Cover Image for 6’9″ Larry Bird was so good, his highest score using just his weaker hand is higher than Kawhi Leonard’s career high

6’9″ Larry Bird was so good, his highest score using just his weaker hand is higher than Kawhi Leonard’s career high

Achyuth Jayagopal
|Fri Aug 19 2022


Larry Bird is considered one of the most skilled basketball players of all time.

The Celtics legend was revered in league circles for his brilliant overall play. Bird was a terrific defender while being one of the smoothest operators with the ball in his era.

Bird had a skillset that transcended eras and make a claim for him arguably being a better fit for the modern game than he was to his own era. Larry Legend was making waves and spacing the floor way before it became the go-to model.

Also read: Why didn’t the Indiana Pacers take Larry Bird in the 1978 NBA Draft and went for Mychal Thompson?

Bird dominated his era and had an aura of victory around him at all times. Larry’s colleagues across the league bore the brunt of it in the form of trash talk and snide remarks.

Bird’s confidence in his abilities was renowned. Bird talked that talk and walked the walk and then some. One such instance gave birth to the famed “left-hand game” against the Trailblazers.

What happened in the Celtics game at Portland in 1986?

Larry Legend decided to take shots primarily with his off-hand. Such a bold decision was not without good reason, as the world came to find.

Bird scored 47 points while dropping a triple-double on the Blazers. The feat sounds ridiculous in itself but is even more jaw-dropping when put in a different context.

Kawhi Leonard is a two-way player who also plays small-forward, Bird’s preferred position. A healthy Kawhi is widely regarded as a top 3 player in the NBA and is a two-time Finals MVP.

Kawhi is therefore no slouch and is an offensive force on his day. However, Leonard’s best scoring night during his time in the league is lesser than what Bird scored with his off-hand.

Leonard’s 45 would have been an offensive masterpiece marked in his career graph. But to think such a historic night for Kawhi was just another shootaround for Bird is bonkers.

Bird was apparently saving his right hand for the Lakers. A mic drop line if there ever was one.

Long live Larry Legend.

Also read: Larry Bird made a net worth of $75 million from a mere $24M career earnings because he didn’t need supercars or fancy cloths to “Build His Ego”


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