Michael Jordan and Larry Bird were big rivals on the court and very good friends off it. They shared a lot of moments on the hardwoods since Jordan made it to the league in 1984. For the first years of his career, the Bird-led Boston Celtics were the Chicago Bulls' boogeyman, as they were unable to get past the strongest force in the Eastern Conference.
That's why MJ couldn't hide his excitement when he heard the news about Bird ending his career. Of course, Michael was a very competitive player and he would love to face Larry more but father time catches all of us, including one of the best players to ever do it. Jordan didn't miss his chance to trash talk his friend while remembering all the bad times he lived thanks to the Celtics legend.
Bird announced his retirement in 1992 and His Airness showed all the love he had for No. 33 but also made it clear that he wouldn't miss him given all the games he lost in front of Larry and his team.
“Larry, I hear that you’re retiring. Thank goodness. I’m glad. I’m tired of seeing your face. You brought a lot of sad memories for me," Jordan said. I enjoyed it, and I wish you a lot of luck, and I think you had a great and wonderful career. You ruined a lot of my successful games against the Boston Celtics.”
Larry Legend was something else. As he admitted, he wasn't the strongest or fastest player ever but he took advantage of his fundamentals and his intelligence to beat his rivals and of course trash-talking was part of that.
Jordan always did this to the man regardless of where and how they met. Back in 1998, as the Chicago Bulls beat the Indiana Pacers in a very complicated Eastern Conference Finals, MJ trash-talked Bird again, who served as the Pacers head coach back then. No. 23 met him in the United Center and he went off on his former rival.
“Enjoy yourself, dog,” Jordan said. “You b----, f--- you. Y’all gave us a run for our money.”
After Bird just said "I'll see you," Jordan continued and trash-talked him a little bit more.
“All right, take care. Now you can work on that golf game of yours," he added.
They were always big rivals but also very good friends. You can see that in the way they talked to each other. Bird retired as a 3x NBA champion, 3x MVP, and as one of the biggest trash talkers in NBA history. Jordan might have learned a couple of things from him, as he was the top dog following Bird's retirement.