Very few players have given more problems to opposing teams than Larry Bird. Larry was one of the most gifted scorers in NBA history and is considered by many as one of the best players to ever don the Boston Celtics jersey.
Larry Bird was one of the most dominating figures in the NBA during the 1980s. He and the Boston Celtics had a dynastic run during the 1980s, and his rivalry with Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers made for some of the most memorable basketball games in NBA history.
Larry and the Celtics dominated the Eastern Conference for much of the 1980s, going head to head against the Detroit Pistons. In the meantime, a young Michael Jordan had entered the league in 1984 and was getting better and better with each passing year.
Jordan and Larry would face off each other regularly, with the Bulls and the Celtics playing in the same conference. Jordan even said that Larry Bird was a big influence on his ability to trash-talk. On one occasion in 1987, Larry Legend decided to teach Michael Jordan a lesson on what it was like to guard him.
During a Celtics vs. Bulls game, Larry decided to take Michael Jordan into the post from a half-court possession. And from there, he went on to score on MJ. That would have been enough to give MJ a taste of guarding Larry.
But he went on to repeat the sequence for 2 more occasions, making it 3 consecutive half-court possessions where he bossed Michael in the post, scoring 6 points on him. Larry truly taught Jordan a lesson on how to dominate as a scorer in the NBA.
Jordan has spoken on occasions about playing against Larry Bird, how it was a huge learning experience for him. In fact, Jordan even joked that Larry Bird ruined some of the best games of his career.
MJ and Larry faced off on multiple occasions. In Jordan's first playoff series against the Celtics, Jordan scored 63 points in a single game, the record for most points in a single playoff game.
Larry said after the game that it was actually God disguised as Michael Jordan putting on that 63-point performance. Larry and the Celtics faced off against Jordan and the Bulls twice in the NBA playoffs, and swept them both times, leaving Jordan 6-0 against Bird in the playoffs.
Bird was practically automatic from any part of the court. He was truly an excellent shooter and could convert from wherever he was on the court if he wanted to. But on top of that, Larry also had great ball and body control and would use that skill to get the better of players who were tasked with the responsibility of guarding him.