Larry Bird is arguably a top 5 player in NBA history, but he still had his doubters in his heyday. Patrick Ewing narrates a hilarious story on that theme.
Bird is the last player to have won 3 straight MVP trophies. In the first 7 years of his career, Bird made the All-NBA First Team ever season. The Celtics legend also snagged a couple of All-Defensive team selections.
In terms of being a complete player on both ends of the court, Larry Bird was possibly the first true do-it-all forward. He was a genuine playmaker with or without the ball in his hands.
He could shoot the lights out of the gym on most nights. And nobody talked more trash than Bird when he was putting his opponents to the sword.
Patrick Ewing talks about the first time he faced Larry Bird
In Patrick Ewing’s rookie year, Larry Bird was in the middle of his 3rd straight MVP campaign. The Celtics would go 67-15 on the year before winning the championship with a dominant playoff run.
Patrick Ewing told us in a recent interview that his friends didn’t think all that highly of Bird. But they were forced to eat humble pie after Ewing got back to them with his own first-hand experience.
The Knicks faced the Celtics at the Madison Square Garden on November 22nd, 1985. The Celtics took the game 113-104, with Larry Legend notching up a triple-double (18 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists). It should suffice to say that he was all that he was advertised and more.
In Ewing’s words: “All that trash you been talking… you need to squash all of that. This man is great.”
Bird and Ewing would go on to be teammates at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics on the Dream Team. Both are first-ballot inducteees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.