If you’re looking for an entertaining story, you couldn’t do much better than the 1992 NBA All-Star Game. The festivities took place in Orlando, Florida, and the game pitted the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference. The two teams played the second half with a two-point lead, and the excitement level was boiling over. With about 19 seconds remaining, Larry Bird was on the bench and decided to leave the bench. He walked over to the scorer’s table and started talking to the camera, which was filming the game. Larry Bird wrapped up his message with the phrase “and I’ll be seeing you later in ’92.”
During the 1987-88 season, Larry Bird threw down 60 points in a single game against the New Jersey Nets. It was the most points ever scored in a game at the time, and since then, no single player has come anywhere close to matching his feat. So, how does Bird’s 60-point game compare to other scoring records? Here’s a look back at the top scoring streaks in NBA history, and how they compare to Bird’s 60-point game.There are a lot of crazy stories about Larry Bird. He once played an entire game (or almost) with only his weak left hand. Then there was the incident where he elbowed the coach during a playoff series.
But Larry Legend’s most impressive (and perhaps strangest) act was predicting the future.
That moment occurred during Byrd’s career game on the 12th. March 1985. Celt was so in the zone that he could tell the Hawks’ bench exactly what was going to happen next, and with a little help from Atlanta’s Ricky Brown, it happened exactly as Bird predicted.
Larry Bird |
Bettmann / Contributors
In a game that set a record for legends, the Boston Celtics played against the Atlanta Hawks on a neutral field in New Orleans at the end of the 1984-85 season. Statistically, this has been one of Byrd’s best seasons.
He scored 28.7 points and grabbed 10.5 rebounds per game and shot 42.7 percent from three-point range, 52.2 percent from the field and 88.2 percent from the line. He also led the league in minutes and earned his second consecutive NBA MVP award.
Prior to this game, Kevin McHale scored 56 points in Detroit, setting a franchise record, reports Boston.com. No matter how combative Byrd was, he couldn’t leave it at that.
The game began, as it often does, with Byrd scoring 23 points in the first half. After halftime, however, he started to heat up and scored 19 points in the quarter, tying the game and giving the Celtics an 11-point lead.
Byrd’s hot hand continued in Game 4. He added 18 points to his total, scoring in a variety of ways and from all parts of the court.
Byrd scored 33 points in just 14 minutes and 13 seconds of play in the second half, when all was said and done. He was so on a roll that the Hawks’ bench couldn’t hold back. They cheered so hard that they were punished by the team after the game.
What makes this performance even more impressive is the fact that two days earlier Breed had run the five-mile Shamrock Classic at the Boston Garden.
He called her. He said Rainbow, Coach’s Circle. He stepped back, pushed away from the blow and fell into our coach’s lap.
OTD (85) Larry Beard scored 60 points (22-36 FG, 1 3PT) for the Hawks.
Several Hawks players were penalized by the team for celebrating Byrd’s final shots!pic.twitter.com/KDxCQrMKqt
– Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) March 12, 2020
Bird made a lot of impressive shots on his way to 60 points, but the most notable shot didn’t even count.
At one point, while talking to players on the Hawks’ bench, Byrd told them he was going to shoot in the coach’s lap. The players thought it was a deep shot to the Atlanta bench. But the night went so well for Byrd that he ended up in the Atlanta coach’s lap.
Doc Rivers, then Atlanta’s point guard, tells it in an oral history tonight on Boston.com:
Bird] said on the coach’s lap as he walked down the field, which meant it was going to be a three-pointer, and a long one at that. Then he asked: Who wants this? Then I think Ricky Brown, I’m not sure who it was, ran after him, he shot a high rainbow, he hit it, Ricky ran over it – and accidentally dropped it in our coach’s lap. So it was like he said, it was an accident, but it was almost fate.
The throw was not counted because the referee called a ground fault for the throw. Nevertheless, the piece illustrates Bird’s almost supernatural abilities, if he felt any at all.
As magical as the 1984-85 season was for Larry Bird and the Celtics, they lost in the 1985 NBA Finals. After winning the 1984 NBA championship, the Celtics were unable to defend their title, losing the series 85 to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.
Byrd has played well in this series, scoring 23.8 points, 8.8 rebounds per game and 5 assists. He also assisted Dennis Johnson on the winning shot in Game 4, which tied the series. McHale has played even better in this series, averaging 26.0 points and 10.7 rebounds.
Boston couldn’t keep up with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The aging big man finished with 25.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists, becoming the oldest player (38) to become MVP of the NBA Finals.
The Celtics returned the following season for revenge, but to do so they had to beat another team. In 1986, the Houston Rockets beat the Lakers, and the Celtics won the Larry O’Brien Trophy by beating Houston 4-2.
Byrd, who was the league’s MVP in 1985-86, was also the Finals MVP that season. While there is no story to back it up, Byrd probably told some poor Rockets defender that he would be the best player in the Finals. Then of course he did, because that’s how Larry Bird does it.
All statistics provided by Basketball Reference
EPILOGUE: Larry Bird once said to Charles Barkley during a game: There’s not a white person on the planet who can protect me
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