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Brian Shaw recounts Larry Bird's dominance in the 1980s

Coach with simple and effective methods, Larry Bird (2m06, 67 years old) was just as direct as a player.

When Brian Shaw arrived at the Celtics as an NBA rookie in 1988, Larry Bird already had his three NBA rings on his fingers, plus ten All-Star caps and a good number of other individual awards. But the beginner quickly gets upset when he dares to question the talent of his elder brother.

“I remember one of my very first practices in Boston. He came and said to me and Reggie Lewis: I want to play you two-on-one! [rires] “, smiles Brian Shaw in Paul George's podcast. “The only rule is that I start with the ball. Reggie and I look at each other and say, 'Come on, ok!' And before we had time to turn around, we were already at 0-6! We didn't touch the ball and he had made his first six shots! We were defending with one on him and the other was on the rebound. But for the 7th point, we took two [rires] ! He finally missed and we were able to recover the ball. In the end, we were able to move on and win 7-6 by passing the ball well. It was one of my first interactions with him and I realized straight away that he probably had more game than I initially thought. »

Karl Malone wants to take his frustration out on Brian Shaw's head

At the top of his game between 1984 and 1989, averaging more than 28 points, plus 9 rebounds and 7 assists, Larry Bird spent most of his time having fun with his opponents. Without any fear of the adversary in question.

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Like that evening against Karl Malone from Jazz. His future teammate on the original 1992 “Dream Team.”

“One night, we play against Utah. And, at the time, when we had an action that worked, we continued to use it until the defense managed to stop it. Basically, I was dropping the ball to Reggie on the wing, and I was going inside to set a screen to free Larry, who was being defended by Karl [Malone]. Larry was turning it on offensively. And meanwhile, [Kevin] McHale was stifling him defensively. And Larry started to quibble with him: 'Yes, we're two damn white people [rires]'. After another basket from Larry, released by my screen, Malone comes up to me going up the field and says to me: 'Hey, kid, if you come and set me a screen like that again, I'm going to blow your heads off. shoulders'. Damn, that made me think a little: is he really going to do this to me? I do the action again, I release the ball to Reggie and I put my screen in the middle of the racket for Larry. I see Karl arriving, he starts to cock his arm. I stay, I stay but at the last moment, I walked away! He was ready to cut me with his elbow forward. He wanted to take his anger out on me because Larry was spanking him, while openly chastising him! »

Discussions with the opposing coach during the match

Insatiable competitor who reigned over the 1980s, Larry Bird also did not hesitate to add to the folklore, and to his legend, by passing himself off as tougher than he really was.

“We were playing against Phoenix. Cotton Fitzsimmons was their coach and he put Tom Chambers on defense over Larry. Larry received the ball in front of their bench and turned around to have a mid-game discussion with Fitzsimmons and their staff saying, 'You're really going to disrespect me like that. You're going to put this white guy in front of me thinking he can defend on me.' He turned around and made his shot, before walking back up the field shaking his head. says Brian Shaw again. “Actions like that were routine for him. But he clearly felt insulted when a white player defended on him. »

Larry Bird Percentage Rebounds
Season Team MJ Min Shots 3pts L.F. Off Def Early Pd Party Int Bp Ct Pts
1979-80 BOS 82 36 47.4 40.6 83.6 2.6 7.8 10.4 4.5 3.4 1.7 3.2 0.7 21.3
1980-81 BOS 82 40 47.8 27.0 86.3 2.3 8.6 10.9 5.5 2.9 2.0 3.5 0.8 21.2
1981-82 BOS 77 38 50.3 21.2 86.3 2.6 8.3 10.9 5.8 3.2 1.9 3.3 0.9 22.9
1982-83 BOS 79 38 50.4 28.6 84.0 2.4 8.6 11.0 5.8 2.5 1.9 3.0 0.9 23.6
1983-84 BOS 79 38 49.2 24.7 88.8 2.3 7.8 10.1 6.6 2.5 1.8 3.0 0.9 24.2
1984-85 BOS 80 40 52.2 42.7 88.2 2.1 8.5 10.5 6.6 2.6 1.6 3.1 1.2 28.7
1985-86 BOS 82 38 49.6 42.3 89.6 2.3 7.5 9.8 6.8 2.2 2.0 3.2 0.6 25.8
1986-87 BOS 74 41 52.5 40.0 91.0 1.7 7.5 9.2 7.7 2.5 1.8 3.2 1.0 28.1
1987-88 BOS 76 39 52.7 41.4 91.6 1.4 7.8 9.3 6.1 2.1 1.6 2.8 0.8 29.9
1988-89 BOS 6 32 47.1 0.0 94.7 0.2 6.0 6.2 4.8 3.0 1.0 1.8 0.8 19.3
1989-90 BOS 75 39 47.3 33.3 93.0 1.2 8.3 9.5 7.5 2.3 1.4 3.2 0.8 24.3
1990-91 BOS 60 38 45.4 38.9 89.1 0.9 7.6 8.5 7.2 2.0 1.8 3.1 1.0 19.4
1991-92 BOS 45 37 46.6 40.6 92.6 1.0 8.6 9.6 6.8 1.8 0.9 2.8 0.7 20.2
Total 897 38 49.6 37.6 88.6 2.0 8.1 10.0 6.4 2.5 1.7 3.1 0.8 24.3

How to read the stats? MJ = matches played; Min = Minutes; Shots = Successful shots / Attempted shots; 3pts = 3-points / 3-points attempted; LF = free throws made / free throws attempted; Off = offensive rebound; Def=defensive rebound; Tot = Total rebounds; Pd = assists; Fte: Personal fouls; Int = Intercepts; Bp = Lost balls; Ct: Against; Pts = Points.

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