Larry Bird once said “If it hadn’t been for one teammate, I wouldn’t have scored half my points.” His statement is a reminder to always thank those who support you.
Larry Bird once said if not for 1 teammate, he wouldn’t have scored half his points. I am sure he meant it, and still does. Bird is a great basketball player and, in my opinion, one of the best to ever lace up a pair of basketball shoes.Larry Bird played 13 seasons in the NBA, all for the Boston Celtics. He finished his career with three NBA titles, three MVPs and appeared in 12 NBA All-Star games. He also finished his career with 21,791 regular season points. In Byrd’s playing days, it was an unselfish teammate who helped him score all those points. Without him, Bird says, he wouldn’t have scored half his points.
From left to right: Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson and Larry Bird laugh during the game against the Phoenix Suns at Boston Garden, 30. January 1994. (Photo: Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
During his 13 years in the league, Byrd played with some very good teammates. In a one-on-one interview with Magic Johnson, Johnson asked Bird who was the smartest player he had ever played with.
Dennis Johnson, quickly explained Bird in a video posted by The Universe Galaxy in January 2020.
Then he was asked who was the best player he had played with.
Probably Dennis Johnson, but it’s very close between Kevin (McHale) and Dennis Johnson, Bird said to Johnson. They are two different types of players. I always thought that if we needed a big shot, Dennis would shoot 44% in the regular season and 60% in the playoffs.
Kevin was great. You know you played with him. But D.J. was a boy I loved to play with. He thought as much as I did and was pretty good.
Bird has always given credit to his teammates. He got all the attention for his efforts and big results, but he always paid attention to the little things that made him so successful. He had great respect for Johnson and center Robert Parish, two guys who always did those little things that never translated into results. Parish helped Bird score a lot of points even when the big guy wasn’t touching the ball.
Everyone knew that if we needed a basket, D.J. would give me the ball and I would get it after a rebound from Robert, the best rebounder in the world, he told Sports Illustrated during a trip to the West Coast in 1991. I don’t know how he does it. I’m not so into these picks because it’s not our offense. But if it wasn’t for Robert, I wouldn’t have scored half the points I did.
Byrd didn’t know if Parish was tired of him scoring every basket behind his screens. Vogel got the honor. The congregation went unnoticed.
Is he mad at me? Vogel asked. I’m sure almost everyone hates me. They work hard, and all you hear is… Larry Bird in town or Larry Bird and the Celtics here. I never told them, but what can I do? I’m not going to stop playing hard because I got promoted.
Parish was an uncompromising man at the heart of the Celtics. He teamed up with Byrd and McHale in their version of the Big Three. He was just as happy to grab 20 rebounds as he was to score 20 points. Parish was gentle, but could get carried away when necessary. Such was the case on the West Coast in 1991, when the Celtics took on the rival Lakers and the young, talkative Vlade Divac.
According to Sports Illustrated, Divac said a few days earlier that the game against Boston was a practice game. Celtics assistant coach John Jennings pointed this out to Parish.
Well, to hell with Vlade Divaca, Parish said.
Parish scored 21 points in the first quarter.
Vlade hit his reverse dunk, McHale said after the Celtics’ 98-85 victory, and Robert hit 29.
Parish was content to play the role of setter for Bird, but he proved that he could also score himself.
COMPARED TO: Larry Bird or Magic Johnson? An old cop explains who is better than.
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