Larry Bird says the Pacers played ‘S-O-F-T’ in Game 5

The Pacers got smacked (literally) by the Heat in Game 5 on Tuesday, and Larry Bird was far from pleased about it. After witnessing the effort the Pacers displayed in their 32-point evisceration, the NBA’s Executive of the Year felt he needed to call his team O-U-T.

Here’s what the typically reticent Bird said according to the Indy Star’s Mike Wells, sponsored by Scripps:

“I can’t believe my team went soft. S-O-F-T. I’m disappointed. I never thought it would happen.”

In fairness to the Pacers, they were taking shots to the face and elbows to the throat. Kind of unfair to call anybody who has to go through that “soft.” But if Larry Bird, one of the grittiest players to ever play the game, calls you soft, guess what? You probably did play soft.

Photo: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Twitter’s bird logo is named Larry after Larry Bird

Some people could have been using Twitter for years without realizing that the site’s bird logo actually has a name. Yup, the Twitter bird is named Larry. Also news to me: the bird was named after Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird.

Digital Life (via Off the Bench) wrote a story about the Twitter bird Tuesday, and in their story they included an exchange from last August between the Celtics’ director of interactive media and one of Twitter’s co-founders.

The Celtics employee asked if the Twitter bird was named after Larry Bird, and the answer was “yes it is!”

In light of the revelation, we’re awaiting confirmation that the Twitter fail whale is named Glen after former Celtics forward, Glen Davis.

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Larry Bird says he would play with Kobe Bryant if he wanted to win, LeBron James if he wanted to have fun

The “Who’s better?” debate between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant continues to rage at irrelevant times, and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. For James and Bryant, the comparison must get old. The topic is a media favorite, however, which is why Bill Simmons asked Larry Bird about it during a recent interview for the B.S. Report.

“Well, probably Kobe, because of the fact that … well, of course he wouldn’t have been shooting as much as he does now … but his desire to win, his dedication, to always get better, uh, and he’s just, he’s just tough,” Bird said when asked if he would rather play with Kobe or LeBron. “He’s just a tough cat.

“But if you want to have fun — like I did with Bill Walton — play with LeBron. It would have probably been more fun to play with LeBron, but if you want to win and win and win, it’s Kobe. Not that LeBron’s not a winner, just that (Bryant’s) mindset is to go into every practice, every game, to get better.”

Obviously Kobe should feel more flattered by Bird’s comments than LeBron. I’d much rather be a winner than someone who is fun to play with. That being said, Bird’s comments make perfect sense. Bryant has won five championships and King James has yet to capture his first ring. LeBron gets the nod with things like video game rankings while Kobe has the respect of players around the league and has a better resume than anyone in the game.

Larry Bird: LeBron James is as Good as Anyone Ever

Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen committed high treason when he said LeBron James may be the greatest basketball player ever. Not only was it questionable because LeBron James had never won a title when he said it (and still hasn’t), but also because Pippen played alongside Michael Jordan, who is considered to be the greatest player all time. Another player whose name is mentioned in the “all-time greats” conversation is Larry Bird, who won three championships with the Boston Celtics.

Bird, who recently has been compared to Dirk Nowitzki, went on Galloway & Co in Dallas Thursday and was asked if he felt badly about the criticism LeBron James has received. Here was his answer as transcribed by Sports Radio Interviews (with a few edits). The audio clip is also below:

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Larry Bird Honored to be Compared to Dirk Nowitzki

Entering Game 1 of the NBA Finals, most observers agreed that Dirk Nowitzki had been the best player in the playoffs. During his games, announcers frequently debated his place in history. Coach Rick Carlisle stated he felt Dirk was a Top 30 player all time. Former coach and current analyst Jeff Van Gundy proclaimed during Dirk’s brilliant Game 1 against the Thunder that Nowitzki was a Top 10 player all time.

Inevitably, people began comparing Dirk to Larry Bird, suggesting Nowitzki may be the greatest white player ever. Even though their style of play is different, people thought the comparison was fair because of their skin color. By that logic, we should assume limes and broccoli taste the same because they’re both green. It’s a stupid debate, but it’s resulted in a response from Larry Legend.

“I’ve always admired the guy,” Bird told Marc Stein. “He’s had a great run (in the playoffs), but I’ve always been very impressed with him. His work ethic, his loyalty to his country. It’s really an honor for me to have people compare us.”

Bird added that “I understand (the comparisons). I’ve always felt it’s an honor when they compare anyone to me, because I haven’t played ball for 20 years.”

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Kelser on Magic Johnson Homecoming: We Thought Larry Bird Was Black

ESPN televised one of its Homecoming specials on Tuesday, a return of Magic Johnson to his home state of Michigan. They filmed the program at Jenison Field House where Michigan State played basketball when Magic was in school. Several former teammates and prominent figures from Magic’s career were on hand to tell personal stories, but nothing topped what Greg Kelser had to say.

Kelser played six years in the NBA and is regarded as the second-best player from Magic’s Michigan State teams. When host Rick Reilly introduced Kelser and asked him to talk about the 1978 championship game against Indiana State, he shared the best anecdote of the night.

“We thought Larry Bird was a black guy in Indiana, killing everybody. He’s scoring 35 a game? He’s gotta be a brother!” Kelser joked. “We soon learned he was one bad white guy,” Kelser continued. “We had a lot of respect for Larry Bird.”

The story obviously brought the house down as people were roaring with laughter. What’s really incredible about the story is it makes you realize how much things have changed over the past 30 years. In 1978 not many college basketball games were televised nationally so most people had never seen Larry Bird play. Now we have games from different regions televised nationally on a daily basis in HD and 3D ensuring the same mistake will not be made again (unless we’re talking about Trot Nixon).