Larry Bird Recanted That He Couldn’t Handle Julius Erving, but fortunately his teammates on the Boston Celtics saved him.

Larry Bird is given a lot of praise that he deserves. In his debut year, he contributed to the Boston Celtics’ transformation from a squad that had won 29 games the year before to one that led the league in wins with 61 in the 1979–1980 NBA season. Bird guided the Celtics to their first of three titles in the decade the following year.

Even though Bird was incredibly talented and lived up to the hype, he received a lot of assistance as the decade went on. He was in need of the support, particularly when facing Philadelphia 76ers standout Julius Erving.

Before the Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson NBA rivalry started in the mid-1980s, the Philadelphia 76ers, led by Julius Erving, were the Celtics’ main rivals. The Sixers and the Celtics faced off in the Eastern Conference Finals for three straight years, often resulting in intense games. Larry Bird acknowledged that facing Erving was one difficult task.

 

 

There was always an issue with the Sixers. Andrew Toney, a guard with the Boston Stranglers, proved his worth when it mattered most against the Celtics. In his first season with the franchise, the 1982–83 campaign, Moses Malone led Philadelphia to a championship following his departure from the Houston Rockets.

 

But Philadelphia was commanded by Erving. In each of the 16 NBA/ABA seasons that the man known as “Dr. J” played, he was an All-Star. The 6-foot-7 UMass forward is capable of doing everything. In the early NBA days of Bird, he was superior to Bird.

 

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