Larry Bird’s Best Years In The 1980s Were Comparable and better To Peak LeBron James

How high on the all-time list would you put Larry Bird?


The Celtics legend did it all during his 13-year career. Bird most notably won three NBA championships and three MVPs, but he also garnered many other awards and honors.


A 2022 ranking of the top 75 NBA players of all time by The Athletic placed Bird as the seventh-best player in the history of the league. A great standing. How could a player ranked this high be considered underrated?


LeBron James was listed as the second-best player in NBA history. James has built his own legacy during his career. He has four championships and four MVPs, as well as the most points scored in the league’s history.


James has even been considered by some to be the best player to ever pick up a basketball. But Bird and James have surprisingly comparable careers.


James struggled to win his first championship during his original stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Bird was a champion by his second season and had more team success during his first few seasons. The landscape of the league was different during the two eras, but the success still speaks volumes for Bird.


If you take a look at the primes of these two players, the numbers can also lean towards Boston’s star. From 1985 to 1988, Bird averaged 28.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 6.8 assists. James’ four-year stint in Miami was from 2010-14, which some consider his peak. In a Heat jersey, James averaged 26.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 6.7 assists. Bird also had better shooting percentages during his prime years.


Do I think that Larry Bird was a better overall player than LeBron James? No. Do I think that Bird’s prime is undervalued in the history of the NBA? Yes. The Hall-of-Famer was instrumental to basketball during his career and put up the numbers to back it up.


Gideon Canice

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