No one person had more impact on the Boston Celtics than Larry Bird. Bird was drafted by the team in the second round of the 1979 NBA Draft and went on to become one of the most iconic players in franchise history. He led the Celtics to four NBA championships during his 16-year career, and is considered one of the best pure shooters in NBA history. He was also known for his tough, fiery attitude on and off the court and was even known to be quite a character. However, one incident in 1986 still stands out in the minds of Celtics fans and former players.
Larry Bird once had a rare bad game, and was questioned by fans for his lack of offense. He responded by giving an ill-informed analysis of the game, which he was not even on the court for.
The 1984-85 Boston Celtics were a good team that made the playoffs—something that hadn’t happened in three years. They were even better in the playoffs, making the NBA Finals. But before the series began, Larry Bird had to deal with one of his biggest foes—Kevin McHale. McHale was a first-time All-Star, and was an All-Defensive first-team member. Bird was upset that McHale was being given all the credit for finally making the playoffs and the Celtics were given the “credit” for it.. Read more about kevin mchale nba and let us know what you think.
The 1985-86 Boston Celtics were one of Larry Bird’s greatest teams. Bird once said that he would pit the squad against anybody. Despite the fact that the club only had a few losses that year, one stands out in the Celtics mythology. Bird criticized veterans Kevin McHale and Bill Walton before the game because Boston was on the road. He said that he didn’t need them and that he could handle things and win on his own. He was somewhat correct.
During the Boston Celtics’ historic 1985-86 season, Larry Bird earned his third consecutive MVP award.
On June 8, 1986, after defeating the Houston Rockets, Larry Bird speaks to the press in the locker room. | Getty Images/John Blanding/The Boston Globe
During the 1985-86 season, Bird and the Celtics were unstoppable. After losing in the 1985 NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers, they were eager for another title after winning in 1981 and 1984. After falling in overtime to the New Jersey Nets in the season opener, the Celtics were on a mission, winning eight and nine games in a row by early December. Bird was the driving force behind the team and was vying for his third consecutive MVP award.
According to the Boston Celtics, Walton stated in 2020, “What Larry was able to accomplish on and off the court eluded explanation, and it was very much like being on tour with The Grateful Dead.” “You never knew what might happen next. You could tell it was going to be a good time.”
Bird led the Celtics to a 67-15 record by averaging 25.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 6.8 assists in 82 games. He was voted the NBA’s top player for the third year in a row.
Danny Ainge, the team’s starting guard, stated, “The thing that always jumps out to me about Larry was his unshakable confidence.” “He exuded a degree of self-assurance that the rest of us lacked. And I believe we were all extremely self-assured.”
Before a game against the Dallas Mavericks, Larry Bird slammed Walton and McHale.
During the 1985-86 season, the Celtics’ defeats were few and far between. They only lost back-to-back games twice that year. Bird is still haunted by one of those losses.
On March 8, 1986, Boston started a five-game road trip against the Washington Bullets, losing 110-108 in overtime. They started their tour of Texas two days later, with a stop in Dallas.
Bird described his team’s attitude that season as “we simply didn’t believe we were going to lose.” “At the end of the year, we dropped a few games. I recall being very angry with Kevin and Bill before to the game. They were having a good time in Dallas.
“I was in a bad mood. ‘I don’t need you guys, I’ll win it by myself,’ I walked out and informed them. I get 50 points, and we lose, but I got my message across.”
In a 116-115 defeat, Bird had 50 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists. Following the game, Boston went on to win 14 consecutive games.
The Celtics went on to win the NBA title in Bird’s last season, defeating the Houston Rockets.
3rd time named champions, 2nd Finals MVP in 3 years
On this day in 1986, Larry Bird sealed his legend by leading the Celtics to their 16th championship. twitter.com/EXEPF4Vrlx
June 8, 2019 — Bleacher Report NBA (@BR NBA)
The Celtics capped off an incredible season by defeating Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets in six games. Bird was voted MVP of the Finals, which was unsurprising. The Celtics of the Bird era did not win another title, but they did reach the Finals for the fourth consecutive year the next year. They were defeated by the Lakers in six games.
“I’m not the kind of person that likes to be in the spotlight,” Bird said. “I’m not one to brag about myself. I let my basketball do most of the talking, and I like playing it. I’m not familiar with other athletes, but if they were treated as well as I was in Boston, they should be thankful because it was the best ride I’ve ever had. There is no doubt about that. It was the happiest moment of my life, and I’ll remember it forever.”
Basketball Reference provided all stats.
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