Michael Jordan led the Bulls to dominate the Celtics while Larry Bird had an awful night in their second game against one another.
The 1984-85 season was great for the NBA for a multitude of reasons. The Lakers-Celtics rivalry was at it’s peak, David Stern had just become the commissioner and a rookie named Michael Jordan was making headlines for all the right stuff. One of these moments happened on Dec. 22, 1984 when the Bulls played the Celtics in their second matchup of the season.
Jordan rose to the occasion & scored 32 points, handing the defending champs their worst loss of the season, 110-85. Bird on the other hand massively underperformed and scored just 10 points, missing 11 of his 14 shots.
After the game, the Bulls gloated and bragged in front of the Celtics. Bird did not forget this.
Larry Bird. He’s not supposed to do that! #Celtics
— Honest☘️Larry (@HonestLarry1) October 3, 2021
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Larry Bird and the Celtics made sure to put a young Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the right place.
In the third meeting of the season between the two teams things were different from before. Playing in Boston this time, Larry Bird sealed out the win a close 111-108 win. Neither Bird nor the Celtics had forgotten the December humiliation and after the game he recalled,
“They can’t say things now without going out and proving it,”
Larry was unfaltering in his revenge as he scored 28 and grabbed 11 boards. In typical Bird fashion, he had six points and blocked Jordan twice down the stretch to seal the deal. Michael had a great game too, scoring 36 points but it just wasn’t enough this time.
Post game, Jordan acknowledged that they had rubbed Celtics the wrong way last game, but stated clearly that the Bulls were not intimated.
“We don’t have the right to create bad blood with the world champs. We’re a young team trying to get where they are. We had our chances, but we weren’t intimidated.” Jordan said.
MJ and Bird both went on to have stellar seasons. Jordan won the ROTY convincingly while Larry claimed his second MVP and took Boston to the NBA Finals, losing to the Lakers in six.