The Boston Celtics finally managed to contain Michael Jordan in the 1992 NBA Finals, leading to Larry Bird’s early retirement.
Larry Bird was spared early retirement after his Boston Celtics finally contained Michael Jordan.
Larry Bird was the one who put it out there. He said that if Michael Jordan maintained his winning streak against his Boston Celtics in the 1986 playoffs, he would retire. After scoring 63 points in Game 2 of their playoff series, Bird lauded the young Chicago Bulls star, calling him “God disguised as Michael Jordan.” Bird informed reporters that if Jordan stayed consistent in Game 3, he would retire.
The Boston Celtics and Larry Bird were able to withstand Michael Jordan’s incredible postseason run.
During a game in Hartford, Connecticut in 1991, Larry Bird sits on the sidelines in front of the scorer’s table. | Getty Images/Bob Stowell
Bird has said that he would put his 1986 championship squad up against any other team. Four Hall of Famers were among the starting five, while veteran Bill Walton was added to the mix to solve the team’s bench issues.
During the 1985-86 season, the Celtics won 67 games and met Jordan and the Bulls in a best-of-five series in the first round of the playoffs. Jordan made things tough for the Celtics, even though they swept.
Jordan scored 49 points in Game 1 of the series, which the Celtics won 123-104 at home. Bird used Jordan and God in the same phrase in Game 2.
The Bulls pushed the Celtics to double overtime, led by Jordan’s 63 points, before Boston won 135-131. With his now-famous “God dressed as Michael Jordan” remark after that game, Bird lavished admiration on the young Bulls star.
According to NBA.com, Bird continued, “He was hitting outside shots, driving to the hole.” “He was guarded by almost the whole squad.” He was clearly in the zone. With huge basket after big basket, he kept them in the game. We were unable to stop him. We did all we could to assist him by shading him. You were referring to a different kind of ability.
If Michael Jordan kept up his pace in Game 3, Larry Bird vowed to retire.
The Celtics traveled to Chicago in an attempt to wrap up the series. After scoring 49 points in Game 1 and 63 points in Game 2, Jordan remained on the thoughts of the Boston players. Could he continue his hot streak and add another 14 points to his previous total in Game 3 to reach 77?
If such was the case, Bird said that he would step down.
According to The Chicago Tribune, Bird remarked after Game 2 regarding Jordan’s 63 points, “I couldn’t believe anybody could accomplish that against the Boston Celtics.” “On Tuesday, he won’t score 77 points. If he gets a 77, I’m done.”
When the Celtics closed in on Jordan, limiting him to 19 points in a decisive 122-104 win, Boston supporters breathed a sigh of relief.
According to United Press International, Jordan said, “They were prepared for me.” “It felt like every time I grabbed the ball, they’d send someone else at me before I could make a move.” They did a fantastic job on defense.”
Jordan gained the Boston Celtics’ and everyone watching the game’s respect.
The Bulls set an NBA playoff record with 63 points against Boston on this day in 1986. “I believe it’s simply Michael Jordan dressed as God.” Larry Bird (Larry Bird)
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Bird was blown away by Jordan’s performance. During the series, he gained the respect of the whole Celtics team. He also gained the admiration of his colleagues and Bulls supporters.
According to NBA.com, Walton remarked, “What Michael was able to accomplish against a squad like that was a great performance.” “That squad can win any game, whether it’s a speed game, a power game, a shooting game, a defensive game, a physical game, or a mental game.” It had balance, depth, and talent, as well as coaching expertise, excellent leadership, top management in Red (Auerbach), a strong franchise history, and an icon in Larry Bird.”
Jordan’s teammate John Paxson remarked, “Boston put everyone and everything at him.” “They piled on the defensive pressure to stop him, and he scored on every double and triple team he encountered.”
Jordan fouled out in Game 3 after giving it his all, but he only managed 19 points in a defeat against one of the greatest NBA teams ever constructed. With 5:24 remaining, he picked up his sixth foul and departed to a standing ovation from his home crowd.
According to UPI, Jordan remarked, “It nearly brought tears to my eyes.”
Michael Jordan Won the Battles, But Larry Bird Won the Head-to-Head Battles
Larry Bird was spared early retirement after his Boston Celtics finally contained Michael Jordan. Reference: is larry bird still alive.
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