John Salley explains why Larry Bird was able to avoid having to…

John Salley explains why Larry Bird was able to avoid having to…

Not many people immediately associate Larry Bird with his greatness, legacy, or above-the-rim playstyle. Instead, it’s his athleticism. In fact, some people argue that Larry accomplished remarkable things during his career despite his lack of physical prowess. However, those who hold that opinion are not well-versed in “Larry Legend’s” career.

Larry’s greatest weapon was undoubtedly his sweet shooting stroke, which allowed him to score from any spot on the floor, making him a deadly offensive threat. Bird stood out for stretching the floor during a time when the deep shoot wasn’t as important. I have a good feeling that Bird would have been even more dominant in the NBA of today. Furthermore, Larry’s height of 6’9″ made it easy for him to shoot over his opponents.

But in addition to having flawless shooting form, Larry was a fantastic player overall. Bird possessed all the necessary skills, including outstanding playmaking ability (6.3 assists per game), rebounding (10.0 rebounds per game), and defense (3x All-Defensive). You really wouldn’t associate these numbers and honors with players who aren’t athletic, after all. However, Bird truly had it all. Sometimes even dunk it with a fierce ferocity.

During his legendary career with the Boston Celtics, Bird was able to establish some fierce rivalries, particularly with the Detroit Pistons “Bad Boys.” The team was all about defense and shutting guys down in any way possible. They were well-known for their rough, dirty, and distinctive style of play. Given that one of their main players, John Salley, frequently engaged in combat with Larry, Bird was frequently the target of cheap shots and defensive maneuvers.

Nights spent close to him gave Salley a firsthand look at just how great Bird was. Thus, whenever he heard someone say that Larry lacked any athletic ability, Salley would just refute them and explain why Bird saved his energy for dunks:

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