Celtics were 61-103 the 2 seasons before getting him. Then they added only him to their starting unit---and they went 61-21 (best in the NBA). This is the greatest single-season turnaround in NBA history when changing just 1 player in the starting lineup. When Boston was a Conference Finalist in 1988, they went 57-25 with him. When he missed essentially the entire 1989 season, the Celtics with Parish, McHale, Dennis Johnson and Ainge still playing----started 24-28 before trading Ainge for front court help. Even hobbled his last 2 years, the Celtics were 77-28 in the 105 games he played VS 30-29 in the 59 he missed. The player with the greatest impact on his teams' winning and losing in at least the last 40 years of the NBA. 1 of only 2 players in NBA history (Magic) to have his team average over 60 wins per 82 games he played in----only Bird joined the 29-53 Celtics while Magic joined a near 50-win Lakers team with arguable another top 5 player of all-time in Kareem. Averaged about 25ppg VS Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman in head to head games for his career----with most of those games at the tail end of his career when he wasn't even THAT Larry Bird anymore.
Best one on one player has to go to Michael Jordan, but best team player of all time, who with both teams being equal, could & would find a way to beat you... Whoever you were... Jordan, Magic... Etc... Didn't matter. There are players who raise the level of play of their team by several levels. Magic did it. Jordan did it. But no one did it as good as Bird in his prime. And I have to admit that I have always wondered what Bird would have done if he had been on the Lakers & Magic had been with the Celtics. The speed of the Lakers with Larry's passing & shooting... One can only imagine. At the very least, I think Bird's career would have been longer. But then again, it might not have been a good fit. Who knows. All I know is that when I watch high light clips of Larry, he is more fun to watch than even Michael Jordan. And to me that says something.
So yeah, in their primes, Jordan would probably win most of the one on one games... But with the 2 teams being equal, I think Larry Bird would be the deciding factor. And in such a team situation, I think Larry would win the majority of them. That's just my honest opinion.
He should be number 3 Larry was a great shooter with few dunks unlike Jordan who had many dunks to increase his shooting percentage. Larry was also a better rebounder, free throw shooter, and passer than Jordan. Larry entered the NBA one year late, after sitting out a year in college, and missed almost another full year in his prime with a foot injury. He was not a selfish shooter but just wanted to win and would get all of his teammate involved. He averaged over 10 rebounds per game for his career - not bad for someone who couldn't jump! He was both the first AND second player ever to shoot over 50% from the field AND over 90% from the line for a season - and this from a long range shooter! He was the best ever with a ful command of the game and awareness of what was happening - always
I can't stand the idolatry that Michael Jordan gets. He had nowhere near the court sense of the two best players ever--Bird and Magic. When Jordan missed a season the Bulls were two games worse than when he was there. (55-27----57-25) Pete Myers was his replacement, and had a referee not blown a BS foul against the Bulls against the Knicks in the conference finals, The Bulls would likely have won the championship w/out "his airness. " Also, they lionize him for the best dunk ever, the jam from the foul line. Countless players (A very white Brent Barry) have done that dunk, but Jordan just does it better I guess--another 2 things before I go--that brilliant hand switching shot in the finals that was so brilliant... There was no reason for the show off to switch hands--no one was on the right side, he just had to LAY IT IN! Finally what ironically makes me the sickest about his idolatry was his "virus" game. He's barely walking when the whistle blows to stop play, bent over, bullting the stupid people that are in awe, then play starts he's Superman all of a sudden again. He has nowhere near the court sense or dominance of a Bird or Johnson who don't care what others think--Jordan also won all his championships against I think the best center was who-Mark Eaton? He'she best shooting guard, at best. Ask Pat Riley.
Larry is THE best ever and EVERYBODY knows it! His teammate, M.L. carr, once said of Larry; "We had the best player in the world and we knew it". The reason he didn't jump as high as he could was because he just jumped high enough to get the job done. Why expend extra energy in an area when you could save it for crunch time. That logic was part of his basketball "smarts" that added to his greatness. NOBODY could do all the things Larry could do. And he made it look easy. Again, the best ever. Period. And speaking of crunch time, we ALL know what Larry did when the chips were down. PRODUCE! Enough said.
Larry Bird is probably in top three best 3 point shooters EVER! He is one of the best buzzer beater scorers ever and has to great rivals of all time his main rival was Ervin "Magic" Johnson wow that was a great one but there was also another one that not many people spotted him and Dr J that was astounding if you didn't notice it I am not saying your an idiot but it was pretty cool if you did Larry Bird was probably named the best power forward ever to play the game he was fast he was smart and a dead eye shooter. - logankulas
The greatest skill player of all time, he's not black and can't do a 360 windmill dunk but he would shoot the ball from anywhere, at any point in the game, first 5 seconds, or at the buzzer, and he would score. His defense was incredible and he created opportunities which lebron will never be able to see and that's what people don't understand, lebron overpowers players with his size, larry has 50 times the amount of skill
In the 1983-84 campaign, the Celtics returned to the NBA Finals and faced off against Magic and the Lakers. In a spectacular seven-game series, Boston defeated the Lakers, winning the seventh game 111"102. Larry Bird averaged 27 points and 14 rebounds a game during the series. He was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Finals. Bird was also named the NBA™s regular season MVP for that year.
Larry was a better shooter (not scorer, but shooter), passer, and rebounder than Jordan. He was also the most clutch player of all time. Remember the saying: "If I could choose someone to take the last shot for me, it would be Michael Jordan, but I picked someone to save my life, I'd choose Larry Bird. " One more thing, it sickens my heart to see LeBron and Kobe so high and overrated on this list, it really ruins it.
Larry Bird was the most tenacious and resourceful NBA player during his time and nobody surpasses him in that regard today. Was he fast? No. Was he strong? No. As stated many times, he was playing chess against people playing checkers and he was 3 moves ahead. Not to mention, he is the best clutch shooter the league ever saw. Lebron and MJ could beat him one-on-one, but with his McHale and Parish, Larry Bird would beat LeBron, Bosh and Wade any day
He was very good at shooting too. He is an inspiration to young players of today. He still is involved in basketball because he sees it as a valuable sport. While he was a good shooter, he was not a selfish player. He passed the ball when he saw an open man. He was a hardworking team mate. Many players respected as a player and they still respect him today.
Bird was the best player because he played smart basketball. Number 33 will always be the greatest number. If I could have anyone on my team it would always be bird. First off he played great defense, he scored like an angel, and he had so many great passes. He could beat Michael Jordan any day of the weak.
Larry Bird the rival of Magic in the college and in the NBA Laker, Celtics is the greatest team ever in 80:s and in 90:s is Bulls but in 80:s Bulls is very weak team but the Chicago Bulls is nice team because of Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan if no pippen the Bulls will not get the championship Jordan is weak without pippen so the Bulls is nice team in 90:s
As a celtics fan I am obviously bias in saying Larry is the best ever (though he is). However this whole list is wrong... Jordan at one?! Magic and Larry rekindled interest in basketball at all levels... College, and NBA. The fact they are not higher on this list is a disgrace. Side note... How is Lebron three without a championship
Larry bird is the greatest team player ever, period. A lot players had certain aspects of their game that might have been better than him, but couldn't match ALL of his skills. Some might pass better (Magic, Stockton) some could rebound better (Rodman, Olajuwon) some might score more (MJ, Bryant) but none of them had all the qualities that Bird had. Who knows what kind of records he would have held if not for his injuries
Larry Bird does not look like an athlete. He does not move like an athlete. He looks to clumsy and unathletic with or without the ball. Even his form was unorthodox to say the least. But the minute that ball leaves his hands you know it's going in. He looks harmless, but when you give him the ball, there's no stopping him from making the basket. - TheBostonKid
He was the best NBA player ever. Wilt and Oscar may follow after that. Bird wasn't as athletic as Jordan, but was a better rebounder, passer, 3-point shooter, free throw shooter and was just as good of a clutch shooter. As rookies, Magic won the championship and Bird was the Rookie of The Year. - lb5100
Bird was the only basketball player in nba history to have a career average over 20 points 10 rebounds and 5 assist. He is the greatest ball player to ever live! He not only was a great player but made his teammates around him great too!
Bird and Jordan were very dissimilar. Bird was a more consistent shooter and passer, Jordan was more of an inside player who was more of a basketball artist. No way is Jordan better though. Bird cared about winning, not stats. Without his awesome team, Jordan may have 2 rings, and without his awesome team, Bird may have still won as much as he did. He was a leader. - therootbeer
Without the physical ability Larry was able to do what MJ and others did. People often forget the mess the Celtics where in when he joined them in 1980 (they had the worst record). In 81 they took the title, Larry Bird is often under rated in these lists.
I think Larry should be number 2 or 3, in my opinion. Lebron has zero championships and that speaks volumes as to, being the caliber of player he is, lead a team. Two or third could be Magic Johnson as well. The best point guard ever and a floor general. Kobe, # 4 because he got a few rings under Shaq's shadow.
Easily the best shooter to ever play the game. The fact that they rate Kobe, LeBron, and MAGIC... MAGIC over him is pure and unchallenged crap. He Could pass, set picks, cut, and had the best sense for the game of anyone anywhere. Magic couldn't compete. So, maybe Jordan was the best, But Bird? He was the greatest.
More complete in every aspect of the game than any other player to ever play the game. A leader who could shoot rebound, make passes other players couldn't even imagine and hustle, steal, fight and do anything and everything needed to make sure his team won.
As for all around skill set, shooting, passing, rebounding, go, there are a few on the list right there. As far as desire and competitive drive goes, its clearly Michael, Larry, & Kobe, with Magic really really close. Lebron is the most gifted athlete on the list, however he isn't in the top five all time. By the way, Where is Russell. I think he has a ring or ten, right?
The purest shooter of all time. He won the very first and second long distance shoot out there ever was. On his 3rd year it looked like his luck ran out with some misses. Wrong! Typical Bird fashion. On the last rack he got the balls in to tie then the money ball for the win! We all remember the finger up in the air for victory as soon as he released his shot! 3 wins in a row. Speaking of 3 in a row. He had 3 MVPs in a row in the toughest decade ever! Only Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain won 3 MVP consecutively like that.