Larry Bird will forever be known as one of the greatest shooters and players in the NBA.
Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998, "Larry Legend" was undeniably one of the most competitive and intense players on the court during his playing days. Bird was first drafted into the league as the sixth overall pick selected by the Boston Celtics in the 1978 NBA Draft.
Larry Bird found success early in his career. He was able to bring home three championships for the Celtics. Bird impressively managed to win one of those titles in just his second season. In fact, he was already the team's best player at that point, which is an impressive feat given the stereotype of Bird's ethnicity at the time.
But which of his three titles was the most difficult to win?
#3. Boston Celtics vs Houston Rockets (1981 NBA Finals)
The first time the Celtics and Rockets matched up, it was a meaningful year for Larry Bird. He was just named Rookie of the Year and an NBA All-Star the season prior. For Bird to win the title in just his second season must've been an awesome feeling for the Boston legend.
Both teams pushed the series to six games wherein Boston ended up victorious. Bird averaged 15.3 points, 15.3 rebounds, and seven assists. Despite being the best player on the team, Cedric Maxwell ended up winning the Finals MVP award with 17.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game.
#2. Boston Celtics vs Houston Rockets (1986 NBA Finals)
The 1986 NBA Finals showdown between the Celtics and Houston Rockets was a rematch from their 1981 matchup. This time around, the Rockets had a more solid lineup with Hakeem Olajuwon in their rotation.
Similar to their first series, both teams pushed it to six games. However, this was a bigger task for Larry Bird and the Celtics as they needed to figure out how to stop Olajuwon inside the paint.
In the end, the Celtics prevailed thanks to another masterful display by "Larry Legend". Bird was once again named the Finals MVP, averaging 24 points, 9.7 rebounds, 9.7 assists, and 2.7 steals per game.
#1 Boston Celtics vs LA Lakers (1984 NBA Finals)
Back in 1984, Larry Bird's Boston Celtics were up against Magic Johnson's LA Lakers. It was a dramatic seven-game series matchup between the two rivals.
Bird was the reigning MVP that year, while Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were out seeking vengeance after losing in the Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers a year prior.
"Larry Legend" lived up to his MVP season and put on a spectacular performance against the Lakers. Bird averaged an impressive double-double in that series with 27 points and 14 rebounds.
LA put up a good fight, however, the reigning MVP just couldn't be denied. Boston won the series in seven games, while Bird was awarded his first-ever Finals MVP for his magnificent performances.