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“There’s no way we would let Larry Bird bully us like Michael Jordan did!”: Robert Parish passionately broke down Celtics and Bulls legend’s leadership qualities

Samir Mehdi

“There’s no way we would let Larry Bird bully us like Michael Jordan did!”: Robert Parish passionately broke down Celtics and Bulls legend’s leadership qualities

Robert Parish says that there is no way they would ever take any sort of verbal abuse from Larry Bird the way the Bulls did from Michael Jordan. 

Robert Parish is one of the few players in NBA history who knows what made Larry Bird and Michael Jordan tick. His unique perspective comes from the fact that he played with Bird on the iconic 80s Boston Celtics squads and contributed to their championship runs and also was on the ‘97 Chicago Bulls but averaged less than 10 minutes of play. 

Michael Jordan was known for having been a tyrant of sorts. He actually addressed these ‘allegations’ made against him during ‘The Last Dance’ docuseries from two years ago, where he said it was fine if people thought of him that way. He did however claim that he never asked his teammates to do something he didn’t already do or would do.

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Larry Bird on the other hand, while he was one of the most competitive players in league history, didn’t run that tight of a ship. The Celtics as a whole had an identity of being guys who came into work and got the job done, requiring no extra motivation to play to their fullest of abilities. 

Robert Parish on Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. 

Parish having played with both Michael Jordan and Larry Bird, he has quite the insight on how things ran behind the scenes. In an interview with Cedric Maxwell, Robert claimed that the Celtics would never take Michael’s type of verbal abuse from Larry if he ever tried.

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The former Celts star then went on to say that he hated how the guys on the Chicago Bulls just went along with Jordan’s bullying. He wished they would stand up to him instead of letting everything he said or did slide.

While this may be true, the Chicago Bulls won 6 championships in 8 years. Bulls guys have called him a d**k but they never said it in a way where they regretted playing with him and that’s what matter at the end of the day. From the looks of it, if they had to do it again, they would do so with no hesitation. 

About the author

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi


Samir Mehdi is a senior strategist for the NBA division at The Sportsrush. Ever since he was 13 years old, he’s been obsessed with the game of basketball. From watching Kobe Bryant’s highlights on YouTube to now, analyzing and breaking down every single game on League Pass, Samir’s passion for the game is unwavering. He's a complete basketball junkie who not only breaks down current games but also keenly watches ones from the 60s’ and 70s’ while also reading comprehensive books on the history of the league. Samir’s life revolves around basketball and he hopes that shows in his work. Aside from work, he loves to spend time in the gym and with his friends at social gatherings.

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