“If you give me $5, I will” – Larry Bird said during the game, following his denials that he couldn’t make a 3-pointer.

An NBA trainer knew then that Larry Bird was unlike any other athlete.

The renowned Larry Bird had repeatedly demonstrated during his playing career in the NBA that he was capable of a wide range of skills on the court. “Larry Legend” could accomplish anything. When a former New York Knicks trainer confronted Bird about practicing bank jumpers from the three-point line before the game, he came to that realization.


Sportswriter Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe still remembers exactly how the historic conversation between Bird and Knicks trainer Mike Saunders transpired. Shaughnessy claims that Saunders questioned the great player for the Boston Celtics about why he bothered to bank treys when there was no guarantee he would be able to do it later in the game.

Saunders’s remark set off Bird’s playful and competitive nature. He made the decision to wager on himself and asked Saunders for $5 if he could make a clutch three-pointer. What followed was, predictably, another classic “Larry Legend” moment.


Shaughnessy said to WBUR in 2021, “He was banking 3-pointers in New York during practice one time.” “The Knicks trainer Mike Saunders then asked, ‘How are you going to handle that?'” That was not possible in the game. “Well, if you give me $5, I will,” says [Bird]. The Celtics are leading the Knicks late in the game. With his avaricious palm outstretched in search of the $5 bill, Bird banks a 3-pointer and dashes past the Knicks bench. He was considering it, after all, as he was playing



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