because he let you. In a tale told at an event commemorating Bird’s legacy, fellow Hall of Famer Walton, Bill learnt this early in his career with the Boston Celtics in 1985.

Bird’s credentials as a player are renowned as well. He was a three-time NBA MVP, two-time NBA Finals MVP, a 10-time All-NBA player, three-time champion and All-Defensive pick, and a Rookie of the Year. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame on the first vote in 1992. You may also toss in an Olympic gold medalist for one of basketball’s most famous teams, the 1992 Dream Team.

Walton had missed the equivalent of more than six NBA seasons in 11 years due to foot problems when he was traded to Boston in 1985. He earned an NBA MVP award and a championship ring as he approached his 33rd season, but his career had been tainted by injuries and the six seasons he spent with the San Diego and Los Angeles Clippers. Bill Walton, on the other hand, had a one-of-a-kind welcome to the Celtics, courtesy of Larry Bird.

Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics of 1985–86 are one of the NBA’s most famous teams.

When Larry Bird came in Boston in 1979, the team had just completed two of its four worst seasons in its history. In 1977–78 and 1978–79, the Celtics won a total of 61 games. Boston equaled that total in Bird’s first season. They won titles in 1981 and 1984, but lost in the 1985 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Red Auerbach (sure, Jan Volk was the general manager, but Red still controlled the show) pulled off a daring deal in September 1985. For Bill Walton’s shaky feet, he sent Cedric Maxwell, the 1981 NBA Finals MVP, and Boston’s 1986 first-round selection to the Clippers.

Walton, on the other hand, was not arriving in Boston as a savior or a franchise player. He was on his way to assist All-Star Robert Parish in the center of the field. Walton excelled at it, becoming the only player in NBA history to win both MVP and Sixth Man of the Year awards. Boston won the championship with a record of 67–15 and just three postseason losses.

Bill Walton had a strong grip on whose squad it was by the time the Celtics reached the Finals.

Larry Bird surprised Bill Walton with a “welcome to Boston” moment.

Bill Walton and Larry Bird teamed up for an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics in 1986

Bill Walton and Larry Bird teamed up for an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics in 1986 During an NBA basketball game at Boston Garden in Boston on March 5, 1986, Boston Celtics Larry Bird (R) and Bill Walton (L) take the ball away from Chicago Bulls Mike Smrek. | Getty Images/Bill Brett/The Boston Globe

Bill Walton was one of the visitors during the unveiling of the Larry Bird monument at Indiana State University in 2013.

Walton recalled a late-game encounter with Bird early in the 1985–86 season when sharing the stage with Bird, former Celtics Quinn Buckner and Joe Kleine, and former Celtics Quinn Buckner and Joe Kleine. After being fouled, Walton sent the ball to Bird, who converted two free throws.

“So, the next time, it’ll be the same exact thing. Larry gets two additional free throws when I toss it to him. Larry will be more cautious next time. I toss it to (Dennis Johnson). DJ takes the court and makes two free throws. When Larry and DJ are defended the next time, I pass it to Danny Ainge, the team’s top free-throw shooter.

“As Danny is going up to the free throw line, Larry approaches me and says, ‘Hey, Walton.’ I understand this is your first game here, but if you want to remain on the squad, you must always pass the ball to me.’

Bill Walton

Of course, Walton had nothing but positive things to say about Bird as a teammate and a friend. Larry Bird and Bill Walton have a strong connection despite having only worked together for a short period of time.

After the 1986 title, Bill Walton’s career faded rapidly.

In 1985-86, Bill Walton established a career best by appearing in 80 of the Celtics’ 82 games. Before then, he had never missed less than 15 games in a season. The end, though, came swiftly. Walton missed all but 10 regular-season games in 1986–87 due to a foot ailment. In Boston’s unsuccessful championship defense in 1987, Walton played in 12 of the team’s 23 playoff games, but they would be his last games.

He was forced to retire in June 1988 after missing the whole 1987–88 season due to foot issues. His induction into the Hall of Fame in 1993 was based on his illustrious college career at UCLA as well as his brief NBA career. However, Walton’s contributions to Larry Bird’s last NBA title enabled the two legends from different eras form a lifelong friendship.

Basketball Reference provided the historical data.

RELATED: Larry Bird May Have Won a Gold Medal With the Dream Team, But His First Olympic Memory Is a Bittersweet Reminder of His Painful Past

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