Bird Ripped Bill Walton Before an ’86 Celtics Game & Used It as Motivation

The Boston Celtics had little reason for concern during the 1985–86 campaign. The Celtics, led by Larry Bird, won 67 games and their second title in three years.

Bill Walton, who was acquired at the start of the season in a trade involving Cedric Maxwell, played a significant role in that 1986 championship. Throughout his career, Walton suffered numerous injuries; he came to Boston to strengthen the bench and provide future Hall of Famers Robert Parish and Kevin McHale with rest periods.

ing the season of 1985–86. They never lost more than two games in a row and only suffered one loss at home the entire season. The Celtics’ winning mentality persisted throughout the season, in large part due to the addition of former MVP and NBA champion Walton.

Walton kept Parish and McHale interesting. In 19.3 minutes, he averaged 7.6 points and 6.8 rebounds. Additionally, he shares some of the blame for Bird’s March 10, 1986, 50-point performance against the Mavericks.

Bird stated, “We just didn’t think we were going to lose,” in a 2020 video released by the Boston Celtics to celebrate their championship win in 1986. Throughout the year, we suffered a few defeats. One in particular comes to mind, where I was upset with Kevin and Bill prior to the game. They were in Dallas, screwing around.

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