Is this a mistake? No, Larry Bird, yes the Legend of Boston Basketball. I will give your head a moment to stop spinning then I will continue.
Larry had an amazing career not only by Boston Celtics standards but considered one of the all-time greats in the NBA. Still the question lies, “how is Larry Bird a ‘could have been?’”
When Larry Bird started his career in Boston he was already flying high. He was just off one of the greatest title games in NCAA history against Magic, he won enough brass to fill up a trophy case, an NBA Rookie of the year, and his first ring by 1981.
Bird continued on to win 3 titles, 12 all-stars, 3 MVPs, numerous records, a retired number in the rafters, and such notoriety he is known by his first or last name alone.
Still you question, “how is this a ‘could have been?’” Larry would have been a bigger star is that is possible to believe, bigger if he was not so self sufficient and do-it-yourself. Born and raised in a blue-collar town there is no way Bird would let a worker shovel gravel, ulltimately the gravel did what other teams could not… stop Larry Bird.
When you think of Birds accomplishments you think of the glory years in the 1980s, the titles, the dynasty, the wins. No one thinks of those final years laying on the floor to relieve back stress, surgeries, and times on the IR. Those final seasons of Bird really seem to escape our mind when we reminisce on his excellence.
But what if, just what if Larry was not so stubborn and allowed a landscaper to do that work?
Larry could have carried into the mid-90s, had far more productive years, maybe attracted a few free agents to keep that dynasty moving, or maybe the dynasty may have stuck together longer. I think with Bird around longer we might very well be looking for banner 20 instead of 18.
Bird is a legend either way, but his dominant years would have carried him further into the 90′s then his career allowed. Does Bird’s career effect our decade of rebuilding? No, but I see the years much shorter and less struggling because it is easier to sign a few free agents that otherwise balked at offers with not such a drastic low period.
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