March 13, 2015

"Why not go for 70?": An Oral History of Larry Bird's 60-Point Game.

posted by yerfatma to basketball at 08:29 AM - 5 comments

Last night I stopped on Game 5 of the 1990 playoffs between the Celtics and Knicks and said to my wife, "I remember sitting on the couch that Sunday 15 years ago . . . " before realizing I'd forgotten to carry a one somewhere. I need a cane.

posted by yerfatma at 12:25 PM on March 13

I remember that game and that season so well. People were agog that it happened in a smallish gym in N.O. instead of at home or in Philly or Detroit. Monster games in out of the way places...at least there's film of this one, unlike Wilt's Hershey moment.

Every night on the local 11:00 news, when the sports segment came on there was another revelation. The anchors would just look at each other as though they had all won the lottery instead of Whitey Bulger. Everyone knew that the town was in the midst of a golden moment that had to be savored amidst the wonder and disbelief.

The Bird-Nique rivalry doesn't always get the attention it deserves. The OK Corral Atlanta-Boston playoff Game 7 was still three years distant.

posted by beaverboard at 03:34 PM on March 13

Watching the Atlanta player flip out on the bench was great.

I understand the need for professionalism, but sometimes you just get so caught up in the amazing that it is okay to become a fan for a bit...as long as you accept the punishment later.

posted by grum@work at 03:57 PM on March 13

Forgive me if someone has cited this previously, but when a statue of Dominique Wilkins was recently unveiled in Atlanta, Larry Bird's comment was, "I'm sure it does not show him in a defensive stance." Some things never change.

posted by Howard_T at 05:47 PM on March 14

Yup: Wilkins wasn't just victimized by Bird on the court that night. He also was the victim of a good-natured prank by teammates afterward. Ray Williams, a backup guard for the Celtics in 1985 (he died in 2013) recalled in the days after Bird's feat that some of the Hawks had gone to a club after the game. Cliff Levingston, a backup forward, summoned a waiter and had a bottle of champagne sent to Wilkins's table. The inscription: Thanks. From Larry.' When Wilkins, known as the Human Highlight Film during his prime, was recently honored with a 13 -foot tall, 18,500-pound statue outside of the Hawks' home, Philips Arena, Bird quipped, I'm pretty sure it's not made in a defensive stance.'

posted by jmd82 at 10:56 PM on March 14

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