In the NBA, after a player makes a three-point shot, they are allowed to stand in front of their opponents’ bench for a few seconds. This allows the opponent to be able to get close enough to shoot at them.
I Tell You, It’s Hard to Shoot After Bird is a short story about basketball. The author uses the phrase left hand game in the title and throughout the story. Read more in detail here: left hand game meaning.
Michael Jordan had the ability to recognize brilliance when he saw it. His praises to other players are overwhelmingly outweighed by his slights. However, on a night in 1988, MJ was able to take a step back and marvel at Larry Bird’s incredible jump shot.
Jordan’s ascent coincided with Bird’s fall, yet the two have mutual respect, which comes in part from the 1988 All-Star Weekend.
During the 1988 All-Star festivities, Jordan and Bird each put on a performance.
During an NBA All-Star game, Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics and Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls sit on a bench. | Getty Images/Focus on Sport
1988 may have been the peak of NBA all-star celebrations. It happened in Chicago, and His Airness was competing in the slam dunk event that year. Jordan was the two-time defending champion of the 3-point contest, while Bird was the reigning champion of the 2-point game.
The game was a spectacle unto itself. Jordan was voted MVP in his hometown of Chicago after scoring 40 points, eight assists, four steals, and four blocks in leading the East to victory.
Magic Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy were among the players in the game.
One of the most famous all-star events in NBA history is the dunk contest between Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins. That part of the weekend in 1988 is worth a whole tale in and of itself.
But, before stepping out of the tunnel and onto the court to face ‘Nique, MJ had the opportunity to see Bird’s brilliance firsthand.
Bird’s victory in the 1988 3-point contest is legendary.
Bird was never a fan of all-star competitions. Of course, he didn’t enjoy yelling during games, but the future Hall of Famer preferred the intricacies of directing an offense and battling with a squad. Even yet, the guy could shoot, and 3-point contests were an opportunity for him to demonstrate his skills.
Bird comfortably defeated Dale Ellis in the 1988 final. According to an NBA.com article, the former Supersonics guard had a lead as he circled into the last two racks. With ten balls remaining, he needed nine points to win.
The three-time MVP then flicked on his jumper like a light switch. With three balls remaining, he hit five consecutive balls and needed three points to win. Bird not only made the game-winning shot, but he also spun around while the ball was still in the air and raised one finger as if to indicate, “It’s over.”
He didn’t even remove his warm-up clothing.
Jordan had been watching the game on a tiny TV in the basement of Chicago Stadium with a group of reporters, and he had openly acknowledged how tough it would be to defeat Larry Bird in a shooting battle, according to NBCSports.
“He hasn’t removed his top yet. I’m afraid to watch what happens after he removes his top. It’s difficult to shoot when Bird just made 23.”
While witnessing Larry Bird’s famous 1988 3-point battle, Michael Jordan
And it was before Bird’s legendary performance in the last round.
Even in minor all-star tournaments, Jordan and Bird showed they were two of the best ever.
Michael Jordan and Larry Bird are without a doubt two of the most competitive players to ever grace an NBA court. It’s no surprise, therefore, that both put on spectacular performances in very insignificant occasions. Bird’s 3-point championship decorations, out of all the trophies he’s won, aren’t likely to be the most noticeable.
Even Jordan, with all the competitive impulses coursing through his veins, was able to pause and consider how tough it would be to defeat Larry Legend in a shooting contest.
Basketball-Reference provided all statistics.
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