Larry Bird is probably the biggest example that appearance can be tricky sometimes. That white dude who looked more like he was in a Rock band was actually one of the deadliest scorers in the NBA not only with the ball in his hands but his words.
Bird is also considered one of the greatest trash talkers in NBA history and plenty of stories confirm that. However, the journey wasn't easy for the Boston Celtics legend, who had to work a lot to become the player he was, especially knowing he wasn't as fast or strong as other players in the league. Instead of playing harder, he played smarter and the results were incredible for the player.
"I wasn’t real quick, and I wasn’t really strong. Some guys will just take off and it’s like, whoa. So I beat them with my mind and my fundamentals," Bird said, creating one of the most famous quotes in basketball.
As stated before, this wasn't the only way he had to beat rivals. He could get under your skin with his words, bringing you down and messing with your mind while you were against him. One of the most memorable moments of Larry trash-talking people came in 1988 when he asked his rivals in the 3-point contest who was coming in second place.
He beat them with his training jacket on, keeping his word. He was a menace since a young age, as Nolan Richardson explained during his Hall of Fame speech. He didn't know the then Indiana State player was white and was pretty shocked the first time he saw Bird.
If he had the durability of other players, Bird would have been even better than he was and that's a lot to say. He's one of the few players that won three straight MVP awards, collecting two NBA titles in that span.