“Hey MAY-horn, you on me?” – Rick Mahorn came close to shutting down a trash-talking Larry Bird



While there have been plenty of stories of opponents faltering under Larry Bird’s verbal assaults, Rick Mahorn could have been an exception. He may have been one of the few to teach the Indiana native a lesson on how he should poke every player he competed against. However, despite Mahorn seemingly gaining an advantage over the three-time MVP, Bird ultimately had the last word.


Mahorn recalled the ’87 EC Finals


During his appearance on Cedric Maxwell’s podcast, the Boston Celtics legend recalled the iconic Game 5 of the ’87 Eastern Conference Finals, which led to Mahorn reminiscing about the instance when he initially contained a trash-talking Bird.



Although ‘McNasty’ initially relished in containing Bird, his joy was short-lived. In the game’s dying seconds, the 12-time All-Star made a decisive steal and swiftly assisted Dennis Johnson, who scored a game-winning layup with just 1 second left on the clock. Mahorn openly acknowledged the impact of Bird’s steal on the Detroit Pistons, admitting, “Yeah, that really deflated us.”


The 1989 NBA Champion learned a harsh truth – while one may seem to have the upper hand against ‘Larry Legend,’ the game isn’t truly over until Bird himself declares it so.


Bird on the Pistons’ last possession


In an earlier segment, Mahorn mentioned his confusion over Isiah Thomas’ actions following his strong block that led to the side out.


He admits that getting the ball out was usually his responsibility, so he was surprised when Thomas took over. And the deed had already been done when Mahorn glanced at the bench to signal Coach Chuck Daly for a timeout.


Despite having to endure that moment as possibly the one where they lost their edge in the series, the Bad Boys Pistons did avenge their rivals next year by ending their dynasty in the EC Finals in six games. 



Gideon Canice

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