We all know just how incredible Larry Bird was as a basketball player back in his playing days. There are few in NBA history that can ever live up to the accolades and reputation that Bird was able to achieve for himself throughout a 13-year career in the league. He was just an insane scorer and a trash talker, who regularly toyed with how opposition. Is it true that Larry Bird once played a whole game left handed?
Has Larry Bird Ever Played a Game with His Left-Hand? Although Larry Bird is right handed he played a whole game on 14 February 1986 left handed and scored 47 points left handed against the Portland Trailblazers.
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Larry had messed around by shooting with his left hand throughout the season but this game was different. We have taken an in-depth look at the game to see how Larry Bird managed this feat.
Larry Bird Left Handed Game
The game against Portland was the last game of a road trip for the Boston Celtics. In the team meeting prior to the game, Bird informed his teammates that he would be shooting left hand against Portland. Bird wound up dropping 47 points in the game! He also poured on 14 rebounds and 11 assists, an easy triple double, but that wasn’t even the storyline after the contest. After the game, Bird was swarmed by reporters over the performance after they noticed his shooting hand. All he had to say was, “You have to play games left-handed or do different things to keep your interest in the game.” He wrapped up his interview by adding that he was just saving his right hand for the big matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers, who were lined up to play them in the next game. He did just that against the Lakers two days later as well. He dropped 22 points and 18 rebounds in a strong 105-99 victory over the Lakers in Los Angeles for this matchup! I guess saving that right hand really did work out for him. This contributes to why we should never doubt Larry legend.
Bird Cheated a Little Bit-
Now, he didn’t actually shoot every single jump shot with his left hand, but he definitely shot enough to label it as a left-handed performance for the Celtics superstar forward. He played 49 total minutes out on the floor and knocked down 21 of his 34 shots from the field. Ten of those 21 made field goals were completed with his left hand! Boston ended up winning that game thanks to Bird’s scoring, eeking out a 110-109 victory in a game that needed an extra period in order to decide a winner. Nowadays people hear something like this and they can’t believe that a player of his caliber was able to pull it off. Former Dallas Mavericks head coach, Rick Carlisle, said, “It heightened the legend to levels beyond belief. But this stuff really happened.” I wonder how the other team must have felt when they heard that Bird was willing to shoot with just his left hand for this game. Below are Larry Birds shooting stats from his game against the Portland Trailblazers.
There weren’t many players with his talent level going around and giving themselves bold challenges right in the middle of a one-point overtime contest against a talented opponent! Also, you have to remember that this was so late in the season! I mentioned earlier that they were 39-9 on the year, which means that they were halfway through their current season, a time where the majority of players start to get winded due to large playing time. Bird, a guy that consistently plays 40 plus minutes a game, somehow had so much energy left in him at this time that he was shooting left-handed. Later in that exact same season, Bird helped lead the Celtics charge to another NBA Finals appearance and won a championship with them!
Larry Always Exceeded Expectations
This legendary outing just padded onto his outstanding accolades that he piled up throughout his career with the Boston Celtics. He played 13 seasons and got into the NBA Finals three times during that span. He was a three-time MVP, a 12 time All Star and an All-NBA team member 10 times. Obviously, somebody with stats like this easily got himself into the NBA Hall of Fame. Oh, you thought that was a lot? Add on a Rookie of the Year trophy, two NBA Finals MVPS, three placements on the ALL-NBA Defensive Team and an All-Star MVP. Hopefully this insane story helps improve Bird’s image even more now! It certainly came as a surprise to me when I first heard about this performance! Who knows, maybe we could end up seeing a number of superstar players in today’s NBA pull out their non-dominant hand for a game? Wouldn’t that be a sight for sore eyes?!