1986 ASG video featuring rare clip of Larry Bird trash talk, originally on NBC Boston Sports
Larry Bird’s NBA trash talk is legendary, but also almost entirely by word of mouth.
Because Bird was playing long before the internet made mic recordings of star players, most of what we know about the psychological warfare he employs comes from memories of defeated opponents— —Whether it’s Xavier McDaniel recounting how Bird told him exactly where he planned to train his game-winner, or Jamal Marshburn shaking his head when Rodgers made the mistake of questioning Bird’s fading skills Before Dream Team practice.
It was great to hear live audio of Bird speaking, and it turns out it kinda exists.
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Halfway through the 1986 NBA All-Star Game, Bird was at Florida State or Mic. This was Bird in his prime, on his way to his third straight MVP, and he did well in a 139-132 East victory with 23 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 7 steals .
From about 1:15 of this Bird-centric highlight clip, we hear him grunting about a poor pass that he saves before a practice 3-pointer . Then he flipped a left-handed hook on Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon while yelling, “Oh, there’s one more!”
Finally he Yelling at the break to catch the corner unguarded, he decided to torture Olajuwon again, shouting “Bang!” before throwing a 3-pointer before the late finisher. He still had something to say to James Worthy in the corner before finding Moses Malone for a dunk, but alas, it wasn’t entirely audible.
Even after Bird’s game was out of range of the mic, it’s still worth watching him throw an illusion pass to Julius Irving for a dunk or use a Drowsy way to finish the game.
As for the trash talk, that’s not much, but at least it gave us the best taste of bird.