Larry Bird throws a rare temper tantrum, shouting for a foul to be called against Atlanta Hawks Scott Hastings!

Even though he can’t light up the scoreboard the way he once could, Larry Bird is still an All-NBA level trash talker.

During the unveiling of a 13.5-foot statue of Dominique Wilkins by the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena, the Boston Celtics legend launched yet another verbal jab at his former opponent.

All that was burned was net.

According to Chris Vivlamore of the Altanta Journal Constitution, Bird made a joke about the statue in a video that was shown at the unveiling ceremony on Thursday. “I’m pretty sure it’s not made in a defensive stance,” Bird said.

Wilkins, known as “The Human Highlight Film” for his dynamic and acrobatic game over a career spanning from 1982 to 1999, is no stranger to Bird’s chirping. Together, the two scored 81 points in Game 7 of the 1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals, thrilling fans with their high-scoring contests over the years. Wilkins had a 47-34 advantage over Bird, but the Celtics won the series 118-116.

Bird pointed out that Wilkins’s skill on defense wasn’t widely recognized.

Whoa, I thought to myself. Then, as we were preparing for the tip, he tells me, “Homes, you don’t belong in this league.” Not only was it unbelievable, but it happened so quickly that I was at a loss for words.

Over his career, Wilkins would more than prove he belonged. However, Bird has also demonstrated that he won’t ever give Wilkins the last say.

Wilkins was welcomed to the NBA by some of Bird’s infamously combative banter, decades before his own NBA accomplishments were enshrined in granite and even before the majority of those heroics occurred.

“I went out to shake his hand during the opening tip of one of my first games against him. In February, ahead of the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, Wilkins told the Boston Herald, “He just stood there and looked at me stone-faced with his hands behind his back.”

 

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