Kobe Bryant asked his veterans on the Lakers why it was tough to defend Larry Bird because to him, he looked slow as sh*t.
and are arguably the greatest Los Angeles Laker and Boston Celtic to have stepped foot on NBA hardwood, respectively. When it comes to the Lakers, it’s tough to come to a unanimous decision as they have had guys like Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Kareem, Shaq, and LeBron James play for them.
It’s much easier for the Boston Celtics in this conversation as the only right answer is either Larry Bird or Bill Russell. There may be an infinitesimally small faction of Celtics fans who believe perhaps Paul Pierce or John Havlicek are up for debate alongside Russell and the ‘Hick from French Lick’ but this certainly isn’t the case.
Kobe Bryant has had his fair share of run-ins with the Boston Celtics, with him being denied a title in ‘08 at the hands of Doc Rivers of his Celts. Bryant would get his revenge in 7 games in 2010 to win his 5 th and final ring.
Unfortunately for NBA fans, we never got to see perhaps the two most competitive players in NBA history go at one another i.e., Bird and Kobe.
Larry Bird has also been quite the unorthodox player. This isn’t to say that he wasn’t good as he was clearly one of the best offensive players to have ever played in the NBA. However, his lack of athleticism was something everybody took notice of, including 12x All-Defensive Team alum, Kobe Bryant.
Larry Bird compensated for his lack of mobility and athleticism with perhaps the greatest set of ball fakes, head fakes, and jab steps the league has ever seen. Couple those deceptive tricks with a high release point and general, incredible feel and touch for the ball and you have yourself an all-time great offensive weapon.