Larry Bird once told Charles Barkley that his team was disrespecting him by getting a white player to defend him.
The legend of Larry Bird knows no end. His storied rivalry with Magic Johnson led NBA headlines for nearly a decade thanks to David Stern’s quick thinking and resulted in the league’s global expansion. With Larry being the stoic, straight face killer on the court and Magic being the light-hearted, bubbly assists man, the two were perfect to be pitted against one another.
Larry Bird waltzed into opposing teams’ arenas, trash talked their best players, dropped 30 points, and waltzed right out of their city night in and night out. A casual day at work for the ‘Hick from French Lick’.
His run from the 1984 season to the ‘88 season was nothing short of legendary, averaging 28+ points in 3 of those 5 seasons and winning 2 titles in that span to bring his total up to 3 for his career.
While there were several aspects about Bird that garnered attention, it was his trash-talk that got caught the public’s eye.
Charles Barkley on Larry Bird lashing out at him for getting a white guy to defend him.
Larry Bird talked trash to everybody. Everything from talking up a storm to Julius Erving in a 1984 preseason game that led to them choking each other out to him telling Magic Johnson to not even bother coming up to defend him because he would shoot the ball right in his face, Bird knew no limits.
Charles Barkley told Dan Patrick on one particular night he faced off against Larry Bird and his Celtics where Bird actually felt offended by the Sixers assigning a white guy to guard Bird. “You guys are being disrespectful to me. You guys are putting a white guy on me!” said Larry to Chuck.
Michael Jordan, funnily enough, said the same thing to Charles Barkley when the Suns put Dan Majerle on during the 1993 NBA Finals between the Chicago Bulls and the Phoenix Suns.
Safe to say that both the white guys Larry Bird and Michael Jordan talked about couldn’t handle the defensive assignment of taking on two of the greatest offensive talents in NBA history.