Larry Bird once scored an astounding 47 points while shooting with his left hand and claimed that he was saving his right hand for the Lakers.
The legend of Larry Bird is one that persists to this day. Spending merely 12 seasons in the league and having the impact that he had on the game is quite unheard of. However, 3 MVPs, 3 titles, and countless All-NBA and All-Star selections later and Larry Legend was a part of the catalyst that led to the eventual globalization of the NBA.
Of course, talking about Larry Bird means you sort of do have to bring up Magic Johnson. After all, the two did duel in the 1979 NCAA championship game, setting the tone for the way their careers played out in terms of constantly one upping one another in the big leagues.
Magic Johnson did inevitably best ‘The Great White Hope’ when it came to overall accomplishments in the NBA but the effect the latter had on the rest of the league was on the level of what Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant did.
Larry Bird torched the Blazers for 47 points using his left hand only.
Larry Bird was arguably at his peak, offensively, in 1986. It could be argued the same for 1984 but for the sake of the story that is going to be told, 1986 it is. This was the year he would win his third consecutive MVP, his final Finals MVP, and of course, the obligatory All-NBA first team selection to go along with an All-Star nod as well.
Seems as though getting what he wanted on the offensive end of the floor and torturing defenses was getting a bit stale for Larry on Valentine’s Day in 1986. So, that night, against the Portland TrailBlazers, the ‘Hick from French Lick’ decided to go with the unorthodox approach of scoring primarily with his left hand.
He ended that game with a ridiculous statline of 47 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists and had 2 blocks to go along with that. He shot 61% from the field on the night and shot 10 field goals with his left hand. What’s more astonishing is that he did all of this after having warned his teammates the night prior about what he was planning to do.
31 years ago today, Larry Bird scored 10 of his 21 field goals with his left hand & finished with 47 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists! pic.twitter.com/4HLCqjGaRP
— NBA (@NBA) February 14, 2017
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“Tomorrow night’s the last game of the trip, I’m going to play this one left-handed. Well, at least through 3 quarters,” said Bird. Following the game, when asked about his game, he said, “I’m saving my right hand for the Lakers.”
Well, indeed Larry Bird did save his hand for the Lakers and bested them too merely two nights after the left-handed game, scoring a solid 22 points and winning the game, 105-99.