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“I’m gonna pull up in your face, and the net gonna say ‘shoo’, and that will be your Christmas present from me” - 1x NBA champion says Larry Bird was a cold trash talker, says he had ultimate game

Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird was a serious trash-talker
Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird was a serious trash-talker
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Kunal Sethi

Gary Payton recently shared an incident of when Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird talked trash to him and then backed it up.

Payton was a fierce defender during his heyday in the NBA but certain legends like Bird and Michael Jordan got the best of him on many occasions. Payton was a guest on JJ Redick's "The Old Man & the Three" and he shared what it was like guarding "Larry Legend". "The Glove" said:

"He was cold man, he would tell you like this...'You know what?' I don't know what you got for Christmas but I know what I'm gonna get you.
"What I'm going to do is, I'm going to take you on this block, I'm gonna dribble two times and then I'm gonna pull up in your face and the net gonna say "shooo" and that will be your Christmas present for me.' I was like 'Woah, You cold with that one man.'"
Larry Bird always backed up his trash talk. Watch @GaryPayton's full conversation with @jj_redick and @talter: youtu.be/gHJpOhn6ITM https://t.co/u7AHIhNaNy

Gary Payton explained how Bird's trash talk was respectable because he backed it up. Bird wasn't athletic or fast like Michael Jordan or had brute strength like Shaquille O'Neal. However, his slow-paced finesse game spoke volumes. Payton continued:

"(Bird) gonna tell you where he gonna shoot it in your face and how you couldn't stop him and how you ain't no good to him. And I was like 'Woah man,' that's just disrespectful. And then it would happen.
"That's the whole cold thing about it. Everybody used to say Larry Bird slow and all that. Game. I don't care what nobody says, he had the ultimate game and he used to back it up."

Larry Bird trash-talked all his three-point contest opponents and then won the award

Larry Bird wins the 3-Pt Contest in 1988
Larry Bird wins the 3-Pt Contest in 1988

Larry Bird was famous for his trash talking, as many players who played with or against him will testify. He was also an extremely skilled and innovative player with good shooting mechanics.

The Boston legend is the only player in NBA history to have won the three-point contest thrice. Amazingly, he won the award three times consecutively from 1986 to 1988. He scored 17 of the 30 possible points to win the award for the third time, all whilst still wearing his warm-up jacket.

32 years ago today, Larry Bird walked into the All-Star locker room & told the 3PT Shootout contestants "Who's coming in second?"He backed up his trash-talking by winning his 3rd consecutive championship & putting his hand up before the last shot went in https://t.co/1KALuFKcSd

He went into the All-Star locker room and asked his opponents:

"Who is coming in second?"

The players could only total 30 points in the three-point contest in 1988. The possible total was increased to 34 in 2014 and then to 40 in 2020. Bird scored 23/30 points in the final round of his first appearance in 1986 and then 16/30 in 1987.


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Q. Is Larry Bird the greatest Boston Celtic ever?

Yes

No

241 votes so far

Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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