I couldn't think of any better way to spend an off day than by watching some old Larry Bird highlights...in this case, almost 20 minutes of Bird passing the basketball.

Some of these dishes are just sick. Behind the back, over the head, from the floor, full court one-handers from out of bounds, no-look passes, touch passes, wrap-around passes, passes that seem to defy the laws of that govern human life. These videos are like a spaghetti sauce that cures cancer: there's a little bit of everything in them and they will change your life.


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Blogger Will said...
"These videos are like a spaghetti sauce that cures cancer: there's a little bit of everything in them and they will change your life."
Great line, Bawful. I'm a little jealous 'cause that sounds like something I would say.

Blogger Michael Hsu said...
Do you think lebrons elbow is bothering him?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
These videos are like a spaghetti sauce that cures cancer and that's not available in my country because it contains content property of Sony Music Entertainment.

Blogger Barry said...
Damn it, he's like a white Pete Maravich!


Blogger Barry said...
Awesome video's by the way. Better get the tissues out.

Anonymous Heretic said...
@Michael Hsu

I just choked on my drink while reading that.

Word verification: Headounk

Blogger Only1KJ said...
Watching this video, i can't help but notice the great passing that takes place among all the players. Granted, Bird is clearly the best passer of all the celtics but i think that that era was just better for passing since it was the era of ball movement.
It's probably no coincidence that we remember Magic as one of the most phenomenal passers as well. Just in general, i think the success of Jordan created the "iso-period" where teams began running sets for ball stoppers (see iso-joe, iso-roy, every postseason CLE play). It really is a shame because these were 14 of the most enjoyable minutes of NBA basketball i've seen in a while. The off ball movement and cuts to the basket were constant. And even when i play pick up ball and run the point, the only thing i tell my teammates is "keep moving and cutting to the cup". what usually happens is that i get one or two passes that emits an "oooh" or an "awww" but its not that im an exceptional passer, its just that people forgot how to play off the ball.
overall, i think teammate movement naturally makes for better passes and this is a major reason why I'd rather watch D-will play instead of CP3. even if CP3 is probably better, the sloan system just makes deron's passes that much more fun to watch.

okay my old man rant is over.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Great Stuff! But for me Magic was a better passer. (Of course Magic was a guard in a fast paced offense.) Question: Do you think anyone will ever make a tape of Michael Jordan's greatest passes? Me either.

Blogger Stephen Robbins said...
You know what stands out in these videos? The number of times Bird recklessly hits the floor for loose balls. As a Blazer fan, I don't know how many times I've heard the Blazer Broadcasters express concern over Brandon Roy drawing a charge or making a similarly aggressive move. There's a prevailing idea out there that certain guys shouldn't make certain risks unless it's the NBA finals. But Bird played one way, and that should be celebrated.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
Superstar guys just don't trust their teammates anymore. They're taught not to. Then again, it's probably easier to trust McHale, DJ, Parish, Kareem, Worthy, Scott, Pippen, and Paxson, then Beasley, The Drain, Williams, and Jamison.

What's weird is that these guys all want to make Sportcenter highlight reels, yet completely ignore passing, which usually gets just as many highlights as dunks. I don't buy the "defenses are better" argument. Defenses are better, but guys like Nash, Paul, Rondo, and Lebron are really good passers today, too.

Blogger Dylan said...
Part of the issue with the diving on the floor is that 75% of the NBA isn't coked out anymore, and thus have feeling in their bodies. So it hurts when they dive on the floor.

Blogger LotharBot said...
I was thinking something similar to Only1KJ.

The thing that struck me, aside from the "wow" factor of Bird's passes, is that all of his teammates knew how to pass, and also how to find/create space to catch a pass.

I'm always watching teams like the Nuggets and Blazers and thinking "they could have an easy bucket if that guy would take 2 steps that way" or "they could score if somebody on the weakside cut through the lane", but too often, the game turns into iso for Melo or Roy with 4 guys standing still on the other side.

There's nothing wrong with an iso on the wing or the post, as long as the other guys stay active and exploit whatever the defense is doing. But when one guy is iso'd and the other 4 guys are reading basketbawful on their blackberries... ugh

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Poor Jack Sikma. Atlanta Rhythm Section put it down on that first video.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
This shit looks like Larry Bird INVENTED passing.

Blogger Basebawful said...
Stephen Robbins:

I noticed the same thing. The guy was a hustler. He reminds me of Lionel Messi with Barcelona. He jumps higher, dives for loose balls, gives his maximun effort.

Two more things I noticed.

He was a willing passer, he was not looking for his own points, he was always looking for the most EFFICIENT way to score. Even if he was wide open he would pass the ball to a teammate even more open and nearer the basket. That's what Kobe Bryant won't EVER get. He is too selfish to acknowledge his teammates can be in a better position to score.

He was such a great deciever. He was such a great shooter that he attracted all the attention to the defense and then out of the blue he passed for an easy layup.

Blogger Basebawful said...
One other thing:

He did what also great football (soccer for USA people) players do.

He knew what he was going to do with the ball BEFORE receiving it.

Blogger Bakes said...

I can actually remember quite a few passes that Kobe has made to Gasol or Bynum right under the basket when their defender completely missed their assignment even though he had a pretty easy shot himself.

So the statement about him being too selfish to acknowledge his teammates can be in a better position to score isn't accurate.

YES there are times he goes back to the old Kobe who was like that much more often than not, jacking up shot after shot, but those instances are few and far between now.

I'm not a huge stats guy but I'm sure there are numbers in support of this.

Blogger Bakes said...

Your soccer analogy really is true. You can tell Bird (and other players of his time) had multiple passes mapped out in their heads and chose the most efficient one. They passed to maximize scoring, not when they couldn't score themselves.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
This is a little off topic from Bird's beautiful passing, but I wanted to extend a topic from yesterday about Lebron's lack of "killer instinct." (he can learn it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UgdKBiGgoM.)

Actually, who in the NBA under 26 years old has it or shows signs of having it? Durant. Westbrook. Jennings maybe (although he could be Marbury 2.0). Curry. Evans. Udrih. Marc Gasol.

I ask because I worry for the future. Other than Wade, I worry that we may get a long drought of great finishers/assassin-like players after Kobe, Duncan, and Pierce hang it up.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
my word of the day for this post: White Boy Hustle

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Someone actually registered "Basebawful"?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
You know what stands out in these videos? The number of times Bird recklessly hits the floor for loose balls. As a Blazer fan, I don't know how many times I've heard the Blazer Broadcasters express concern over Brandon Roy drawing a charge or making a similarly aggressive move. There's a prevailing idea out there that certain guys shouldn't make certain risks unless it's the NBA finals. But Bird played one way, and that should be celebrated.

It's true. Of course, Bird has sinced acknowledged that his reckless manner of play shortened his career...and made his last three or four seasons pretty miserable.

On a semi-kinda related note, I have an article somewhere about how Bird started lifting weights for the first time in his life right before the 1987-88 season, and that was shown as proof of his extreme dedication to self-improvement. Like...pro ballers still weren't lifting weights as a matter of course at that time. It boggles the mind.

Blogger Basebawful said...

I registered Basebawful, but I'm too lazy to blog every day. Also english is not my native language.

I blog sometimes in spanish about football (mostly about Barcelona).

I don't blog about baseball or basket, because here in Colombia almost nobody cares about these sports. Even sports anchors in news don't know anything beyond football (soccer).

People just know about the famous Chicago Bulls, Shaq, Kobe and Magic (because of the VIH thing).

If you ask 10000 people who Larry Bird was, I'm sure just 5 to 10 would know.

It'd be like asking non latino and non european people in the US or Canada who were Michel Platini, Zico, Franz Beckenbauher, Roberto Baggio, Ronaldinho or Maradona.

Anonymous Heretic said...
I miss the way he NBA was before it got its ball sac snipped by David Stern. A ton of those plays would have been stopped due to foul calla today.

Blogger Shiv said...
@ Sorbo

A healthy Brandon Roy.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The body language comparing Bird and MJ vids is interesting.
MJ is like "You know I can hit this shot but... gonna pass it! Haha."
Bird's is more like "Bam! See that? Who's guarding me? You can't close my passing lane. Who's guarding me?"
Jordan is passing the ball to keep you on your toes. Bird uses it as an extension of his own offensive repertoire.

Anonymous Heretic said...

I think you give us Americans too little credit. For instance everybody here knows that Ronaldinho is the spanish version of the McDonalds clown. I'm also pretty sure that Maradona was a pop singer that was popular during the eighties and nineties. As far as Franz Beckenbaur, rumor has it he may have tried to kill John McClane.

Blogger Basebawful said...

The problem with Kobe is that he doesn't share the ball consistently, because he doesn't WANT to do it consistently. He doesn’t think in efficiency. When the Lakers win, he wants people to notice him, admire him and show him the love; when the Lakers lose he blames his teammates and demands trades. He would be pissed if everybody ignored him after a win. He wants the Sportscenter highlights of him dunking, he wants to be in the top 10, he wants the front page, he wants the MVP chants. He is an attention whore.

And to have all that attention, it’s not only necessary to play great, but also to LOOK great. That’s his other mistake. “Taking over” 4th quarters no matter what, shooting always last second shots (even if numbers tell he is not that good at those moments, because people tend to remember the good and discard the bad). More style than substance.

He pounds inside when he wants to show the crowd and the media he isn't selfish, or when in a few lapses he realizes that it is the better option. But his ego doesn't let him play consistently that way. He can't be a second banana in a team; he is got to be one of the 10 best ever.

And that fear of being second to no one is the reason (to me) he is the best second banana in history. He can't be a leader because he trusts no one but himself in the court, he thinks if he passes and plays fundamental basketball he will be off the spotlight and Gasol or Odom will take it from him. That mistrust didn't let him rise to the truly elite level. That mistrust and hero complex made him shoot horrible shots and be a ball hogger.

Last year the Lakers started playing at a truly elite level when Bryant deferred to Gasol and Odom in games 4,5 and 6 vs Denver and in the Finals. That title was as much Gasol and Odom as Bryant. Though don't tell that to J.A Adande.

Keep in mind that Larry Bird was miles ahead of Kobe in all kinds of shooting (3pt FG%, FG% and FT%) and was more willing to pass.

That’s other thing I liked about Bird. He didn't seem to care about style. His basketball was fundamental. Not trying to LOOK good or trying to look pretty. No show off, no shining, pure substance. He reminded me of John Stockton.

Anonymous Laurance said...
wait..where do you rank magic on the "greatest passers list"

Blogger Ash said...
"Awesome video's by the way. Better get the tissues out."

To be ready to clean up after shedding a nostalgic tear, or for masturbation?

Anonymous Czernobog said...
Rondo has to take care of the ball better.

Varejao is Cleveland's second most important player. Has this been true for as long as he's been there? It might have been. I think he'd make a better emotional leader then Elbron.

God, I hate them both. I can't believe I want a team with Anthony Parker on it to lose this badly.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Since someone else brought up football (soccer): getting megged with a basketball is far, far worse than getting posterized.

These videos still need more Scott Wedman for the perfect oncological marinara.

Anonymous Czernobog said...

What my ass taste like, Cleveland? Does it taste like failure and disappointment? Because you should know, sports lepers.

God, I can't wait to see another front office fail to build a winning team around LeLbow's inflated ego.

Blogger Bakes said...

The problems you bring up with Kobe (aside from taking over the 4th quarter) was how many years ago? Show me examples in the last three years when Kobe has thrown himself (and only himself) into the spotlight or thrown his teammates under the bus. You say he wants Sportcenter highlights of him dunking? He... doesn't really dunk much anymore, and dunks get the most play on top 10's, so that argument is kinda... no. And of course he doesn't want to be the second banana. Why? Cause he's NOT. Would Lebron, Wade, Carmello want to be second banana?

Kobe is an attention whore? Show me video of Kobe dancing on the sidelines during a game. Show me where Kobe says "July 1, 2010 is going to be the biggest event in basketball history". Show me where Kobe is consistently dropping hints and playing little games as to where he'll be going next year. Go ahead. I'll wait. Nothing? I'll agree with you that Kobe has an ego. That's not a debate. But to say he wants all the attention and does everything he can to get it is just utterly wrong.

Yes, as I said before, Kobe USED to be a very selfish player. He used to be pretty damn immature. He used to respond to all the criticism and the stupid baby baiting antics of former teammates. Show me in the last 2-3 years where he's done this. Again, I'll wait. Nothing? Yeah.

Your argument about not wanting Gasol or Odom to take attention away from him so he doesn't pass or play fundamental basketball is just... Watch when the Lakers are playing their best ball. What do they do? Kobe takes it up, draws defenders, dishes it in to Gasol or Bynum, easy dunk/and-1. That's the Lakers's bread and butter. If Kobe didn't accept he had to do that, why are we often so dominating in the paint?

Your arguments, they fail.

Blogger Bakes said...

"Taking over 4th quarters no matter what"

I also seem to remember Gasol and Fisher stepping up pretty big in some recent 4th quarters. Why, do you suppose, would Kobe "allow" this if he can't POSSIBLY stand other players having any kind of success?

Blogger David Landon said...
And the Curse of Ehlo lives on. Or maybe it's the Curse of Mike Brown Can't Coach His Way Out of A Paper Bag.

Blogger chris said...
I love how ESPN has to have A Very Special Edition of SportsCenter in the wake of King Crab suffering from a New England seafood bake tonight!

I also love Paul "Wheelchair" Pierce telling the media straight up "We're not really proud of this...our goal this year was to win a championship, not just one series" when being asked "how do you feel about this accomplishment of actually winning a series as an underdog?"

Blogger chris said...
AND...Scott Van Pelt quotes Jay-Z right before THE Network gets into the start of the painfully overhyped FREE AGENT SEASON OF 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Blogger Unknown said...
My only issue is that the game was on ESPN instead of TNT. I'd have LOVED to see the Crabs go fishin'. It would have been strangely apt.

Blogger plonden said...
WoTN nomination for the refs for the non-call on the Big Geritol's travel. He switched his pivot foot at least two separate times. Pure bawful at its finest.

Blogger chris said...
I love how this dramatic ESPN segment is comparing King Crab losing in the second round...to things like The Fumble and other forms of Cleveland sports fail.

A few minutes ago, as the press conference camera panned on an empty chair with a Gatorade bottle...

"It's like waiting for Godot. No wait, it's like a Gatorade commercial."

Um, I think Godot not showing up still didn't do as much philosophical damage as LeBron not showing up in Game 5...

And yes, an actual Gatorade commercial played right after that. Sigh.

Blogger chris said...
King Crab on the podium right now.

Claims that he wasn't thinking about free agency tonight.

"Guess you have to go through a lot of nightnames before you experience your dream."

Media seems to be unusually eager to ask somewhat tougher questions than normal to their favorite crustacean.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
Read Simmons book where he talks about Kobe. He's right, there are two sides of Kobe, the Fox and the Wolf. He knows the best way to win a game, he just always wants to be the one to make the big shot. That's his career: stuck between the best way to win and him being the hero. You can't always be both. Watch Game 5 against Oklahoma, when Kobe accepting the win and not the hero status.

We have to bring it up now, because the biggest free agent story just shit his pants in the second round. Let me call it for you: Lebron in New York. He'll go there and Stoudemire won't be far behind. Wade will stay in Miami and Bosh will go to Chicago. Isn't it funny that the supposed "three best players" and Joe Johnson will be watching the playoffs from here on out? Meanwhile Pumaman is heading towards his second Eastern Finals and possibly second Finals. MVP recount?

I can' remember a year where both Magic and Bird both missed the conference finals.

BTW. Lebron in Chicago is crazy talk. He would only go there if they traded Rose (too many ball handlers, if Rose stays), and Chicago would get nothing in return (Rose still in his rookie contract). Plus, he hates Noah. Hates him. Not hate-respects him, but hates him.

That would be like someone saying that in 1990 Jordan would go to Detroit because they had Laimbeer and Thomas. Just stupid. The Clippers have a better shot at Lebron than Chicago.

Blogger chris said...
I love the earlier comment (forgot who said it) about the Garnett-Jamison matchup being rather favorable for the C's, BTW - ya mean that picking up a veteran of the Garry St. Jean era in East Oakland would NOT be the most fruitful option in retrospect? Ya think!? :D

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Last year when LeBron didn't shake the hands of the Magic players and was criticized for it he defended his actions, saying something like he wouldn't want to shake the hand of someone who beat him. If he really believes that, why did he shake the Celtics players' hands? I just hate that he never actually admitted that he was wrong, but he clearly knows he did the wrong thing (or he still doesn't understand what he did wrong, but his advisers told him not to make the same mistake again).

Here's hoping Boston-Orlando goes seven while the Lakers rest up after dismantling Phoenix. I'd love to see a Lakers-Celtics rematch, with the good guys having HCA this time :)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Here's hoping Boston-Orlando goes seven while the Lakers rest up after dismantling Phoenix. I'd love to see a Lakers-Celtics rematch, with the good guys having HCA this time :)

Actually, the good guys won't have home cou...OH. I see what you just did.

I'm stunned about this Cleveland thing. At some point in the fourth quarter, that team just quit. They didn't foul with over a minute left. They didn't...just unbelievable.

Maybe it was too much. The combination of expectations and the notion that LeBron still hasn't decided where he's going to be.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I wonder how much the whole LeBron's free agency thing was a distraction to the Crabs. Do you think the whole thing cost Cleveland a championship? How funny would that be if LeBron's ego trip with this free agency nonsense cost him a title and brought all this scrutiny on himself.

Also, of course the Lakers are the good guys. I mean, who doesn't like Kobe Bryant? Aren't we all rooting for him to win a championship?

Anonymous Heretic said...
Rasheed made a couple of threes un-fucking-believable. That Tony Allen dunk was vicious as hell, he cocked it way back and wham right in the face of Jamison.

I live in the DC area and even though Jamison was half decent on the wizards I had the feeling that on a better team he would wilt. Good to know my Shitty Player In Disguise Detector (patent pending) is still working.

But yeah the Cavs just decided "Fuck it man, we are who you thought we were" at the end of the fourth. Didn't they watch the Reggie Miller documentary? Miracles can happen!! Well maybe its because from the sport cursed land of Cleveland.

Speaking of documentaries I finally caught that Bird - Magic documentary on HBO. Awesome movie, highly recommended.

Blogger LotharBot said...
New nickname:


Gone from the playoffs. Gone from Cleveland.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
I'm surprised we have no mention of Lebron's near quadruple-bumble. One more Lebron FA thing to get out of my system, and then I can focus on the last four teams. People talk about him not going to NY because there will be no talent around him. New York has $40M or $45M to spent this year and are on the hook for all of $4M in 2011/2012. They can pull two star players and fill out the roster the next year. Plus, remember the 2007 Celtics. They had Pierce (who many thought was nearly washed up) and the fifth pick; and Boston turned that into Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, winning a championship one year removed from being bawful.Phew, I'm done until July.

Bawful, I see your Bird highlights and raise you Tom Chambers:

Blogger chris said...
Did Simmons inspire that "New York Knicks" chant at the (TD)Gaaahden!?

Blogger Clifton said...
Gawd, watching the last 1:30 of that game was awkward. I mean, AWKWARD. You were literally watching the complete dissolution of a team's psyche. Just content to let the Celtics get it over with... Varejao standing 6 feet from Pierce with his hands on his hips for 10 seconds on the C's next-to-last possession might be the image I'll remember the longest.

That was horrible, though. It was like having two friends who used to be married, but have been divorced for a few years, and watching them argue over who "has to be saddled with" their 7-year-old this weekend... in front of their 7-year-old.

It would have been less painful to watch if they'd gone up to the scorer's table with 1:30 left and forfeited. Seriously, down 9 with 90 seconds to go? Steep climb, sure, but it's POSSIBLE. This wasn't like watching a team down 20 with 1:30 left playing full-court press. Cleveland still had a chance, albeit a small one, at the point when they gave up.

I'm still shaking my head. I can't fathom what I just saw. Hey, free-agency-world, it's LeBron! Guaranteed to actually quit on your team when the going gets tough. Whatever, someone's still going to give him sick cash, but I think the respective 4th quarters of the last two games have done more to cement LeBron's legacy in my mind than any of his "dominating" performances. You don't get the measure of a man by his actions when times are good. It's when the sh*t hits the fan when you find out what a man's made of.

Anonymous Stockton said...
Playoff all-star team

PG - Chris Paul.
Another year, another injury for the leader of "team future" (yeah, I know he didn't MAKE the playoffs, but humor me).
SG - Joe Johnson
Max money for mr. playoff clutch, here I go
SF - Lebron
Another landmark for the Icon
PF - Carlos Boozer
Complete dominance!!!
C - Jermaine O'Neal
I better hope you have some guaranted money...

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
The original purpose of Simmons' twitter was to mobilize on-the-fly chants. He eventually settled on picking 1 chant per person for the whole game, which eventually settled on choosing 1 chant just for LeBron. Over the course of the game, it picked up more and more steam until finally those last free throws in the 4th, it was LOUD.

Clifton picked the right word: Those last few minutes were AWKWARD. For Cleveland.

LeBron-a-thon continues in 4 days, ughh, I promise his name will be mentioned more than any actual draft pick.

Anonymous Baal said...
was I the only one who was hoping that Lebron would just pull a Ricky Davis and throw the ball out of bounce in the final seconds so he could get his historical thirst ever playoff quadrouble double?

Anonymous Axel F said...
Larry Bird may have enjoyed passing, but Bawful better enjoy making a post today or I will freak the hell out man. Make sure to post this picture.


Blogger Wormboy said...
What in Cthulhu's name is a MerkinMuffly?

Blogger Wormboy said...
What in Cthulhu's name is a MerkinMuffly?

Blogger Barry said...
ASH: "To be ready to clean up after shedding a nostalgic tear, or for masturbation?"

Both, at the same time.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Merkin Muffl(e)y was the US President in Dr. Strangelove.

A merkin is a pubic hairpiece.

Blogger starang said...
These videos brought a tear to my eye. And it has nothing to do with Bird or passing. It was actually physically painful on the eyes to watch. Thank god for HDTV.

How did people watch NBA back then?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Starang - Like veal calves in their pens, we didn't know there was another possible world out there.

Anonymous vaanhalen said...
he's boris diaw if Larry couldn't play defense and was terrified of shooting/rebounding/hustling.