33 Incredible Larry Bird Trash Talk Stories That Prove Why He’s The Best Trash Talker of All Time!

When it comes to trash talking, Larry Bird is generally considered the greatest of all time.

Not only being a badass on the court with his skills, he had the confidence and swagger to talk a LOT – and back it up.

1) “From The Trainer’s Lap!” – Bird Drops 60 on the Hawks

Remember Bird’s legendary game against the Hawks when he dropped 60?

We’ll allow Doc Rivers to tell the story:

“Bird got in the zone and he started calling the shots, he started saying “off the glass”, that was the one game I think he tortured Dominique.

“He saw Dominique as this up and coming player and he just tortured him, mentally. He tortured all of us, he was calling shots,”off the glass” “who’s next”, “where you want this one from” and he just made one after another. When he got to about the 55th point you knew it was something special.”

“Even as a player, and that usually doesn’t happen, but we were down so much at the time, you got time to realise the game. The last shot, he said “in the trainer’s lap” coming down the court, which meant it was going to be a three and it was going to from deep, and then he said “who wants it?”. Then I think Reggie Brown, I’m not sure who it was, ran out after him, he shot this high rainbow, it goes in, Reggie bumps into him and accidentally knocks him on our trainer’s lap.

“So it was exactly what he said, it was an accident but it was almost fate. They show a shot of our bench, Cliff Livingston and Eddie Johnson are standing up giving each other high fives, it was pretty awesome.

“That night was not awesome. We had to go back to the room, and Mike Fratello, instead of going out to eat, he had a team meeting and put the film in and says “it’s one thing to be in awe, it’s another thing to cheer for the other team”. And he shows this back and forth, and kept rewinding the high five. It was awesome.”

2) “Who’s Playing for Second?” – Bird in the Three Point Shoot Out

Michael Cooper shared this one:

“Larry walks in and says I hope all you guys in here are thinking about second place, because I’m winning this…’EXCUSE ME?!’

“And he started shooting and he just didn’t miss.”

Of course, he won, lifting his finger in the air before the final shot went in, and not even removing his warm up jacket.

The following year, in the same All-Star 3-point shooting contest Dale Ellis told the press that Bird didn’t have much to say this year. Bird said, “There’s no need to talk this time. We all know who’s going to win.”

Later on, after Craig Hodges won the NBA All-Star Game Three-Point contest in Bird’s absence, Hodges was asked if the victory was tainted because Bird hadn’t participated. “He knows where he can find me,” was Hodges retort. Told of Hodges’ challenge, Bird replied, “Yeah, at the end of the Bulls bench.”

3) “You Can’t Guard Me” – Larry Bird vs Clyde Drexler

Clyde-Drexler-Larry-BirdClyde Drexler has a memory of Larry from his rookie year:

“I was guarding him my rookie year, he looked at me and he goes “you can’t stop me”…I looked at him and said “gosh, boy you’re so confident”. He goes “Confident? You’re a rookie, you don’t know anything!”

“He proceeded to score 10 straight points on me, coach took me out the game, he walks by and he’s laughing at me.”

Source: ESPN Classic

4) “Fly Bird” – Larry vs Brad Daugherty

Brad-DaughertyBrad Daugherty talks about the time Bird got him:

Larry Bird catches the ball in the corner and I take off running at Larry Bird, and right when he’s getting ready to shoot, I jump and as I go by him, he tells me “fly, bird” and I go right by him, he shoots the ball and it’s nothing but nylon.”

Source: ESPN Classic

5) “That’s a Heat Check” – Larry Got Hot

Frank-Layden
“I remember the time when Larry got on a roll, started shooting the ball, every shot was going in. He run by the bench and goes “that’s a heat check to see how hot I am,” he runs by Frank Layden who’s the funniest guy in the league and Frank is coaching and Larry says to him:

“Hey, Frank, haven’t you got anyone on the bench who can guard me? Because nobody out here can.” Frank looks down the Bench and he goes, ‘no!’”.

Source: ESPN Classic

6) “I’ma Put a Show on For You” – Bird vs Magic

Larry-Bird-Magic-JohnsonMagic Johnson was injured in one match up with the Celtics, but that didn’t stop Bird going over to have a word:

“I’ve got a pulled hamstring so I’m not playing. He walks down to me and says “man, I’m sorry you’re not playing, but I’ma tell you what, you’re here I’m a put on a show for you, so you just sit back and watch.”

“I’m like “Get out of my face man”. I don’t wanna hear that, that’s Celtics and the Lakers! Every time he hit one he looked at me.”

Source: ESPN Classic

7) “You Said You Were Going to Kick His Ass” – Bird vs Elvin Hayes

Elvin-HayesKevin McHale tells the story:

“I was getting ready to start a game, get up to the jumpball, and Larry says, out of the blue, he says “go ahead Kevin, tell Elvin Hayes what you told me.”

I didn’t tell him anything. He said “GO ahead, you said you were going to kick his ass”. Elvin Hayes was looking at me, and at that point it was hard to say no I didn’t say anything, so I said ey I guess so!”

Source: ESPN Classic

8) “I’m Going to Get the Ball” – Bird Game Winner vs Washington

“I remember we were playing Washington in Washington,” said Chris Ford, his former teammate. “Larry just hit what would have been the game winning shot, but KC had called timeout.

“Larry came back to the bench and he was a little upset.”

“He looks at the bench”, recalled KC Jones, and says “you guys when I come back in from the timeout I’m going to go right to the same spot and I’m going to kick it in.”

“He told Washington he was going to get the ball,” laughed Ford.

And sure enough, he hit the shot.

Source: ESPN Classic

9) “I’m going to Play this one left-handed” – Bill Walton Recalls

“At the end of one of the trips,” Walton start. “He had accomplished every goal, we hadn’t lost a game on the trip and Larry told all of us players and the media too, we were all standing around waiting to leave, he said “Tomorrow night’s the last game of the trip, I’m going to play this one left-handed, at least through three quarters”.

“At the end of three quarters, the next night in Portland against poor Jerome Kersey, he had 27 points. It was a remarkable performance.”

Bird finished with 47 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out 11 assists (21-34 FG). For good measure, he hit the game tying shot to send the game to OT, and then made the game winning shot.

Source: ESPN Classic

10) “Give Me the Ball and Get out the Way” – ML Carr on Bird

ML-CarrBird’s former teammate ML Carr shares a story:
“Larry said, ‘you guys want to win the game?’, and I said ‘sure, absolutely!’ he goes, “give me the ball and get out the way!”

Source: ESPN Classic

11) “What’s the Scoring Record?” – Bird in Every Building

larry-bird
Larry used to come in the locker rooms, he’d be getting his ankles taped and he would say “hey mop boy, go run and find the scoring record in this building” – he needed those kind of challenges.” said Danny Ainge.

Source: YouTube

12) “You Shoulda Stayed in Preaching”

Robert-Reid
Larry Bird told Robert Reid he shoulda stayed in preaching! That was funny, he had 50 points.”

Source: ESPN Classic

13) “You Can’t Shoot” – Larry Bird vs Ron Harper

Ron-Harper“You know Larry Bird never playing no great defence,” said Ron Harper. “He’s like sagging off a little bit. He’d tell the guy, you can’t shoot, I’m not worrying about guarding you. I said ‘man, shoot it in his face!’”

Source: Youtube

14) “You’re Out of Your League” – Larry Bird vs Mark Aguirre

Mark-Agguire-Larry-Bird
Mark (Aguirre) hit a three pointer on Larry Bird and said ‘take a look at that’. Bird just came right back and hit three three pointers in a row, and said to him “You’re out of your league”.

Source: Youtube

15) “I Got the Guy in the Torture Chamber” – Danny Ainge on Bird

Danny-Ainge
“He’d say Danny give me the ball, or DJ give me the ball, I got this guy in the torture chamber right here, while the guy was standing right there listening to him say it!”

Source: Youtube

16) “Who’s Guarding Me” – Larry Bird vs Isiah Thomas

Larry-Bird-Isiah-Thomas
Former Pistons player John Salley told this story:

“The ball went to Larry, and Isiah was all out of wack, he had the ball at three point range and goes ‘hey hey hey, who’s guarding me?!’, I looked around, he just stood there held the ball, Isiah said aww ran out there, he shot it, three pointer. Too late.”

Source: Youtube

17) “Coach, You Better Get Somebody Else to Guard Me”

Larry-Bird-Talking
“He’d look at you like, hey, what you doing out here, you better call somebody else. I even heard him tell the coach ‘hey, coach, you better get somebody else out here to guard me because I’m killing this guy.”

Source: Youtube

18) “I’m Going to Shoot it Right in Your Face” – Bird vs McDaniel

Late in a tied game against the Seattle SuperSonics, Bird told Supersonics forward Xavier McDaniel, who was guarding him, “I’m going to get it [the ball]right here and I am going to shoot it right in your face.” As McDaniel remembers it, he responded by saying, “I know, I’ll be waiting.” After a timeout, Bird made two baseline cuts, then posted in the exact spot he had indicated to McDaniel, paused, turned, and made it in his face. He finished up the sequence by telling McDaniel, “I didn’t mean to leave two seconds on the clock.”

“I walked back to the sideline like, ‘damn!’”, concluded McDaniel.

Source: Youtube

19) “I Did Enough Damage to Them” – Bird on Potential Quadruple Double

On February 18, 1985, Bird registered a triple double (30 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists) and also had 9 steals in three quarters of play against the Utah Jazz. Bird sat out the fourth quarter, as the Celtics led 90–66 after the third quarter and won the game 110–94. When asked by reporters if he actually wanted to play in the 4th quarter to get the quadruple double, Bird said “What for? I already did enough damage to them.”

Source: Reference.com

20) “42-6″ – Bird vs Dr J

The infamous fight between Larry Bird and Dr J, supposedly started because of Bird continually repeating a single phrase repeatedly.

The phrase? ’42-6′ – or the number of points each had scored during an easy Boston victory. During the game, Bird had continuously informed Erving of their tallies with every chance he got to score. Eventually a shoving match ensued, before turning into a full on brawl.

Bird denies this in his autobiography, saying it was ML Carr saying it from the bench.

Source: Dime Mag

21) “I’m The Best Fucking Shooter in the League” – Bird vs Reggie Miller

Larry-Bird-Reggie-Miller
Reggie Miller recalled his encounter with Larry Bird’s legendary trash talking ability in his book “I Love Being The Enemy”. Reggie tried to disrupt Larry’s concentration when he was shooting free throws late in a game. Larry glared at him, made the first free throw and said, “Rook, I am the best ****ing shooter in the league. In the league, understand? And you’re up here trying to ****ing tell me something?” Then Larry buried the second free throw.

Source: I Love Being the Enemy

22) “Merry Fucking Christmas” – Bird vs Chuck Person

Chuck-Person-Larry-Bird
During one game on Christmas Day against the Indiana Pacers, before the game Bird told Chuck Person that he had a Christmas present waiting for him.

During the game, when Person was on the bench, Bird shot a three-pointer on the baseline right in front of Person. Immediately after releasing the ball, Bird said to Person, “Merry f**king Christmas!”, and then the shot went in. This was no doubt inspired by Person (nicknamed the “Rifleman”) stating prior to the game that “The Rifleman is Coming, and He’s Going Bird Hunting.”

Source: Wikipedia

23) Ben Poquette?! Are You Fucking Kidding Me?! – Bird vs the Bulls

Larry-Bird-vs-Chicago
In 1987, the Chicago Bulls had gaffed Bird’s complimentary tickets. Prior to tip-off, Bird confronted Bulls coach Doug Collins on the sideline, informed Collins about the ticket situation, and asked him what the visitor scoring record was, vowing to break it. As the game started, the Bulls defended Bird with Ben Poquette, a Caucasian forward. Bird, who was known to take insult when an opposing team put a white player on him, laughed at Collins, “Ben Poquette? Are you f*cking kidding me?” Bird had 33 at the half and ended up scoring 41 points

Source: Wikipedia

24) “I’m the Best Damn Player from Indiana” – Bird v Shawn Kemp

Shawn-Kemp
Xavier McDaniel once told this story:

“I remember Shawn Kemp was guarding Larry Bird one night, and during the time out, Shawn shared Bird’s comment. On the last three-pointer, Larry Shot in Kemp’s face and he said, ‘I’m the best damn player from Indiana.’ We ended up hearing this story during the time out and started laughing. He was on fire that night; he ended up with 50-plus points.

(Shawn Kemp, for those that don’t know, is from Elkart, Indiana)

Source: Chiefsplanet.com

25) You Have to Bring it Every Night – Bird vs Shawn Kemp Again

Shawn-Kemp-Larry-Bird
Shawn Kemp himself shared this one:

“Larry taught me a lesson. People criticized Larry… Larry is getting old, his back is in pain… So I go out, I hit a couple of shots on him, I was like man, said a couple of words to him, next thing you know, he is shooting threes in my face, he’s talking to me, he ended up with like 47 points. He taught me a lesson that regardless of who you are, how good you are, you have to bring it every night, you got to get your respect that way.”

Source: Insidehoops

26) “Well, You’re Guarding Me Aren’t You?” – Bird vs Worchester

Larry-Bird-vs-James-Worthy
“You know, they go back and say Bird was a trash talker. I never thought it was trash talking. He was whispering needles. We were playing at Worchester. I don’t even know who was guarding him. Larry supposedly poked him before they started and said, “Hey, what’s the scoring record in this building?” The guy asks why. And he says, “Well you’re guarding me aren’t you?”

Source: NBA.com

27) “What’s the Quickest Anyone’s Done It?” – Bird with the Dream Team

Larry-Bird
From the Dream Team Documentary, McIntyre share this story:

“I had about eighty basketballs in my room in Barcelona and had to get the players to sign them all. Bird was the last guy, and he says, “What’s the quickest anyone’s done it?” I said, “Anywhere from eight minutes to twenty.” And Bird said, “I’m going to be the fastest. Time me.” So he signs them, and he throws me the last one: “Okay, what is it?” “Whoa, four and a half minutes!” And he goes, “Yes!” Competitive right to the end.

Source: Reddit

28) “I’m in the Gym Working” – Bird to Grant Hill

Larry-Bird-Dream-TeamGrant Hill recalls a story with the Dream Team:

“The thing that I saw was just the competitiveness and the work ethic. I remember, we had practice one day and then we all went to the beach — we did something as players — and we got back and we were getting on the elevator, and Larry Bird gets on the elevator. He’s the oldest guy on the team. But he just came from the gym. He was shooting. And he was talking trash. He was like, ‘You guys are out having a good time, I’m in the gym working.’ And the next day he came and put on a clinic. He just was on fire.

“And it was just like, ‘OK, here’s a reason why he’s [Larry Bird].’ Here he was in the summer, just had a long practice, scrimmage, and he’s back at it. He was in there working. That was eye-opening.”

Source: ESPN

29) “Get Someone on Me Or I’m Gonna Go For 60″ – Bird vs Rodman

Larry-Bird-Dennis-Rodman
After Bird made four straight baskets with Rodman guarding him, he ran over to Chuck Daly and asked “who’s guarding me, Chuck? Is anyone guarding me? You better get someone on me or I’m gonna go for 60.” Then he’d continue the banter the next time he got the ball with Rodman inches away.

Rodman also told the story:

“I would be all over him, trying to deny him the ball, and all Larry was doing was yelling at his teammates, I’m open! Hurry up before they notice nobody is guarding me!” then he would stick an elbow in my jaw and stick the jumper in my face, then he would start in on my coach “Coach you better get this guy out and send in somebody who’s going to D me up, because its too easy when I’m wide open like this”

Source: Nike Talk

30) “I’m Going to Fake You Left & Shoot a Right Hand Hook” – Bird vs Horace Grant

Horace-Grant
“I started talking a little trash to him,” Horace Grant recalled, when the Celtics were the defending champions. “I’m saying, ‘You’re not going to score. You’re not getting this basket. I remember him then telling me exactly what he was going to do to me. He says he’s going to fake me left and then he’s going to shoot a right-hand hook over me. And then he goes and does it and scores.”

Source: Nike Talk

31) “Sorry Charlie” – Bird vs Charles Smith

Charles-SMith-Knicks
Knicks’ forward Charles Smith remembers when Bird barked “Sorry, Charlie,” as he released a long, last-second shot to win a game. “That kind of a thing makes you want to jump on a guy,” said Smith.

Source: Nike Talk

32) “Can’t You Find Someone Who at Least Has a Prayer?” – Bird vs George McCloud

George-McCloud
When the Indiana Pacers put rookie George McCloud on Bird in the closing minutes of a game, Bird yelled over to the Pacers bench, “Hey, I know you guys are desperate, but can’t you find someone who at least has prayer?”

Source: Nike Talk

33) “You Got That?” – Bird vs Dallas Mavericks Bench

Larry-Bird-vs-Dallas
On a West Coast trip in 1986, Bird told the entire Dallas Mavericks bench that after the time out, Ainge would inbounds the pass to DJ, who would hit Bird in the corner where Bird would step back and take a three. “So you got that?” Bird queried the bench. “I’m gonna stand right here. I’m not going to move. They’ll pass me the ball, and the next sound you here will be the ball hitting the bottom of the net.” And that’s exactly what happened. Bird winked at the Maverick before heading back down to the other end of the court.

Source: Nike Talk

Written by Nick Endress

Nick Endress

Nick the Quick Endress is an avid fan of basketball and hip hop, and a contributing writer with WJS since 2013. Nick has interviewed rappers, ballers, rapper ballers, and baller rappers on the site and continues to preach that the NBA should have a team in Europe. Maybe because Nick currently lives outside London where to them Football is actually played with your feet, can you believe this fatuousness?