5 Shots from Larry Bird
What Ted Williams was to hitting, so is Bird to shooting.
5. Guess who doesn't love the three-point shot. While sitting through the three-point contest year after year at All-Star weekend, it's natural to refer back to Bird. In that regard he was the NBA's Babe Ruth, the player who made the home run popular while winning the three-point shootout in its inaugural three years (1986-88).
"Yeah, it's all they talk about,'' he said of his ability from the three-point line. "Everybody looks at me as a three-point shooter, but I didn't shoot a lot of them.''
Bird attempted a scant 1.9 threes per game in 13 seasons. In 2000-01, the year before he retired, his long-range attempts peaked at 3.3. But that's still a low rate by today's standards: There are 72 players attempting more than 3.3 threes this season alone.
"I felt like the game is won down in the paint,'' Bird said. "I didn't shoot them until the end of the game. If I shot one early, it was probably on the road.'' When he wanted to make a dramatic impact in an opponent's gym, he means to say.