NBA veteran Dennis Rodman once passed a racist slur at Celtics superstar Larry Bird, leading to a heavy backlash.
It would not be wrong to say that Dennis Rodman was not the quintessential NBA star. The former Bulls forward did exhibit uncanny behavior on several occasions. However, one cannot deny the effort and hustle he displayed on the hardwood. Rodman was terror, especially when it came to defense.
The 2x DPOY could say some of the most bizarre statements unapologetically. One such instance was when he hinted at Larry Bird getting preferential treatment for being white. Rodman felt Bird was overrated and would have been treated like any other good player if not white.
Bird was a 3x NBA champion, defeating legends Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Hakeem Olajuwon during his quest for the title. The Celtics legend was the best player on his team, winning the Finals MVP award twice.
Rodman’s controversial statements had led to a heavy backlash. The worm’s agent had to take care of the situation, faxing an apology to Bird.
Dennis Rodman talks about Larry Bird getting preferential treatment due to his skin color
Over the years, Rodman has made some blasphemous statements without knowing any facts. One such being questioning Larry Bird’s legacy. The worm believed Bird would have been like any other good player hadn’t he been white.
He’s not God. He ain’t the best player in the NBA, not to me He’s white. That’s the reason he gets it the MVP award. Nobody gives Magic Johnson credit. I don’t care. Go ahead and tell him. You’ll put it in the paper anyway.
Via: NY Times
In 15 matchups that Rodman had with Bird, the Celtics superstar had a winning record of 9-6. Bird averaged 24.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 6.9 APG, 1.0 SPG, and 1.1 BPG in those 15 meetings.
Nonetheless, Rodman found support from his Pistons teammate Isiah Thomas, who seconded his statement on Bird.
I think Larry is a very, very good basketball player. He’s an exceptional talent. But I have to agree with Rodman. If he were black, he’d be just another good guy.
Via: NY Times
In the 41 contests that Isiah had with Bird, the latter held a winning record of 29-12. The Celtics legend averaged 26.3 PPG, 10.1 RPG, and 6.7 APG on a 48.6% shooting against Thomas.
During his 13 seasons in the league, there were several racial slurs thrown at Bird. At the time, the 3x MVP was the first white player to gain so much popularity. Though these statements tried to diminish Bird’s legacy, the superstars’ resume speaks for itself.