NBA Great Larry Bird Wants A Competitive All-Star Game Like In `80s And `90s

Hall of Famer Larry Bird says today’s players owe it to the fans to have a competitive NBA All-Star game tonight in Indianapolis

There has always been the notion the NBA today is “softer” than it was in year’s past.

The old heads often say the game was tougher back in the day. They say opposing players weren’t friends on the court. There was no joining others to form super teams.

Boston Celtics great Larry Bird played in the era, but thinks the league can go back to what it was once was during tonight’s NBA All-Star game Indianapolis. Speaking at an event function Sunday morning, Bird said a competitive All-Star game could appease the fan base.

“The one thing I would really like to see is they play hard tonight in this All-Star game,” Bird said. “I think it’s very important when you have the best players in the world together, you’ve got to compete and you’ve got to play hard and you’ve got to show the fans how good they really are.”

There was a time when the All-Star game was just as competitive as a regular season game. There were hard fouls. There was defense. There were players who wanted to win the game. Remember the alleged Michael Jordan “freeze out” during the 1985 All-Star game?

Here’s what Sam Smith of wrote about that game: “That Jordan inaugural 1985 All-Star game became the famous “Freeze-Out” game when NBA stars, supposedly led by Chicago native Isiah Thomas, allegedly kept the ball away from the super popular rookie Jordan in an attempt to embarrass him and demonstrate that he’d have to wait his turn behind the stars of the day, like Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, George Gervin, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, and, of course, Thomas.”

It may never reach that level again, but at least Bird raised the issue this year.

Gideon Canice

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