“Isiah detested playing against him” – Larry Bird paid tribute to two unsung heroes of the 1986 Celtics championship season.

The influence Boston’s bench had on the team’s final championship run during the Larry Bird era was also acknowledged by Kevin McHale.


With Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish in the frontcourt and Danny Ainge and Dennis Johnson in the backcourt, the Boston Celtics had maybe the best starting five in history, but they were unable to defend their title in 1985.


The company brought in Bill Walton and Jerry Sichting to address their obvious vulnerabilities, especially their lack of bench depth. After a year, the C’s decisions proved to be wise.


Bird’s commendation of Wedman and Sichting

Most NBA fans are aware that Walton won Sixth Man of the Year after overcoming injury concerns to assist the Celtics in capturing their third title in six years while averaging 7.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Still, relatively few acknowledge Sichting’s and Scott Wedman’s contributions to Boston’s championship run.


But “Larry Legend” acknowledged both of them, complimenting Jerry’s effectiveness and defensive impact.

Jerry made about 56% of his field goals. He shoots dead-eye targets. We could stand up to him and apply full court pressure to other point guards. It was wonderful to witness, as Isiah detested playing against him,” Bird remarked. “He had a strong work ethic. Jerry was a skillful small player.


Bird also praised Wedman for his unwavering work ethic at practice, where he raised the bar for all players, including himself.

“Me and Scotty competed every day in practice against one another,” stated Larry. He performed far better than I did on a number of days. A player with the ability to score points in large quantities is always a plus.”

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