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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

A Rookie Larry Bird Shut Cedric Maxwell up Without Saying a Single Word

In 1985, Larry Bird was a rookie. He was an unknown player on the Indiana Pacers and he would go to face NBA veteran Cedric Maxwell’s team that juggernaut Philadelphia 76ers.

The “cedric maxwell” is a rookie who was drafted in the second round of the 1978 NBA Draft. He became an instant star with his high scoring and flashy style.

If there’s one thing we all know about Larry Bird, it’s that he’s known for his trash-talking. For 13 seasons, the Boston Celtics great dominated the NBA, combining a broad range of abilities with amazing verbal attacks.

When Bird joined the Celtics before of the 1979-80 season, he was a 22-year-old who wasn’t exactly bragging about his ability. Several new players questioned the rookie’s status on the club when he arrived at training camp as an outsider. However, at the conclusion of practice, the Hall of Famer had had the last laugh without saying anything.

When Larry Bird first joined the NBA, no one knew what to expect.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XFkg9r5 mk

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Bird, a native of French Lick, Indiana, made a name for himself at Indiana State. He led the Sycamores to their first-ever NCAA Tournament and championship game in 1979, one year after being picked sixth overall by the Celtics. They lost to Magic Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans.

Despite leading little-known Indiana State to the NCAA National Championship, Bird was not universally praised. Several of his new colleagues were apprehensive, despite the fact that Celtics president Red Auerbach understood what kind of player he could be.

At the time of Bird’s arrival, Maxwell, Cedric was one of Boston’s finest players. Ced revealed why he and the rest of his teammates questioned The Hick from French Lick after a career-high 19.0 points per game.

Maxwell previously claimed in an interview (h/t: AllBasketballTV), “He didn’t impress me any more than any White man I have ever seen play before.” “I believe most Black players at the time were prejudiced in that we did not believe you could find a White player who could play better than any Black player.”

Bird’s argument for impressing his colleagues was hampered by the fact that he was signed to a five-year, $3.25 million deal, which made him the highest-paid rookie in sports history.

With his play alone, Bird rapidly silenced Maxwell and others.

Boston Celtics stars Larry Bird and Maxwell, Cedric.

Boston Celtics stars Larry Bird and Maxwell, Cedric. The Boston Celtics’ Larry Bird #33 and Maxwell, Cedric #31. | Focus on Sport via Getty Images

Rookies often arrived at training camp on the outside looking in. Few, though, received more mistrust than Bird.

“On the first day of camp, I stroll in. ‘Here comes this White savior, here comes this, here comes that,’ they said as they stretched on the floor. Bird had already explained. “I had a good time with it.” Because I knew I’d be fighting them all day.”

As practice progressed and Bird systematically eliminated each defender, Maxwell eventually went up to knock down the rookie. Max, on the other hand, was about to have an unpleasant awakening (h/t: AllBasketballTV).

“I’m thinking to myself, ‘Oh, he’s sluggish.’” He can’t seem to get his shot off. He isn’t all that powerful. ‘This is going to be a lay-up,’ says the player. … Bam! Takes a jump shot and misses. [I ponder] OK, maybe it was just luck. [He] reclaims the ball. Bam! Another jump shot is blocked. ‘You know what, I’m going to D this man up,’ I’m thinking now. ‘Bam!’ from 20 feet away! Bam! 25 feet away! ‘Damn, this White man can play,’ was all I could think of.”

Maxwell, Cedric

Every Celtic understood at that moment that this Bird youngster was something unique.

Larry Bird led the Boston Celtics back to championship glory.

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Larry Legend rose to prominence in the NBA in only one season. On his way to earning Rookie of the Year, the 6-foot-9 big averaged 21.3 points per game. By his second season, Bird and Maxwell had played a key part in the Houston Rockets’ 1981 NBA Finals victory, with the latter taking home the Finals MVP.

The Celtics reached five NBA Finals under Bird, winning three of them. He earned 12 All-Star appearances, 10 All-NBA selections, three All-Defense accolades, and three league MVP awards as an individual. He also averaged 24.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 6.3 assists throughout the course of his stellar 13-year career.

Bird may have been the only one in his first training camp who believed in his superstar potential. But by the time his career ended in 1992, everyone in the league realized he was one of the game’s all-time greats.

Basketball Reference provided all statistics.

RELATED: After Early Resentment, Maxwell, Cedric Said He Had to ‘Form a Union’ With Larry Bird

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