A Larry Bird-themed day game was held on March 27th to honor the Boston Celtics Hall of Fame player. The Lakers lost, but not without a fight and celebrations that made for some great moments in this historic occasion.
Larry Bird’s birthday falls on Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers game day, which is October 21st. Read more in detail here: larry bird 2021.
It’s hard to believe Larry Bird’s retirement from the NBA was 29 years ago. Even more difficult to accept is the fact that Bird, who led the Boston Celtics to three NBA championships, turns 65 today. It’s only right that his birthday occurs on a day when the Celtics take on the Los Angeles Lakers. We’ll look back at some of the most memorable Celtics versus. Lakers events of the Bird era on the night his old team faces the Lakers.
During the 1984 NBA Finals versus the Lakers, Larry Bird chastised the Celtics for being too soft.
Bird blasted his teammates in the locker room after Game 3 of the 1984 NBA Finals against the Lakers, which saw LA grab a 2-1 series lead. He called them “sissies” and chastised them for not being physically fit enough. They had clearly received the message.
The Celtics played physically — and nasty — in Game 4. Boston was down 2-1 in the series and down 76-70 in Game 4 at Los Angeles. They needed a change of pace, and Kevin McHale provided it. As he moved in for a fast-break layup, McHale memorably clotheslined LA’s Kurt Rambis. The harsh, purposeful foul cleared the benches and may have thrown the Lakers off their game. Boston took advantage of the situation and won 129-125.
During the Locked On Celtics podcast last year, former Celtics guard Danny Ainge noted, “I recall Larry saying something to the media about how soft the team is.” “However, our performance in Game 3 in Los Angeles embarrassed and humiliated every single individual who saw that footage.”
With a Game 5 victory in Boston, Boston seized a 3-2 series lead before the Lakers evened the series in Game 6. The Celtics won the series 111-102 at home to win their second championship, with Bird leading the charge.
In the 1987 Finals, Larry Bird and the Celtics lost a 16-point lead in a series-clinching defeat to the Lakers.
The Celtics’ core was starting to show its age. Bird, McHale, and Robert Parish were all in their late thirties and suffering from lingering ailments. For the 1985-86 season, Boston brought in veteran Bill Walton to shorten the bench, but he was injured during the team’s 1987 run. The Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls were putting together championship-caliber teams, thus 1987 may have been the Celtics’ last genuine attempt at a title with this group.
The Celtics’ season got off to a bad start as the Lakers maintained their homecourt advantage with two blowout victory in Los Angeles. The Celtics won the following three games at home, with Bird leading the way with 30 points and 12 rebounds in Game 3.
It wasn’t until Game 4 that the Celtics realized they’d lost the series.
Before the Lakers went on a frenzied run in the third quarter, Boston had a 16-point lead and was on its way to tying the series. Despite Los Angeles cutting into Boston’s advantage, the Celtics still led by eight points with 3:30 left. The Lakers scored 12 of the game’s last 15 points, including Magic Johnson’s iconic baby skyhook, to take a 107-106 victory and take a 3-1 series lead.
“We’ve been beaten here before, but the way we let that one go really stings,” Bird told United Press International before Game 5. “It’s simply that our mental toughness isn’t what it used to be.”
“Last night, I loved our chances (in the series).” It would have been a different series if we could have simply gotten that one. I wanted to win all three games at home and then go out and win two more games because I believe we can win one. “However, winning two…”
Although Boston won Game 5, the Lakers won the series in six games.
During the 1985 NBA Finals, Bird received a death threat.
Larry Bird, left, and Magic Johnson receive the Lifetime Achievement Awards on stage at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019, in Santa Monica, California, at the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on TNT. Turner Sports/Michael Kovac/Getty Images
As the Celtics’ star warmed up for the second half of a 1985 NBA Finals game in Los Angeles, Celtics coach K.C. Jones conveyed an unsettling warning to Bird. Jones informed his star player that he had received a death threat. He offered Bird the option of fleeing under tight protection or continuing the game. According to Sports Illustrated, Bird has returned to the layup line.
“I see you’re still out here, Larry,” Jones remarked.
“Of course, K.C.,” Bird said, “it’s the Finals.”
“Wonderful,” Jones replied. “However, please do me a favor. Could you please stand at center court when we return to the huddle to begin the second half? I’m afraid this person isn’t very good at shooting.”
The Celtics and Lakers rivalry was at its peak with Bird. In the NBA Finals, the clubs met three times, with the Lakers prevailing twice. Bird versus. Magic and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Parish were two of the individual rivalries. There was a lot of physicality and energy. There were even threats of death.
Those Bird vs. Magic days were the best in basketball history. It was at this point when the game was at its peak.
Larry, I wish you a happy birthday.
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Larry Bird’s birthday falls on Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers Game Day. This is a day that Larry Bird fans will never forget, because it was the day that he made his NBA debut. Reference: larry bird net worth.
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