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The Day Larry Bird Destroyed Magic Johnson & Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Apr 12, 2024
They find the


, he will have to pick it up, he does so and blows the buzzer, a three from the


during the 1984 playoffs, a truly unique game was played in the NBA, an unprecedented game played in conditions that would be unimaginable today, Larry. Bird's Boston Celtics hosted Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar's Los Angeles Lakers in an iconic duel. Five of the NBA Finals. The Lakers were coming off a finals loss to the Philadelphia 7 Sixers last season, while the Celtics had suffered a disappointing second-round exit. Bucks, one of the two, this time would emerge victorious under inhumane conditions.
the day larry bird destroyed magic johnson kareem abdul jabbar
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson would fight to demonstrate their dominance and establish the dynasty that would reign in the second half of the 1980s. Larry Bird, who had not yet shown everything he had. was capable of doing after winning his first regular season MVP just a few weeks earlier, he knew he had to show that his jump in production was also present in the most important moments, but with five championship rings between the two stars of the Lakers, this did not seem like an easy mission if in 1984 Larry knew what it was to be an NBA champion.
the day larry bird destroyed magic johnson kareem abdul jabbar

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the day larry bird destroyed magic johnson kareem abdul jabbar...

He had achieved it in 1981 along with Cedric Maxwell and Robert Parish, but he had not yet proven to be the best player in the league. I mean, he was very good. I mean. During those three seasons he had become the leader of the Celtics and had made a great leap in production, he was a better shooter, a better scorer, a better passer and a better defender, but even so on the biggest stage of the NBA he had not been able to show He still had incredible talent, but that year he would finally have his opportunity. Of course, his rivals were the legendary Lakers of Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabar, who in 1984 already had a lot of experience in big moments and knew what it was like to be the MVP of the finals.
the day larry bird destroyed magic johnson kareem abdul jabbar
Bird dreamed of savoring that feeling and he knew he had the talent to achieve it, which is why during the 1984 final the stakes were high to say the least, the series was tied at two wins and two of the four games already played went to overtime, the maximum competition. therefore, the winner of the game to be played on June 8 at the Boston Garden, Game 5 of the series would likely determine the winner of the championship. Did I mention the stakes were high? The problem, well, the Celtics' home stadium wasn't fully operational. A malfunction of the air conditioning had caused the temperature inside the Boston Garden to reach 97°, an absolutely unbreathable environment for players who are used to much milder temperatures, but if you thought that the NBA even thought about canceling the game, you You were wrong because it was The 80s were a different time.
the day larry bird destroyed magic johnson kareem abdul jabbar
I'm pretty sure they would have played even if World War III had broken out. Anyway, both teams had their full arsenal, their luxury star in five, but the news that day was definitely the temperature, it was particularly hot June 8th and the players had no idea of ​​the uphill battle they were facing. about to win, but despite the heat, Larry Bird came out with a clear game plan and dominated the paint like he had never done before, so as a visitor he began to play the role of Center first with plays like this where he establishes a great screen that allows Dennis Johnson to knock down the open midrange but also with the ball in his hands.
I mean, we already know that Larry loved working from the low post, it was the easiest way for him. score because his shooting threat coupled with his physique was almost unstoppable, so here he starts to fight for position and then bury his man underneath to give himself position for an easy finish and that's just another part of Bird's game that, Of course, he always had. Getting his teammates involved in the offense and getting some good shots for them here, Bird finds Maxwell with a great inbound pass that he uses to force the foul, something that would happen all night long by the way and he was still looking to opt from the low post, but In this case, Michael Cooper's defense caused a turnover mainly because Bird was just playing with his food, you know, but despite the mistake, he continued with his game plan on the next play.
Bird receives another inbound pass and goes into bully mode against Cooper. He clearly felt that there was a mismatch on the right side of him and Larry was just doing his best. He grabbed a lot of rebounds in the first quarter and when he did, the Celtics were able to come out and make the transition on this play. Kareem misses his Skyhook bird and grabs the defense. He rebounds and finds Dennis Johnson in transition, who knocks down the midrange as he knows he can get Cooper in trouble if he goes to the rim with physicality. Bird keeps trying to abuse him, but this time he is called for an offensive foul and not only in The defensive offensive rebounding was a great resource for Larry during that game and not only in one play but in two consecutive plays, Bird manages to score afterwards of the rebound emphasizing second chance points.
The first quarter is not over yet and the Celtics St have already done so. eight points and eight rebounds in a game that was certainly getting quite intense now, although the Lakers started very strong, the Celtics managed to dominate the last minutes of the first quarter and the score after the first period was tied at 26, but Bird was All he was doing was scoring rebounds, of course, that's just a normal day at the office for him and then the second quarter started when a Bird who finished first grabs a defensive rebound and throws a crazy Outlet along the court that ends up hitting his Mark, shortly after Ford finds a man in the paint with a perfect overhead pass, allowed him to add another penny to the assist column.
This would be the second to last assist he would receive that night, but it wasn't because of a bad pass. Rather, his teammates weren't really hitting his shots and then, on the other end, Magic Johnson had to knock down a mid-range shot, but actually had trouble putting the ball in the basket. In this game he relied on his Elite way of playing, but it was not close enough to surpass Bird. Another example of Bird's aggression that night is this play where he throws his man to the back screen leaving him wide open and then finishes the layup always showing off his IQ and his ability to move the ball.
The Lakers simply knew it was Larry Bird's day, they tried everything to stop him every time Larry had the ball in his hands, he always had two defenders around him and the most incredible thing is that it didn't matter on this play, Bird brought down the se fades from the low post with ease despite La sending a double team shortly after hitting his first three-pointer of the game which, interestingly, the TV team almost misses and then Bird steals the ball on defense and passes it to Dennis. Johnson in transition for the assist who by the way had a pretty good game and then Casey Jones decides to reward Larry for this incredible basketball display with a short break that would barely last a minute when he returns the Lakers defense had not forgotten about him .
They were literally sending a double team as soon as he touched the ball, but if there's one thing Bird knew how to do, it was take advantage of that extra attention to find open teammates, as on this halftime play the Celtics were up by just two points with the impressive Bird Heat was playing with even more intensity, although he was the team's leading rebounder and scorer that night, in addition to doing a lot of the dirty work as well, and unfortunately, for the Lakers, neither Kem nor Magic are really doing their best offense. show a difficult night for the two Lakers stars who saw the Celtic star shine brighter than ever, honestly they have never seen this version of a bird before on such a big stage as the third quarter begins, Larry continues to use his gravity to finding open teammates who simply couldn't find their shot on that same possession after their team grabbed the offensive rebound.
Larry decides to shoot and score himself, okay, he says, if you're not going to do it, I'll do it myself, and sure enough, he did. a few minutes later Larry scores the triple from the left wing on a catch and shoots with the defender in the face and with time to spare on the shot clock a shot selection that was crazy at the time but what are you going to tell the man? If he will make it, the Celtics bench, as always, went crazy, they were witnessing the birth of a generational player, so it is not surprising, I mean, Larry Bird has already put up 21 points and 15 rebounds halfway through the third room.
It's been a legendary night for "He's far from calming down, although Larry is working even harder on defense. Watch this incredible block where he gets called for a foul on the putback and watch his excitement when it happens that he's mad and didn't care about the heat He didn't care about drinking water, he just wanted to show that it was his time and the crazy thing about this is that anyone in his situation would forget to do the dirty work. No, no, Larry Bird, look at this example of incredible basketball IQ. Bird sets a false screen to shoot the defender and allows Robert Parish to get the easy basket even being defended by two players at the same time.
Larry pulls the trigger when he can like in this play where he wins the third quarter buzzer with this incredible shot after a pump fake and of course the Boston Garden is on fire, yes because of the heat but also because of the madness that that bird unleashes in front of their eyes. At that moment, no one thought about the sweat they had on them or the seriousness of the situation which they were in because they were witnessing a Larry Bird masterclass throughout the game 15,000 people moving like crazy at 97° they didn't care and this performance was also turning off Kareem and Magic who watch helplessly because they can't do anything to stop it at the end of the third quarter, the Celtics are up by 11 and well, even though Jabar wasn't having his best game, look at this crazy block he puts on Robert Parish at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the center was 30 by the way he still He moved like he was 19 years old, maybe that's why he was able to play in the NBA until he was 43, well, let's not forget Bird, this is his night, on this play, he scores another shot from mid-range in a catch and shoot. from the left wing shortly after he rests for a few minutes Casey Jones had the luxury that day it was not normal to lead the Lakers by more than 10 points to be fair, of course it wouldn't be long before a bird came back and when he did He made the difference again, first by getting the 18th defensive rebound of the game by the way, which quickly turned into two points.
At the other end of the field, Ford dominated like never before on a special night and Yes, it was also special because the referees had to wipe the sweat off the ball with towels every few minutes and to top off his incredible performance, the bird attacked hard the rim from the top of the key to end up getting a bucket while being fouled and quickly. he hits a free throw to cap the and one and the outfield goes absolutely crazy and then Larry gets to sit on the bench for the last 3 minutes because the Celtics had a nearly 20 point lead on the scoreboard and they knew the game was over . was already in hand, but even though Bird had made a statement and had shown everyone that he was the best player on the planet, the job was not done yet, the Celtics had to win one more game to become champions of the NBA of 1984 and it was not like that. in the sixth game that the Lakers won at home 119 to 108 was in the seventh game in which the Celtics won at home with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Larry Bird was chosen MVP of the finals for the first time in his career and that was only his first season at the highest level. The first time he was able to feel like the best player on the planet was then when his incredible streak of three consecutive regular seasons n DPS began. that series that game gave him the confidence to know that no one could stop him, no one had his versatility, no one was as complete and from then on and until he was seriously injured during the 1988 '89 season, the bird imposed its dynasty, the NBA It became his league and his era will go down as one of the most legendary in history. basketball history, okay that's it for this one, let us know what you think in the comments, share, subscribe, all that good stuff and I'll see you in the next one, thanks for watching.

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