Paul George describes how Larry Bird’s shooting technique once put an end to Pacer practice.

All-Star of the Indiana Pacers Paul George has been in the spotlight a lot lately, defending his decision to stay with his hometown Los Angeles Lakers during the summer rather than join the up-and-coming Pacers. If the Pacers don’t sign George to an extension before then, he will become a restricted free agent in 2019. It’s still unclear if the Lakers, who are stuck with cap holds and Kobe Bryant’s rumored refusal to accept a pay cut, will have enough cap space to make a move feasible.

That’s not really much of a story. Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird shooting hoops is something that ought to be documented. Considering that there is nothing more enjoyable than watching Larry Bird shoot hoops. From SLAM Online’s Nima Zarrabi:


SLAM: I think you mentioned that you saw Larry shoot in the gym.


PG: After the ball rolled over, he grabbed it up. He made around fifteen consecutive ones, rolled up his sleeves, and left as if nothing had happened. I’ve never seen anything that insane as that.


SLAM: How did the team as a whole and you respond?

PG: We had no words. We couldn’t decide whether to stop practicing or to continue filming. Man, it was really sweet.

Not similiar to Julius Erving still understand it.


It’s conceivable that this is an apocryphal story, but I remember reading about a sportswriter who once compared watching Bird practice and swish jumper after jumper in the hours leading up to a game to “watching a fish practice swimming.” I can’t remember who said this.


[Related: Will Paul George eventually join the Lakers?]


A fitting statement. And sure, you can watch Larry Bird continue to shoot hoops after practice ends. Apart from the fish/swimming example, I’m not sure of any other appropriate parallels. There are many excellent guitar players out there, so it’s not quite like witnessing B.B. King employ vibrato. There are many attractive women out there, so it’s not quite like watching Lauren Hutton walk down a catwalk. A lot of people are skilled at painting beautiful pictures. Thousands of talented writers have produced a large number of excellent books. There has already been bread that is sliced.


Larry Bird attempting a basketball shot? That is beyond comprehension. If missing practice means getting to see the Legend work on his stroke, then you should always call it off.


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