Larry Bird is one of the greatest players in NBA history. Bird was an incredibly skilled player, especially on the offensive end. His ability to shoot and handle the ball made him a player ahead of his time. On top of that, he was an incredible trash-talker, who could back up everything that he said.
But not everyone was a huge fan of Larry Bird. One of these people was Dennis Rodman. Rodman infamously said that Larry Bird was overrated because he was white and that he would be considered an average player if he was black. Those comments did not go down well with Larry Bird.
And Rodman learned why he made mistake when facing Larry Bird and the Celtics in the playoffs. While playing for the Detroit Pistons, Rodman was tasked with guarding Larry Bird during the NBA playoffs. He recently admitted that it was a big mistake to say what he said about Larry Bird.
But he did note that his former teammate Isiah Thomas came to his defense and made sure that Rodman didn't get in any trouble, and helped him get out of the Boston Garden and back to his car safely (1:32 mark).
“Game 6 at Boston I made the most wrong decision that a person can make. At the time I didn't know any better because I was so used to being in the projects, g*ddamn... I was young and stupid so after the game, I said If Larry Bird was black, he would be just an average basketball player. That is what I actually said back then, and I was in Boston. What was so cool about our team is that Isaiah Thomas came to my defense. He took all that heat from me and said Dennis, just go to your car and drive back home to Oklahoma and stay there. I made a mistake but those times were different, its a different era these days, but my career escalated from that point on.”
In actuality, it was Game 5, not Game 6 that Rodman was referring to. But clearly, he shows that he regrets what happened. In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Larry Bird pulled off a miraculous win for the Celtics, as he scored 36 points, and stole the ball in the final seconds to win the game for the Celtics.
Earlier in the series, Larry Bird had also talked trash about Dennis Rodman, telling Pistons head coach Chuck Daley that he would drop 60 points on the Detroit Pistons while being guarded by Dennis Rodman. While that never happened, Bird was able to get the better of one of the greatest defenders of all time as he took the Celtics to the 1987 NBA Finals.