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NBA-Offseason Commercial Break

feat. Michael Jordan & Larry Bird

NBA Lockout Classics: ”Hello, my name is Michael Jordan.” MJ plants 63 in the Garden 

I was 3 years old when this game happened so I won’t even pretend I saw it on tv or even on VHS. In fact, I had only seen highlights and Sports Illustrated photos before I discovered this complete game footage on YouTube (thank you, technology Gods!). 

The second hardest thing to do after finding this game tape was to find a box score. Even the supreme Basketball Reference doesn’t keep playoff box scores that far back (25 years ago!). This was sort of a blessing in disguise because the search for the box score actually led me to multiple articles and factoids about the game that wouldn’t show up in a typical stat sheet. 

People don’t talk about it but Jordan had just put up 49 points in a losing effort in Game 1 and now had to go back into the Boston Garden knowing that he’d have to do better. 

He had to do better than a 49 point effort in the Boston Garden during the height of the Larry Bird era Celtics dynasty. 

Knowing what we know about Mike and his drive and his super-human abilities, that last statement doesn’t seem so absurd. But this was 1986, Jordan was just 22 years old, his team was terrible and this was Larry Legend’s Celtics we’re talking about.

Jordan didn’t care who he was playing and looking back, none of us are shocked at the outcome. The only person that could stop Jordan was Jordan (or a bad deck of cards, but that’s a different story for another time). This would be the game that would propel Jordan from stardom right past superstar and right into basketball deity. 

Don’t take my word for it, Larry Bird said it himself. “I think he`s God disguised as Michael Jordan”, Larry said after the game. And many believed it and have worshiped MJ ever since. Some of us even sacrifice 6 goats on the 23rd day of every month. 

The most interesting part of that Larry Bird quote is that it’s being said by Larry Bird, an NBA God in his own right. And on this night Larry was as legendary as ever. Bird put up 36 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists in the game and swore that MJ wouldn’t out-do himself again. “I’ll retire if he scores 77” Bird said. 

This game was so Jordan-esq. Down 2-points, MJ had to hit two free throws after he was fouled on a three point attempt to force OT. That’s pressure. He finished regulation with 54 points and 6 assists. 

Jordan did actually miss in this game and it came at the most inopportune time. After Danny Ainge had tied the game at 125, Chicago got the ball with 12 seconds left and MJ got a clean look with 4 seconds to go in the game, but he clanked the 15 footer and Boston had a chance to win with 2 seconds to go. No luck, double OT. 

Jordan’s 63rd point would tie the game at 131 a piece with 1:10 to go in the game. That was the all-time playoff record, two better than Elgin’s long standing effort. Unfortunately for Jordan, the Bulls and NBA folklore in general, Jordan wouldn’t score again and the Celtics would go on to win this game and the series. 

After the game, Jordan was labeled a ball hog and no one thought his style of play would net a single ring, let alone six. It’s true that Jordan adjusted his game slightly over time and learned to trust teammates but the Jordan we saw on this night was the same Jordan that would go on to become the greatest of all time. It wasn’t evident immediately after this game and in fact many thought that Jordan would go on to only win scoring titles, not NBA championships. 

But every epic tale has to have some sort of tragedy and this was the first of Michael’s career. I don’t think he minds, though, considering how the rest of his career turned out. Sometimes you have to lose before you can learn how to win. 

(Article #1, Article #2, Article #3)

@Suga_Shane

(via: sexpigeon)
It was 100 degrees in New York City today, and this dude wore his Larry Bird jersey. I hope he didn’t step on anyone’s Jordans.

(via: sexpigeon)

It was 100 degrees in New York City today, and this dude wore his Larry Bird jersey. I hope he didn’t step on anyone’s Jordans.

What The? feat. Kevin McHale & Larry Bird

What The? feat. Kevin McHale & Larry Bird

Throwback Photo of the Night: Larry Legend in a Celtics sweater

Throwback Photo of the Night: Larry Legend in a Celtics sweater

I had the green light since grade school.
Larry Bird, after being asked if he ever had the green light to shoot like Jimmer Fredette seemingly has at BYU.
via brooklynmutt:

All political Michaels do this?


Dukakis 2012 question mark!

via brooklynmutt:

All political Michaels do this?

Dukakis 2012 question mark!

"He used to come onto the floor at the end of a ball game - if the game was tied and the play was obviously for him - and he would tell the coach on the other team where the play was going, what was going to happen, ‘and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.’”
~Clippers broadcaster, and former Celtic, Michael Smith talking about the greatness of Larry Bird’s trash talking on The Bill Simmons Podcast

"He used to come onto the floor at the end of a ball game - if the game was tied and the play was obviously for him - and he would tell the coach on the other team where the play was going, what was going to happen, ‘and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.’”

~Clippers broadcaster, and former Celtic, Michael Smith talking about the greatness of Larry Bird’s trash talking on The Bill Simmons Podcast

Throwback Photo of the Night: Larry Legend and the Ladies

Throwback Photo of the Night: Larry Legend and the Ladies

Happy 54th Birthday, Mr. Legend. 






@Suga_Shane
(Photographed by: Walter Iooss Jr./SI)

Happy 54th Birthday, Mr. Legend. 

@Suga_Shane

(Photographed by: Walter Iooss Jr./SI)

NBA OFF-SEASON PREVIEW: INDIANA PACERS
“Bartender, pour me another”
BLOGHEADS: We give you our final team preview – saving not the best, but the most painfully entertaining, for last. To celebrate that fact, KC & I decided that if we were to write a season preview on the Indiana Pacers, we must, of course, do so while intoxicated.  And if we expected any of you to actually read this, you must likewise be on our level. 
So since we’re now prepared to drink, let’s make a game of it!  Settle in for a long’un.  Ladies and gents, without further adieu … our Indiana Pacers Drinking Game.
The rules are simple: grab a bottle or two (honestly?  you may need more than two) of your favorite drink. Whenever any of the following is mentioned in this article, you must take a sip, or a chug, or a shot, or Ice a bro (what-have-you):
1.       Any mention of a player of Caucasian descent
2.       Any mention of a player with legal trouble
3.       Any mention of Larry Bird
4.       Any reference to “rebuilding”
5.       Any reference to “potential”
6.       Any mention of “lottery”
The Pacers are a team in-flux, stuck somewhere between rebuilding (DRINK!) and Chernobyl.  Most of the issues came about long before Larry Bird (DRINK!) took the reins to the team’s front office.  The Malice at the Palace is now one of the darkest and most pathetic moments in NBA history.  All lines were indubitably crossed – professional, moral and legal (DRINK!).  The Artest-era left traces of arsenic in the mouths of everyone: fans, coaches, front office, David Stern, kindergartners in Bargersville, your 98-year-old grandmother … literally, everyone.  The Hoosier State’s only solution was to ship-out the All-Stars, dismantle a 60-win team and commence the rebuilding (DRINK!) process.
Only thing is, they weren’t truly committed to the rebuilding process (DRINK! See? Aren’t we having fun?!).  They traded for a few decent players who had a lot of years and a lot of money left on their contracts.  You know, guys the likes of Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Troy Murphy (DRINK! Aaaand DRINK!).  What Bird (DRINK!) never realized is, well, if you’re going to rebuild, then tanking, purging your roster and starting from scratch is a (the) smarter solution.  NOT, as demonstrated, keeping the mediocre guys around, hovering somewhere between 35 and 40 wins and ending up at the ass-end of the draft lottery (DRINK!) every year.  What, exactly, does a strategy like that get you?  Tyler Hansbrough? (DRINK!) Shawne Williams?  Jerryd Bayless, who somehow turned into Jarrett Jack, Josh McRoberts (DRINK!) and Brandon Rush?
Honestly, you have to feel a little sorry for this team.  They are most definitely a storied franchise, what with winning three ABA Championships before their jump to the NBA.  In the Association, they’d kept that winning spirit going, advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals five times and even making it to the NBA Finals once.  Plus, this is INDIANA we’re talking about: home of the Hoosiers, legitimate down-and-dirty high school basketball, Hinkle Fieldhouse, and some of the greatest college basketball fans on earth (unless you’re from Purdue.  Sorry, KC is a Hoosier alum.  DRINK! for the obvious bias, and also because she said so, and also for Robbie Hummel).  So, if you’re from Indiana or simply admire the state’s intrinsic connection to basketball, hearing rumors of the team moving is more than disconcerting … it’s downright depressing.
Key Departures
Earl Watson, Troy Murphy (DRINK!)
Ok, let’s skip over Earl Watson. Sorry.  The guy is just not a factor, and plus, he doesn’t help us drink. Troy Murphy (DRINK!) was a big part of Indiana’s game last year (14.6 ppg, 10.6 rpg). He’s one of the only power forwards we can think of in the NBA that can hit 3-pointers with consistency and still nab 10+ boards a night (oh yeah … also, Kevin Love.  DRINK!). Cleveland made the wrong move last year in pursuing Jamison, they should’ve targeted Murphy (DRINK! heh) instead.
Key Additions
Paul George, Lance Stephenson, Darren Collison, James Posey, a much-improved Roy Hibbert.
At one point, Lance Stephenson was the best player coming out of high school.  But like most of the recent New York product PGs, “Born Ready” can’t seem to stay on the right side of the law (DRINK!).  After a promising preseason game, he went home and done threw his girlfriend down a flight of stairs.  This is what we call “pulling an Elijah Dukes.”  And it is not smart.  We ain’t even bullshittin’.
Paul George might turn out to be an absolute beast if he can live up to his potential (DRINK! weeee are you drunk yet?).  This might very well be the first legit player Larry Bird (DRINK!) has drafted since he took over the GM job.  Wait, no, make that the second … Roy Hibbert is looking like the center Indiana was hoping he’d become.
James Posey was nothing but a throw-in, New Orleans didn’t want him and naturally, Indiana didn’t want him.  BUT, Indiana really wanted Darren Collison so they bit the bullet and took on Posey’s albatross contract.  Darren Collison showed the world his skill set last year when Chris Paul was injured and Larry Bird (DRINK!) was sold on Collison’s potential (DRINK!).  Darren could actually turn out to be an 18-and-8 player this year for the Pacers.
Conclusion
Indiana needs a basketball team.  Not just any team, no, they need the goddamn PACERS and they need them to start winning games like, now.  It’s seriously the only way this team can pull out of such sticky financial woes and keep the franchise in Indiana.  It has to happen this year and with this roster.  Reggie Miller ain’t walkin’ in through that door.  Rik Smits (DRINK!) and Dale Davis ain’t walkin’ in through that door.  The burden lies with everyone involved to put points on the board, W’s on the schedule and people back in Area 55.
If the Pacers can get these youngsters to mesh and Danny Granger can play at an All-Star level, they have a good shot of taking that 8th seed out East.  It’s that simple.  Granger can straight-out ball.  Hibbert spent his offseason with Bill Walton (DRINK!), a man who had endless moves and dominant defense.  I am expecting big things this year.  KC is expecting big things this year.  Larry Bird (DRINK!) is expecting big things.  And damnit, Indiana is expecting big things.
The time is now for this team because if they don’t find themselves still on the court into May, they just might find themselves playing in a different city come next year.  And that just won’t do.
Fun Stuff
We have taken 24 shots during this preview. YEAAAAYUHHH!
Calling it now: Indiana will take the 8th seed out East. (Sorry, Cleveland)
Roy Hibbert WILL BE AN ALL-STAR
Twitter:  @hoya2apacer, @8pts9secs, @indycornrows
Web: http://www.indycornrows.com, http://www.eightpointsnineseconds.com/
-KC and @Suga_Shane
MIKE DUNLEAVY JR. (DRINK!)

NBA OFF-SEASON PREVIEW: INDIANA PACERS

“Bartender, pour me another”

BLOGHEADS: We give you our final team preview – saving not the best, but the most painfully entertaining, for last. To celebrate that fact, KC & I decided that if we were to write a season preview on the Indiana Pacers, we must, of course, do so while intoxicated.  And if we expected any of you to actually read this, you must likewise be on our level. 

So since we’re now prepared to drink, let’s make a game of it!  Settle in for a long’un.  Ladies and gents, without further adieu … our Indiana Pacers Drinking Game.

The rules are simple: grab a bottle or two (honestly?  you may need more than two) of your favorite drink. Whenever any of the following is mentioned in this article, you must take a sip, or a chug, or a shot, or Ice a bro (what-have-you):

1.       Any mention of a player of Caucasian descent

2.       Any mention of a player with legal trouble

3.       Any mention of Larry Bird

4.       Any reference to “rebuilding”

5.       Any reference to “potential”

6.       Any mention of “lottery”

The Pacers are a team in-flux, stuck somewhere between rebuilding (DRINK!) and Chernobyl.  Most of the issues came about long before Larry Bird (DRINK!) took the reins to the team’s front office.  The Malice at the Palace is now one of the darkest and most pathetic moments in NBA history.  All lines were indubitably crossed – professional, moral and legal (DRINK!).  The Artest-era left traces of arsenic in the mouths of everyone: fans, coaches, front office, David Stern, kindergartners in Bargersville, your 98-year-old grandmother … literally, everyone.  The Hoosier State’s only solution was to ship-out the All-Stars, dismantle a 60-win team and commence the rebuilding (DRINK!) process.

Only thing is, they weren’t truly committed to the rebuilding process (DRINK! See? Aren’t we having fun?!).  They traded for a few decent players who had a lot of years and a lot of money left on their contracts.  You know, guys the likes of Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Troy Murphy (DRINK! Aaaand DRINK!).  What Bird (DRINK!) never realized is, well, if you’re going to rebuild, then tanking, purging your roster and starting from scratch is a (the) smarter solution.  NOT, as demonstrated, keeping the mediocre guys around, hovering somewhere between 35 and 40 wins and ending up at the ass-end of the draft lottery (DRINK!) every year.  What, exactly, does a strategy like that get you?  Tyler Hansbrough? (DRINK!) Shawne Williams?  Jerryd Bayless, who somehow turned into Jarrett Jack, Josh McRoberts (DRINK!) and Brandon Rush?

Honestly, you have to feel a little sorry for this team.  They are most definitely a storied franchise, what with winning three ABA Championships before their jump to the NBA.  In the Association, they’d kept that winning spirit going, advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals five times and even making it to the NBA Finals once.  Plus, this is INDIANA we’re talking about: home of the Hoosiers, legitimate down-and-dirty high school basketball, Hinkle Fieldhouse, and some of the greatest college basketball fans on earth (unless you’re from Purdue.  Sorry, KC is a Hoosier alum.  DRINK! for the obvious bias, and also because she said so, and also for Robbie Hummel).  So, if you’re from Indiana or simply admire the state’s intrinsic connection to basketball, hearing rumors of the team moving is more than disconcerting … it’s downright depressing.

Key Departures

Earl Watson, Troy Murphy (DRINK!)

Ok, let’s skip over Earl Watson. Sorry.  The guy is just not a factor, and plus, he doesn’t help us drink. Troy Murphy (DRINK!) was a big part of Indiana’s game last year (14.6 ppg, 10.6 rpg). He’s one of the only power forwards we can think of in the NBA that can hit 3-pointers with consistency and still nab 10+ boards a night (oh yeah … also, Kevin Love.  DRINK!). Cleveland made the wrong move last year in pursuing Jamison, they should’ve targeted Murphy (DRINK! heh) instead.

Key Additions

Paul George, Lance Stephenson, Darren Collison, James Posey, a much-improved Roy Hibbert.

At one point, Lance Stephenson was the best player coming out of high school.  But like most of the recent New York product PGs, “Born Ready” can’t seem to stay on the right side of the law (DRINK!).  After a promising preseason game, he went home and done threw his girlfriend down a flight of stairs.  This is what we call “pulling an Elijah Dukes.”  And it is not smart.  We ain’t even bullshittin’.

Paul George might turn out to be an absolute beast if he can live up to his potential (DRINK! weeee are you drunk yet?).  This might very well be the first legit player Larry Bird (DRINK!) has drafted since he took over the GM job.  Wait, no, make that the second … Roy Hibbert is looking like the center Indiana was hoping he’d become.

James Posey was nothing but a throw-in, New Orleans didn’t want him and naturally, Indiana didn’t want him.  BUT, Indiana really wanted Darren Collison so they bit the bullet and took on Posey’s albatross contract.  Darren Collison showed the world his skill set last year when Chris Paul was injured and Larry Bird (DRINK!) was sold on Collison’s potential (DRINK!).  Darren could actually turn out to be an 18-and-8 player this year for the Pacers.

Conclusion

Indiana needs a basketball team.  Not just any team, no, they need the goddamn PACERS and they need them to start winning games like, now.  It’s seriously the only way this team can pull out of such sticky financial woes and keep the franchise in Indiana.  It has to happen this year and with this roster.  Reggie Miller ain’t walkin’ in through that door.  Rik Smits (DRINK!) and Dale Davis ain’t walkin’ in through that door.  The burden lies with everyone involved to put points on the board, W’s on the schedule and people back in Area 55.

If the Pacers can get these youngsters to mesh and Danny Granger can play at an All-Star level, they have a good shot of taking that 8th seed out East.  It’s that simple.  Granger can straight-out ball.  Hibbert spent his offseason with Bill Walton (DRINK!), a man who had endless moves and dominant defense.  I am expecting big things this year.  KC is expecting big things this year.  Larry Bird (DRINK!) is expecting big things.  And damnit, Indiana is expecting big things.

The time is now for this team because if they don’t find themselves still on the court into May, they just might find themselves playing in a different city come next year.  And that just won’t do.

Fun Stuff

We have taken 24 shots during this preview. YEAAAAYUHHH!

Calling it now: Indiana will take the 8th seed out East. (Sorry, Cleveland)

Roy Hibbert WILL BE AN ALL-STAR

Twitter@hoya2apacer, @8pts9secs, @indycornrows

Web: http://www.indycornrows.com, http://www.eightpointsnineseconds.com/

-KC and @Suga_Shane

MIKE DUNLEAVY JR. (DRINK!)


33 days left until the 2010-11 NBA season tips off.
Brought to you by the most memorable #33s in NBA history: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, Grant Hill, Alonzo Mourning & Patrick Ewing.  (click for Hi-Res)
@Suga_Shane

33 days left until the 2010-11 NBA season tips off.

Brought to you by the most memorable #33s in NBA history: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, Grant Hill, Alonzo Mourning & Patrick Ewing.  (click for Hi-Res)

@Suga_Shane

What do you think this was over? Hall & Oates tickets?
[slapclap]

What do you think this was over? Hall & Oates tickets?

[slapclap]

Kurt was all “high fives bro” until he got clotheslined. 
via upnorthtrips

Kurt was all “high fives bro” until he got clotheslined.

via upnorthtrips

I want this Larry Bird shirt
via upnorthtrip

I want this Larry Bird shirt

via upnorthtrip

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