NBA legend Larry Bird was one of the best players to ever grace the court. During his 13-years-long career, he established himself as an elite scorer and winner. It is quite evident from seeing his phenomenal resume that many NBA players to this date idolize the Boston Celtics legend.
But even among the numerous scoring outbursts, such as scoring 47-points with his left hand, Bird's career-high performance against the Atlanta Hawks was a game that fans remember even now. The game took place during the 1984-54 NBA season. At the time, Bird was in the prime of his career and also won three consecutive MVP awards.
Coming back to the game, the then-28-year-old erupted for 60 points in the game. Moreover, out of his total tally, he scored 32 points in just 14-minutes during the second quarter. He went 22-for-36 from the field translating to 61% from the floor.
Looking at these stats, any fan watching the game would have been in awe of Bird's heroics. Well, that was the case, but looking at his game, even the opposing players were simply too stunned. Instagram account "timelesssports" recently brought that sensational performance to light.
This performance came against when the Hawks were a good team with Dominique Wilkins starting to establish himself as a star in the NBA. Upon seeing Bird go on such a scoring spree, it must have reminded Wilkins of his rookie year. We're talking about when Larry Bird trash-talked Wilkins during his rookie year.
While the previous time Bird talked to Wilkins one on one, this time around that wasn't the case. Moreover, the entire Hawks bench seemed to be cheering for Bird, who was creating history. Here is the full video of the Hawks' bench players reacting to Larry Bird's sinking shot after shot.
As we mentioned earlier, NBA fans without a doubt loved seeing this, so many of them shared their honest thoughts about it in the YouTube comments section.
Raprap Angeles: "Gotta remember. This was around the time when every team was very cut throat to one another. It wasn't like today's NBA where everyone is out there kumbaya-ing with the other team before the game and sometimes even during the game. This was the era of the Big 3 Celtics, the Showtime Lakers, MJ's Chicago Bulls, Bad Boys Pistons, and so forth. Ultra competitive on and off the court. The Hawks considered the Celtics a rival back then and for them to act like this towards Bird was something special."
mtnmann72: "The hawks bench knew they were witnesses to damn near perfection. Who wouldn’t be in awe."
Jay Z: "The opposing bench became fanboys for a moment. hilarious."
D H: "Anybody here from Open Court with Dominique story saying the coach fined the whole bench."
Crossing Guardians: "I love Bird! One of my all-time fav basketball player."
Mike Wall: "It was a pleasure to watch Bird year in and year out. I was 11 years old when he started his career."
fungidungie Johnson: "Now that is a classic; their reactions!"
David R: "Bird and Dominique had a great rivalry. It was strange that Dominique ended up as a Celtic after Bird retired."
Weird AF News: "Notice how excited the Atlanta crowd is! Haha. They are cheering for him, it's amazing."
Hamza Mohammad Khan: "I can't blame those two celebrating .. watch a legend play and performing like that is a treat to watch."
Andrew Liu: "As a young guy, my favorite old school players are Hakeem and Bird. Bird's 60 points is impressive but I don't see that the defense is anything good. But this 60 pt is still better than Harden's."
Benchiped: "Bird was amazing to watch. Career cut to short from back injuries."
markito golez: "As always ATLANTA HAWKS crowd and players cheers the opposing team..rememeber when MJ return in 95 and hit the buzzer beater against steve smith? Atlanta crowds went nuts as well...."
PFit BFit: "No teams in history are beating the 86 Celtics or the 87 Lakers. Well except the 86 Celtics or the 87 Lakers if you know what I mean."
Mykov Rivera: "That last shot Larry made came from an assist from DJ.....what a twosome play and 2 years later Larry returned the favor when he stole Isaiah's inbound pass and passed to the streaking DJ underneath their basket."
lokeymexican: "Today that Hawks bench would have went ahead and sat on the opposing team's bench."
Marine Devil Dogg 1371: "Dominique loved Bird but he was madd as hell at his bench that game lol."
R. W: "This was the time that players play hard unlike modern NBA with lots of flopper all across the teams. Even the so called great players like Lebron and Hardin are floppers."
Marvin Canita: "The Atlanta bench players were actually fined by the coach for celebrating Bird's impossible shots!"
brad squires: "And today's fans think Steph Curry is the greatest shooter ever, what a load of crap. Bird player in a far more aggressive defensive era where touch fouls were never called, hand checking was allowed, and players could try to rough you up without fouls being called. Larry would average 40 ppg in this era."
Just like many fans commented, it was indeed a legendary performance by Larry Legend. Despite the era, scoring 60 points in a game is a fantastic feat. In fact, Bird's 60 points are still the joint franchise record for the most points by a player in the league for the Celtics. Jayson Tatum tied the record back in May 2021 and was quite emotional about it.
All things considered, the scoring eruption and the reaction of the opposing players make Larry Bird's career-high a memorable event in the history of the NBA. And will always remain one of the most amazing games that anyone has ever witnessed.