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Three(3) factors that separated Larry Bird from the pack

 It may be controversial to some, but I place Larry Bird in my top-5 NBA. All-Time. Here's why.


SIZE

Larry said it himself - "My entire game changed when I went from 6'6" to 6'9." With the added three inches, The Birdman was able to get his shot off - improve his rebounding - fight for position under the basket - and see over opponents to get the ball to his teammates. He may have been good - even very good - at 6;6" - but not great. Bird averaged 10.0 rebounds per game for his career. Not bad for a guy not very quick or athletic.

SAVVY

Forget Larry's use of double-negatives. He is no dummy, especially on the hardwood. He almost always knew the right play and how/where/when to get it done. His knowledge of the game and instincts were some of the best the League has ever seen.

SYNERGY WITH TEAMMATES

"I knew my teammates" was what Larry told former fellow Celtic, Kevin McHale. Bird knew where his teammates were most of the time - and what they were capable of. His no-look passes have become legend, and his career average of 6.3 assists per game reveal his dedication to getting his comrades involved.

It is ironic that everything I have written about Larry in this piece could be attached to his adversary and friend, Magic Johnson. Those two-all-but-saved an NBA that was having difficulty staying afloat. 

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