|Eye for victory |
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com
"When I played, Larry Bird was the only one I feared. A lot of black guys always ask me, 'Did Larry Bird really play that good?' I said Larry Bird is so good it's frightening."
Magic Johnson about Larry Bird on ESPN's SportsCentury show (Friday, June 25, 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. ET). Bird, the only non-center to win three consecutive MVP awards in the NBA, was voted No. 30 among North American athletes of the 20th century by SportsCentury's distinguished 48-person panel. Signature game
May 26, 1987 Normally, Bird beat a team with his dead-eye shooting. But tonight, he whipped Detroit with his anticipation of a pass, and then his ability to make the right split-second decision. Leading by a point, the Pistons were poised to take a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference finals after Bird's shot was blocked by rookie Dennis Rodman and the ball went out of bounds off Boston's Jerry Sichting. Pistons guard Isiah Thomas took the ball out from the side in Boston Garden. There were only five seconds left. Larry Bird was considered by some as the ultimate team player.