Larry Bird ( 6-9 220 ) played 13 years in the NBA:
- Averaged 24.3 ppg, with a high of 29.9 ppg
- Averaged 6.3 apg, with a high of 7.6 apg
- Averaged 10.0 rpg, with a high of 11.0 rpg
- Averaged 1.7 spg, with a high of 2.0 spg
- 12 All Star games, 1 time MVP of game
- 3 Time MVP of NBA ( plus 4 times second )
- 12 years in playoffs with 24 / 10 / 6 averages ( 2-time Finals MVP )
- Was always the best player on his team.
Number 3 All Time = Larry Bird ( MJ=1, BigO=2 ) – No all-time NBA players list would be complete with a player from the storied Boston Celtics. It may surprise people that it is Larry Bird who makes our list, instead of Bill Russell or Bob Cousy. Although we strongly considered both Russell and Cousy, these two greats just didn’t meet each of our criteria, and Larry Bird does. Consider Bird’s statistics:
- 24 points
- 10 rebounds
- 6 assists
- 50% FG
- 89% FT
- 1.7 steals
- 3-time NBA MVP
Bird played 13 NBA seasons and left at the top of his game. He led his Boston Celtics to three NBA titles. As far as intangibles go, Larry Bird had a few. Unlike many players his size (6-9, 230), Bird could post up even the best and biggest defenders, but he could also pop outside the 3-point arc and crush teams with his amazing shooting.
Although he shot just 38% from behind the arc, Bird was considered the best pure shooter of his time and one of the greatest shooters in history. Plus, Bird, like Michael Jordan, had more killer instinct than anyone. He was notorious for telling opponents he was going to beat them. Then, he did it, making Larry Bird one of the top 3 NBA players of all-time.
SI article Jack McCallum - Inside the NBA
* Kalb ranks Larry Bird as the greatest forward in history, putting him sixth overall behind Shaq, Wilt, Jordan, Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Kalb called it "one of the easier choices in this book," which will make fans of Elgin Baylor (Kalb ranks him 13th) raise an eyebrow. To illustrate Bird's ability to perform in the clutch (which Kalb rightly considers crucial in his ranking), the writer compares Bird to Julius Erving (Kalb's No. 15) during the '81 Eastern Conference finals (won by Bird's Celtics over Dr. J's 76ers), one of the greatest playoff series in NBA history. During the regular season, Erving, at 31 and in the prime of his career, outscored Bird by 3.4 points per game and was voted MVP. But in the playoffs Bird outscored Erving by 6.8 points per game, outrebounded him by 7.5 and out-assisted him by 3.7. That is a serious statistical butt kicking.