Larry Bird is famous for being one of the most ruthless competitors and trash talkers in the history of the NBA. You already knew this, in all likelihood, but it’s an important thing to remember as you listen to the following story Jamal Mashburn told during a cameo on the Knuckleheads podcast.
Mashburn was a guest of Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson, and recalled being a member of the Select Team that famously scrimmaged against the Dream Team before the latter went to Barcelona and annihilated everyone at the 1992 Olympics. A well-documented element of this is that the Select Team beat the Dream Team in a scrimmage, and as Mashburn tells it, that infamous game happened after Bird told those college players, “Get some f*ckin’ rest, it’s gonna be a long week.”
One player on the select team, Rodney Rogers, kept this in mind after they beat the Dream Team, so after everyone went back to the hotel, Mashburn claims Rogers got Bird’s attention and said, “You ain’t hit a jumper since ’84.” You can probably guess what happened next.
Lesson learned: Don't trash talk Larry Bird.
Hear @jamalmashburn tell the story of facing the Dream Team in college.
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) June 29, 2021
“The next day, we came in, and I’d never seen this, and this was when I was like, ‘This is a different breed,'” Mashburn said. “Magic Johnson fed Larry Bird the ball probably about eight times in a row down court. Larry Bird got the ball on Rodney Rogers, and every time he was about to make a move, he told him what he was going to do.”
As Mashburn recalled, Bird scored every time he did this, then left the court and said, while laying down, “Young fella, look like ’84, huh?”
Let this be a lesson to all of us: If you ever get the opportunity to talk trash to Larry Bird, don’t.