(via Swarm and Sting)

Today, Larry Bird is known as one of the greatest basketball players ever. A first-ballot Hall of Famer, 12x All-Star, and 3x NBA Champion, Bird holds a legacy that very few have ever matched.

But, back in the day, not everyone was convinced he could play. Being a white man in a “black man’s” game, he was often the target of doubt and hate when it came to his abilities on the court. When those doubters came face-to-face with Bird, however, they found out for themselves just how good he really was.

In a chat on The Dan Patrick Show, former NBA big man Patrick Ewing looked back on his first meeting with “Larry legend,” describing what he had to tell his friends after his game against him.

“All that trash you been talking… you need to squash all of that. This man is great.”

Bird was an unbelievable scorer, posting a career average of 24.3 points, 10 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game on 37.6% shooting from beyond the arc.

And while Bird was a bit of an oddball back in his day, there is no denying him as one of the best when it comes to putting the ball in the hoop. Some folk, like Ewing, found that out the hard way.

!-- Header Tag Code -->