“He was on half-a-back” – Rick Fox recalls witnessing an injury-riddled Larry Bird drop a 49-point triple-double in his farewell season

Rick Fox was impressed by an aging and injury-riddled Bird drop a triple-double.


While LeBron James has reshaped perceptions of longevity and sustained excellence in the NBA, this wasn’t the case in the ’80s and ’90s. During that era, most athletes typically concluded their careers by their mid-30s. Larry Bird, who battled persistent injuries in the latter stages of his career, felt the toll of this reality.


However, despite constant injury woes, the Indiana native delivered one of his finest performances in his farewell season, which amazed rookie Rick Fox.


Larry Bird’s win 49-point triple-double

After a two-month-long absence from an ailing back injury, the three-time MVP returned to the court on March 1. Then, on March 15, during the Boston Celtics’ game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Bird decided to deliver one of the most endearing and captivating performances, reaffirming why he will always be on the best to grave the NBA hardwood.


In an epic contest where five Trail Blazers shot more than 50% from the field and stretched it to double OT, Bird seemed unstoppable with his 49 points on 19-of-35 shooting from the field, along with 14 rebounds, 12 assists, and 4 steals in 54 minutes. While leading the Celtics to a 152-148 win, Larry Legend recorded his 59th triple-double.


Rick Fox on Bird’s performance

While speaking on The Dan Le Batard Show, Fox reflected on his awe-inspiring experience witnessing Larry’s resilience. Despite grappling with a nagging back injury, Bird tenaciously held onto his influence in the game, leaving a lasting impression on the 6’7″ small forward.


“I was Larry’s rookie, so I got to see him actually fight through a back that was falling apart,” Fox said. “Forget one leg, he was on half-a-back. And I think to even get ready for that game he must’ve run around the Boston Garden just trying to loosen it up. And then he went for a triple-double.”


Moreover, Fox admitted that witnessing Bird pull off stellar feats on the court during his time as a child on television left a lasting impression on him, which is why when he had the first-hand experience of witnessing the 12-time All-Star take charge of a game at the age of 35, he labeled it ‘special.’


Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird looks to pass the ball against the Portland Trail Blazers at Memorial Coliseum

Larry Bird downplayed his impact on basketball: “There will be someone better”


Gideon Canice

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