Larry Bird’s trash talk is widely regarded to be as legendary as his ability on the court. Patrick Ewing was on the receiving end a lot of times and has copped his fair share of blows.
Patrick Ewing had always been the center of attention since his high-school days. Dominating the field due to his sheer size and athleticism, he rarely faced a tough challenge growing up.
His journey in college with the Georgetown Hoyas was similar, as they were the top-ranked team almost every year. Hence, when he was drafted No. 1 by the Knicks in a controversial draw in 1985, he probably felt like the king of the world.
The playing field around him, however, felt otherwise.
The latter half of the 80s was dominated by 3 teams, and each played an extremely physical game. The Detroit Pistons were famous for their bad-boy image, while the Lakers led by Kareem, Magic, Worthy, and DPOY Michael Cooper were hard outs as well.
The Boston Celtics, however, were a different breed. Kevin McHale would kill you down low with a flurry of post moves, Robert Parish never relented on defense, and then there was Larry legend. Larry would talk A LOT of trash, and then back it up with his unbelievable shooting and intelligence.
Larry Bird and Patrick Ewing went on to be Dream Team teammates at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics
Ewing recalled an unforgettable exchange with Larry during an interview with Arsenio Hall in 1994. “I remember a couple of times when he drove to the hole and I tried to block his shot and he was like ‘You better sit down, you going to pop your arm out of your socket before you get this.'”
Sheesh. You need to possess supreme confidence for saying that to a 7 ft athletic beast like Ewing. But that was the amount of respect the 3-time MVP commanded. In his later years, Pat reciprocated his share too, and the two have remained friends since.