Yahoo – The former Seattle SuperSonics big man found out the hard way just how ruthless of a trash-talker Bird was when he faced him as a rookie in 1989. During a recent appearance on the Knuckleheads podcast with Quentin Richardson & Darius Miles, Kemp recalled a meeting with Bird that has stuck with him to this day.
“We were playing the Boston Celtics, so the great Larry Bird. I’m from Indiana and Larry’s from Indiana,” Kemp said. “I knew about the history of Larry but I didn’t realize how he really got down. …
“Larry gave me 50 [points] in three quarters. And he talked to me the whole entire game. He asked me at the jump ball, ‘You’re the one that broke all my records in high school right?’ and I said ‘Yeah, that’s me.’ and he said ‘I’ve got something for you tonight.'”
In honor of today being Larry Bird’s 64th birthday, it’s a great time to remind everyone how Larry Legend wasn’t just a basketball icon, he was also a shit talking savant.
Michael Jordan gets tons of credit for being a master trash talker and somehow figuring out a way to make everything a slight against him,
But people don’t realize how ruthless Larry Bird was because he looks like an unassuming white dude putting up mid range jumpers at the Y.
Here comes this rookie in Shawn Kemp and Bird already knows his whole life story and takes it personal that Kemp broke his high school scoring records. Mind you, this is after Bird had already won three championships and three MVP awards in the NBA. Just an all-time shit talker from his “Who’s coming in second?” line at the 3 point contest, to playing a game left handed, to his “Merry fucking Christmas” line during a Christmas Day game, to telling Reggie Miller “I am the best fucking shooter in the league.”
Check out a collection of the best stories here, put some Larry Bird YouTube highlights on loop, and then weep that we were too young to watch him play. We did get another Hall of Fame shit talker in Kevin Garnett though and for that I am grateful.