On the surface, Larry Bird might not seem like a legendary jaw-japper. Out in the open, in public, he was always a nice and well-spoken individual and his game was smooth as butter.
But as it turns out, Bird was a nasty trash talker -- to the point where some of his former opponents still remember him for it today.
In the premiere episode of 'Showing Up and Throwing Down,' ex-NBA star Gary Payton spoke about Bird and his legendary trash talk, detailing at least one encounter he had with the Celtics icon.
"Bird used to tell me 'Look here man. I'm gonna go shoot this muthaf*cking jumper in your face right there in that corner. And it's gonna be your Christmas present. I'm gonna wrap it up and bust your head open.' All that sh*t. He was the coldest dude I've ever seen with that sh*t man. Everybody be talking about these great greats and we always mention him, he was the sh*t. He give it to you any way he wanted to. Larry Bird was cold. Cold dude man, real cold."
Of course, Payton wasn't the only victim of Bird's battle words. Robert Parish also admitted a while ago that Bird is right up there with Jordan as the NBA's great trash talkers.
That's one of the things that I noticed about Michael and Larry. That unshakable confidence in themselves. Not to mention, two of the all-time greats in the trash-talking. It doesn't matter if they balling out or they just have one of those nights where they out of sync or they struggling. They never stop talking trash.
Naturally, Bird was one of the few players who could back up his trash talk with true dominance on the court. Over his 13-year career, Larry legend was a 12x All-Star, 10x All-NBA player, 3x MVP, and 3x NBA Champion.
Today is widely recognized as one of basketball's greatest and most impactful players. Apparently, he's also one of the best trash talkers, too. If only we could have heard for ourselves what Bird was saying to his opponents all those years ago...