Larry Bird has been the undisputed GOAT ever since the end of the 80s. He was a two time MVP, he was a Hall of Famer, he made the Celtics the best team in the history of the NBA. But he said something that I find absolutely shocking. He said he’s not the best basketball player that ever lived because he was blessed with 3 “God-given” traits.
Larry Bird is probably the best basketball player ever, but he didn’t work for everything he achieved. Even though he was a great athlete, he also achieved degrees from the University of Indiana, a master’s in public health from Harvard, and a law degree from small business school. And while he did this, he managed to be one of the most successful players in basketball history. However, he also said he had three traits that he did not work for:
Larry Bird worked for everything he achieved, but he said he had three “God-given” traits that helped him reach the highest levels of success.
Despite his lack of pure physical ability, Larry Bird, the former Boston Celtics great, was one of the finest players in NBA history. Bird earned a livelihood by hitting clutch shots, passing crisply, and getting in excellent rebounding position. It was never an option to outjump an opponent. One was outhustling the other.
Bird acknowledged that in order to be successful in the NBA, he had to put in a lot of effort. He also claimed to have three God-given characteristics.
On the basketball floor, Larry Bird had to outwork and outhustle everyone.
On January 22, 1986, Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics practices before a game in Boston, Massachusetts. Getty Images/Ronald C. Modra
It was because he had to be one step ahead of his opponent that Bird seemed to be constantly one step ahead. Bird’s greatest ability was not to sprint or leap. In terms of athletic ability, he was below average by NBA standards. Bird compensated in a variety of ways.
In 1981, Celtics President Red Auerbach told Sports Illustrated, “Larry is the greatest passing big man I’ve ever seen.” “Barry was excellent, but he wasn’t in the same league as Bird. This individual is one of a kind. Up front, he reminds me of Bob Cousy, and Cousy was without a doubt the best passer the game has ever seen. Larry will very certainly go down in history as one of, if not the best, forwards of all time.”
His court awareness was a direct consequence of his passing abilities. He had a good idea of where people were and where they were heading. He was very well-prepared, which more than compensated for his lack of speed.
In 1981, Celtics Hall of Famer John Havlicek remarked, “What Larry does doesn’t surprise me because our brains think similar.” “I know what should be done when I watch a game, but 99 percent of the time it isn’t. It’s 99 percent of the time when Larry’s in there.”
Larry Bird confessed to having three “God-given” characteristics.
Bird was well aware of his abilities. He was always confident in his skills, which he demonstrated on the court or via trash talk. Bird could always speak a nice game and back it up.
Bird told Sports Illustrated, “There are a lot of excellent guys in the NBA.” “And any guy can get hot and do anything he wants on any given night. Some people are very consistent, while others are just outstanding, but there are probably around 20 guys up there at any one moment. Now, I think I’ll play better three out of four nights than anybody else in the game.”
So, what was it about Bird that made him so special? He attributes his success to a lot of hard effort and three God-given characteristics.
“I believe my eyesight, court awareness, and height are all gifts from God,” Bird remarked. “I worked my tail off for everything else.”
Bird claimed he’s always wanted to play basketball but never imagined himself in the NBA.
Bird, like many other youngsters, spent many nights on the basketball court. Bird was constantly playing when the sun set, but he never imagined he’d be able to make a living off of it.
He said, “I was one of those people who never looked forward.” “Like any other child, I used to play for the pleasure of it when I was younger. I’m not sure what it was that kept me going and going.
“Back in high school, we used to practice in the gym. Then we’d stop and play on the playgrounds until eight o’clock on the walk home. I played when I was cold, my body ached, and I was exhausted, and I had no idea why, but I simply kept playing.
“Until I got there, I had no idea I was going to college.” I had never considered playing professional basketball until I arrived. Now that I’ve arrived, I want to make the most of my time there. I suppose I’ve always tried to maximize my opportunities. I simply didn’t realize it.”
Bird seems to have had a fourth God-given quality: a burning desire.
Larry Bird once revealed the only player “who can really shut me down.”
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