Jalen Rose Explains Why Larry Bird Is One Of The Most Disrespected Legends Of All-Time

Larry Bird

Getty Image

Anyone born after the mid-80s rightfully has a difficult time conceptualizing how good Larry Bird was at basketball.

Judging someone solely on their appearance is a shallow mindset, but Bird leaves us no choice. Instead of jumpers, it’s easy to picture Bird shooting rodents in the back woods of Indiana with an unlicensed firearm. Instead of earning multiple MVPs, in a slightly alternative universe, Bird looks like he could’ve earned himself multiple DUIs.

Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images

I was born during the 1987 NBA Finals, been a diehard Celtics fan all my life, and my brain is still half-expecting Ashton Kutcher to pop out in the biggest Punk’d long-con in history. 

In The Last Dance, when Jordan admitted that his driving force early in his career was to be on the level of Bird and Magic—not above them, but equal to them—I still allowed myself to be surprised by it, stats be damned.

  • 3 NBA titles
  • 2 Finals MVPs
  • 3 consecutive league MVPs
  • 9x All-NBA First Team
  • 12x All-Star
  • Scored a 47-point triple double in a playoff game using primarily his left hand.

Still, discussions like these still exist.

Jalen Rose, who grew up watching Bird and was drafted two years after Larry Legend retired, appeared on our Endless Hustle Podcast presented by Boston Market to set the record straight on the legacy of the Celtics legend.

“Larry Bird, one of the top 10 basketball players of all-time. And I’m tired of looking down at my phone and see people like, ‘Oh, look who he was playing against! He was playing against truck drivers!’

Just so ya’ll know, this is from someone who was born in ’73 and I’m analyzing the game in 2020.

I know how this works. Everyone wants their era to have the best player.

First off, he’s 6’10”. Shoot with unlimited range. Grab every rebound, 10+ rebounds. A terrific passer, 5+ dimes. And he was clutch.

…I rooted against Larry his whole life, his whole career. Larry, for that era, he won three straight MVPs. I think the ’86 or ’87 team is the greatest team ever assembled.”

You can listen to the entire electric interview with Jalen Rose below. 

Jalen talks about:

  • How getting shot at changed his perspective on life.
  • Guarding Kobe Bryant.
  • The Tyler Herro craze.
  • The brilliance of Larry Bird.
  • Much more!

We also talk to five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, who may be the chillest dude on the planet.

Listen below and subscribe if you like what you hear. We’ve got episodes coming out every Wednesday with incisive interviews with your favorite current and former athletes.

Subscribe and listen to the Endless Hustle below, and follow us on Twitter @Endless__Hustle.



Google Podcasts


Matt Keohan Avatar
Matt’s love of writing was born during a sixth grade assembly when it was announced that his essay titled “Why Drugs Are Bad” had taken first prize in D.A.R.E.’s grade-wide contest. The anti-drug people gave him a $50 savings bond for his brave contribution to crime-fighting, and upon the bond’s maturity 10 years later, he used it to buy his very first bag of marijuana.