This is a Larry Bird tribute that aired right before the Celtics faced the Bulls in the first round of the 1986 NBA playoffs. Based on this quote from the end of the video, I'm not surprised Larry wasn't asked to take part in the NBA All-Star Stay In School Jam.

"If I was spendin' time in high school readin' my homework, and readin' the books, and working on different things scholastically instead of thinkin' about basketball all the time, where would I be? I don't think I'd be making the money I'm making now, so I'm happy with what I'm doin'."

Wow. At least Charles Barkley said up front that he wasn't a role model. Anyway, the video also has a great cameo by Doc Rivers and a classic quote from an unnamed opponent: "Trying to stop Larry Bird is like trying to put a harness on the wind; you just can't do it." Now who in the 80s would have said something like that?

Update: I couldn't help wondering who the anonymous opponent was. What kind of hardwood poet/philosopher would say something so moving, so beautiful, about an ugly hick from Indiana who's really good at playing basketball. Well, I have the answer: Mel Daniels. Here's the actual quote, from a Jack McCallum article, As Nearly Perfect As You Can Get, written on March 3, 1986: "Trying to get a book on Larry Bird is like trying to get a harness on the wind. You come up with nothing."

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Anonymous OptimusPrime said...
haha, the way he says "scholastically" is the funniest thing ever.

Blogger flohtingPoint said...
Pffk, Larry Legend doesnt need multiplerkation and calculitus!

Anonymous Sun Devil said...
I'm not sure who said that whole harness bit, but it sure sounds Waltonish.

Blogger starang said...
word to big bird

Blogger Basketbawful said...
optimusprime -- Yeah, Bird tried to slip in one educated word to make himself sound less uneducated. Kind of ironic, under the circumstances.

flohtingpoint -- U sed it, man!!

sun devil -- It sure does, doesn't it? But the narrator left the "opponent" unnamed, so that hardwood poet/philosopher will remain forever anonymous.

starang -- Word to your mother.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
sun devil -- I just updated the post with the author of the quote.

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