When rookie Larry Bird received a death threat in New York, little Archibald intervened right away.

Many people anticipated that Larry Bird would become a superstar when he entered the NBA. It was clear that Bird was unique even as a rookie. On the court, he was capable of doing things that seemed certain to help the Celtics win NBA titles once more.


And even in his freshman year, Larry Bird terrified the heck out of opposing fans. In his book “Bird Watching,” he disclosed that throughout his first year, he was threatened with death, even while he was in Brooklyn.

The forward recalls, “It was in New York City that we played an exhibition game during my rookie year.” When the phone rang while I was sharing a room with Tiny Archibald, I answered it to find someone threatening to kill me. “Who was that?” Tiny said after I hung up. “Some guy that’s going to kill me,” I said to him.


As he would later demonstrate throughout his career, Larry Bird was the kind of man who didn’t fear anything. But it was still an unpleasant experience at that point, and Archibald had to take Bird’s place.


The forward went on, “The phone rang again, and Tiny answered it this time.” “He gave the guy the runaround for ten minutes, but I didn’t get upset about it.”


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