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.'"
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 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.
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.
Q. Is Larry Bird the greatest Boston Celtic ever?
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