The Boston Celtics had swept the Chicago Bulls in their playoff series in 1986. Larry Bird ensured they made a regular season sweep next year.
Well actually, Bird was also majorly responsible for the Celtics sweeping Boston in their 1985-86 regular season series too. Larry Legend was really at the top of his game during the first 4 years of Michael Jordan’s Bulls career.
Part of Bird’s bravado and mystique came from his unflinching, uncompromising tongue that had been the scourge of many opponents. Larry Bird could take opponents apart with his skill, but his trash talk would also have the same effect. This was apparent all through his career.
Bird has had fascinating trash talking episodes with practically every star of his generation. We all know how he walked into the 3-point shootout asking ‘Who’s finishing second today?’
For those who don’t, rest in the knowledge that Larry didn’t even take his warmup jacket off that year. He simply went and nonchalantly beat a strong field also comprising of German sharpshooter Detlef Schrempf to defend his title.
Larry Bird ended Ben Poquette’s career as a teammate of Michael Jordan with his trash talk
The NBA has always played host to a fair few journeymen who keep switching teams at short intervals. Holding down a long-term contract in the world’s best basketball league, after all, is no mean feat.
Ben Poquette was one of these unspectacular role players of his time, and he didn’t last long with Chicago. The Bulls were his third team in a career played out as an end-of-the bench guy, having been drafted in 1977.
Guarding Larry Bird must essentially have finished him off, for Bird turned to Bulls head coach in disgust at his sight, remarking ‘Really? You’re putting Ben Poquette on me? Are you f***ing kidding me?’
Bird had 33 points by the half in that game played on March 26th, 1987. He finished with 41 on the night in a 111-106 win for Boston. Poquette played 8 minutes and had 2 points of his own. This was indeed one of the last games of Poquette’s NBA career.