In the GOAT discussion, should Larry Bird’s short lifespan be used against him?

What is the argument against Larry Bird being ranked among the best 10 NBA players of all time, aside from the briefness of his career?

To begin with, Larry Bird’s career wasn’t all that brief. After 13 seasons of play, he retired at the age of 35. People tend to forget that Larry Bird was a year or two older than most believe him to be because he left college early and returned a few years later. In addition, injuries forced him to retire rather than deteriorating skills.

However, what is the primary argument in favor of Larry Bird ranking among the top 10? He completed a lot of work in a 13-year period. These are a few of his greatest achievements.


Three years in a row, Larry Bird won three MVP awards. The only other players who have achieved this feat are Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell.

In addition to being a three-time NBA champion (1981, 1984, and 1986), Bird made headlines by qualifying out of the fiercely contested Eastern conference for four consecutive NBA Finals appearances.

Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Jamal Wilkes, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, Julius Erving, Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman, Dominique Wilkins, Sidney Moncrief, Bernard King, and Hakeem Olajuwon are among the players that Larry Bird has defeated in the postseason. These athletes would all become Hall of Famers. That is quite remarkable.

As a 6’9 small forward, Bird was considerably ahead of his time and among the first players to be a reliable danger from the 3-point line.

In a single season, Bird averaged 7.6 assists per game, making him one of the all-time great passing forwards.

During Bird’s tenure, the Celtics never failed to make it to the postseason.

With a career and legacy comparable to that of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Julius Erving, Larry Bird is regarded by many as one of the three best small forwards of all time.


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