The legendary Larry Bird won three MVP awards and led the Boston Celtics to three NBA championships. Bird is equally known for his trash-talking and getting inside his opponents' head. The Hall of Famer would not just talk trash and throw off his opponents, but he would embarrass them in the exact way he told them he would. In this round of NBA news, we will walk you through an epic Larry Bird story shared by the six-time All-Star, Shawn Kemp, on the Knuckleheads podcast with Quentin Richardson & Darius Miles.
NBA News: Larry Bird gets his revenge on the rookie, Shawn Kemp
Shawn Kemp learned quickly how ruthless Larry Bird is against his opponents, and the way Bird would detail what he would do to his opponents before play even happened. It was the first time the former SuperSonic had to face off against Bird in his rookie season in 1989. Kemp and Bird are both from Indiana, and so Kemp had heard about the legendary Larry Bird, but did not fully understand what he was about to get into.
Here is how Shawn Kemp remembers his first start in the NBA that happened to also be his first game against Larry Bird.
"Larry gave me 50 [points] in three quarters. And he talked to me the whole entire game. He asked me at the jump ball, 'You're the one that broke all my records in high school right?' and I said 'Yeah, that's me.' and he said 'And you're the one that used to dunk on my brother too right, Andy?' and I said, "Yeah, that's me." and he said "I've got something for you tonight.'"
Larry Bird did not quite get to 50 points, he finished with a statline of 40/11/10. Regardless, this story gives you a sneak peek into the way Bird's mind worked, and how he motivated himself for each and every game. It is these kind of attributes that made Bird so great. The 33-year-old Bird wanted revenge against Kemp just for breaking his high school records and dunking on his younger brother. Let's just say in the words of Michael Jordan — he took that personally.