Walton believed he had all angles covered to thwart the three-time MVP

“I had him covered, and he somehow found a way out of it” – When Larry Bird outwitted Bill Walton on a fastbreak

Walton thought Bird’s basketball acumen and awareness were his biggest strengths.


Throughout the years, various former players have expressed admiration for Larry Bird’s trash-talking skill, his clutch performances, and his versatility on both ends of the court. However, for Bill Walton, it was the Indiana native’s basketball acumen and awareness that left the biggest impression.


Walton thought he had Bird in his sight

During his appearance on the Ryan & Goodman Podcast, the two-time NBA Champion reminisced about an incident during Boston Celtics practice at Hellenic College, wherein on a fast break situation, Walton, who liked being the lone defender in such scenarios, was ready to challenge multiple players coming his way.


More particularly, being confident in his ability to anticipate Larry Legend’s moves, Walton believed he had all angles covered to thwart the three-time MVP. However, Bird surprised him with a move, leaving him completely embarrassed for leaving open spaces.


“The first team was called the white team because they had the white jerseys… There was a lot of trash-talking going on, and they were coming at me on a fast break. It was Larry and Kevin and Danny and Chief and DJ. They’re all coming at me… I had every angle covered…the ball came to Larry, and I knew I had him. I was going to send it the other way. Larry found a guy that I had lost,” Walton said.




“Man, I was just so mad because I had him smothered, had him covered, and he somehow found a way out of it and got it to a guy who I had lost track of. They were able to score. Darn it.”


Bill was all praise for Larry

In a separate interview with Brian Scalabrine, the 1978 MVP shed light on the experience of having Bird as his teammate. The California native emphasized the 12-time All-Star’s willingness to push his body to extreme limits, not only to excel individually but also to fulfill the team’s needs.


Additionally, in Walton’s view, Larry’s passion for the game was evident, as he dedicated himself entirely to making the Celtics the most dominant team in the ‘80s.



Gideon Canice

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