Larry Bird is probably the greatest trash talker in NBA history. We look back at the time when he won the 3-point shootout in his warmup gear.
Larry Bird is the last player to win 3 straight MVP titles, bagging these in the 3-season period from 1983 to 1986. He’s also a 2-time member of the 50-40-90 club, achieving these shooting splits in the 86-87 and the 87-88 seasons.
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Bird also won 3 straight 3-point shootouts from 1986 to 1988. So dominant was he as a player overall that it’s a bit tiring to see people place Magic Johnson above him in all time lists. Bird was just the better player all round at his peak. He ushered in the era of point forwards with his delicious dimes in the pondering Celtics offense.
Larry Bird wins the 1988 3-point shootout with his warmup jacket on
It’s one thing to be dominant in Bird’s fashion – quite another to be as self-assured as he was while doing so. Bird did not even bother to take off his warmup jacket during the contest, a statement of swagger like few others were capable of making.
Bird came into the contest as the two-time defending champion of the shootout. His performance in both of the previous editions were dominant ones in their own merit. But they didn’t approach this one in terms of how cool and easy Bird made shooting look.
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Michael Jordan watched Larry Bird score 23 points in the Semifinals Round of the 1988 3-Point Shootout in Chicago! #StateFarmSaturday coverage begins tonight at 8pm/et on TNT. pic.twitter.com/yHAlyeSEvj
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) February 15, 2020
The Hick from French Lick refused to take his warmup jacket off. He called out the other competitors, saying the famous trashtalk line ‘So who’s coming second tonight?’
Larry Legend started the first round off in nonchalant fashion, finishing second among all competitors with a score of 17. But with Michael Jordan looking on from the sidelines, Bird turned up the heat in the semifinal round, scoring 23 points out of a possible 30.
With the contest on the line and trailing Dale Ellis by 8 points with only 10 shots remaining in the final round, Bird swished 4 of his 5 money balls to finish with a score of 17. The 3-point contest was his for a third time running. He never looked in danger of losing it, in all honesty.