Bird's impact on the Celtics was immediate. The Celtics were 29–53 during the 1978–79 season, but with Bird the team improved to 61–21 in the 1979–80 season, posting the league's best regular season record. Bird's collegiate rival, Magic Johnson, also had entered the NBA in 1979, joining the Los Angeles Lakers. In 1980, despite a strong rookie season from Johnson, Bird was named the league's Rookie of the Year and was voted onto the Eastern Conference All-Star team
During the 1980s, including the NBA Finals of 1984, 1985 and 1987. Lakers versus Celtics, and specifically Bird versus Magic, quickly became one of the greatest rivalries in the history of professional sports.
In 1984, the Celtics defeated the Lakers in a seven-game Finals, winning game seven 111–102. Bird averaged 27.4 points on .484 shooting and 14 rebounds a game during the series. Earning the award of Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP). Bird was also named the league regular season MVP for that year.
The 1986 Celtic team, which finished the regular season 67–15 and defeated the Rockets in six games, is generally considered to be the best of Bird's career. Bird again was named the Finals' MVP for that year, averaging 24 points on .482 shooting, 9.7 rebounds and 9.5 assists per game for the series. He also won his third consecutive league MVP award,
Bird, a versatile wing man who played the power forward and small forward positions, is considered as one of the greatest players of all time, to which his twelve All-Star team nominations are a testament. The versatile, sharpshooting Bird made his name stepping up his performance in critical situations, and is credited with a long list of dominating games, buzzer beaters and clutch defensive plays. He won two NBA Finals MVP and three regular-season MVP awards. He won them all in a row, a feat only shared by Bill Russell and Wilt... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2011, 02). Bird. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 02, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Bird-575713.html
"Bird" StudyMode.com. 02 2011. 02 2011 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Bird-575713.html>.
"Bird." StudyMode.com. 02, 2011. Accessed 02, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Bird-575713.html.