Today, I reflect on a hot take coming out of the Motor Up camp from Jerry Vadenais, father of our greatest asset, Justin. His claim is very simple: Larry Bird is the greatest basketball player of all time.
Let me be the first to say this claim is complete fuckery. No one believes this and nobody should. If you aren’t a Celtics fan and say this, never talk basketball again. That being said, the man did have some pretty insane trash talking stories.
Have you ever heard of the “in the trainers” lap story? It is by far the best. As recalled by Doc Rivers, Larry Bird was in his zone on March 12, 1985. In fact, he dropped a cool 60 points against a young Dominique Wilkins and the Atlanta Hawks.
As that pretty rainbow arc started splashing jumpers, his mouth started running. “Off the glass.” Bang. “Who’s next?” Bang. “Where do you want this one from? Oh, here. Gotcha.” Bang. He couldn’t miss. Doc even made it a point to say that the Hawks realized it was something special and they even cheered for him. He also added “that usually doesn’t happen, but we were down so much at the time, you got time to realize the game.” High fucking praise. But the best part comes when he had already torched them for 55.
Still talking, the Hawks on the floor claim he said “in the trainers lap.” What the hell is that supposed to mean? Everyone looking at each other for an answer, the legend himself pulled a deep three and splashed it in Reggie Brown’s face. That was expected. What wasn’t was Brown knocking Bird over, well, you already know it, into the trainers lap.
A feat that could only be conquered by a legend, Larry Bird earned the title by being the greatest trash talker in the history of American sports. Bold claim, probably, but I still think the claim of greatest ball player of all time is ridiculous. Nevertheless, stories such as these allowed Larry Legend, a man who looked like he swiped children from your local YMCA, to be the face of the city of champions for over a decade.