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View Full Version : Larry Bird Honored By Comparisons To Dirk Nowitzki



JordansBulls
06-01-2011, 11:22 AM
http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/nba/news/story?id=6612662




With the Indiana Pacers and the Boston Celtics out of the playoffs, Pacers president Larry Bird does not deny that he's pulling for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals.

That's mostly because of his longtime friendship with Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, but also because Bird is an unabashed fan of Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki.

"I've always admired the guy," Bird said.

Carlisle has gone to great lengths during Nowitzki's playoff surge to dismiss longstanding and increasingly frequent comparisons between the two, noting that Nowitzki is nearly three inches taller and plays mostly as a power forward, while Bird operated as a small forward for the bulk of his career.

Bird, though, acknowledged in a phone conversation Tuesday before Game 1 of the Finals that he does see "a lot of similarities."

"He's had a great run (in the playoffs), but I've always been very impressed with him," Bird said. "His work ethic, his loyalty to his country. It's really an honor for me to have people compare us.

"He rebounds. He plays at his own pace. He sort of controls the tempo on offense. It'd be nice to be 7 foot and when they run plays and switch (defenders) on him, it doesn't bother him at all. He can see over everybody.

"He's got the step-backs. He gets to the rim. The difficulty of some of the shots that he makes ... one thing about him is that he's always got great balance. His shot looks like he's falling away, but he's got a lot of balance when the shot goes up.

"I understand (the comparisons). I've always felt it's an honor when they compare anyone to me, because I haven't played ball for 20 years."

Asked how much he would have enjoyed the opportunity to take Nowitzki on in one of his legendary post-practice shooting games, Bird said: "I would have loved to compete against all these young guys: LeBron (James), (Kevin) Durant, Dirk. When you play this game, you want to go up against the very best. But I can't even beat Magic (Johnson) in a H-O-R-S-E game any more. That's how far I've fallen."

In an ESPN Radio interview last week with "Mike and Mike," Carlisle said: "I played with Larry Bird for three straight years when he was the undisputed best player on the planet. But he had four Hall of Fame guys to play with. I don't believe that anybody in the history of this game has had to shoulder as much responsibility to score the ball, to get rebounds, to faciliate and try to get other teammates involved as much as Dirk has. And if you think about the nature of his game, to me, it's even more remarkable."

In another interview, Carlisle added: "These two guys are very different. As much as people want to compare Larry and Dirk, Larry was a small forward and he was 6-9. Dirk is close to 7-1 and he's a power forward. There's never been a guy 7 feet, 7-foot-1, that has developed a game to play this style of basketball. Dirk is an absolute original, really, in every sense of the word. He's not like anybody who's ever played in this game. And to me that's one of the things that makes historically good and just unbelievably special."

Bird's passing ability is the area where Nowitzki will never be able to match him, but the 55-year-old lauded Nowitzki's improvement as a playmaker, which was a key element of Dallas' 12-3 march through the West playoffs.

"He keeps his guys involved," Bird said. "He finds his shooters when he's double-teamed. Something that really helped me out is every time I got in trouble, I always had big men to throw it to. I always thought that took a lot of pressure off me.

"Dirk plays the game like Mully (Chris Mullin). He plays it at his pace. You can think the game out a lot easier if you're going at your pace."

Bird employed Carlisle for five seasons as the Pacers' head coach from 2003-07. Carlisle also served as one of Bird's top assistant coaches when Bird coached the Pacers to the 2000 NBA Finals.

"I'm so happy not only for Dirk, but for Rick to get an opportunity to win the ring," Bird said. "A lot of people think Miami's going to win (comfortably), but I think (the Mavs) got a great chance."

rabzouz 96
06-01-2011, 11:25 AM
he rebounds? lol hes getting less boards than amare whos called a lazy rebounder for his size

kozelkid
06-01-2011, 11:36 AM
he rebounds? lol hes getting less boards than amare whos called a lazy rebounder for his size

He is a much better defensive rebounder than Amare. He doesn't get as many boards because Dirk is a perimeter oriented player offensively, hence there is a major discrepancy in offensive rebounds.

I digress, classy comment from Bird when other legends (like Kareem, Shaq, MJ) get offended at the thought of being compared to today's players.

With that said, Dirk does not have the defense that Bird had and not the court vision, though Dirk does have great court vision for his size.

ImThatDude
06-01-2011, 11:59 AM
He is a much better defensive rebounder than Amare. He doesn't get as many boards because Dirk is a perimeter oriented player offensively, hence there is a major discrepancy in offensive rebounds.

I digress, classy comment from Bird when other legends (like Kareem, Shaq, MJ) get offended at the thought of being compared to today's players.

With that said, Dirk does not have the defense that Bird had and not the court vision, though Dirk does have great court vision for his size.

That's not saying much and I didn't know this was an Amare vs. Dirk comparison thread.

John Walls Era
06-01-2011, 12:07 PM
WAy to mess up the title. Larry Bird is a legend.... its not that he feels honored by comparisons to Dirks. Its that he feels honored that he is what Dirk if often compared to.
Big difference...

daleja424
06-01-2011, 12:08 PM
I never got to watch Bird...so I dont know about the comparison... but Dirk is certainly one of the best pure shooters I have ever seen in my life

smith&wesson
06-01-2011, 12:12 PM
bird is classy

-Kobe24-TJ19-
06-01-2011, 12:18 PM
He is a much better defensive rebounder than Amare. He doesn't get as many boards because Dirk is a perimeter oriented player offensively, hence there is a major discrepancy in offensive rebounds.

I digress, classy comment from Bird when other legends (like Kareem, Shaq, MJ) get offended at the thought of being compared to today's players.

With that said, Dirk does not have the defense that Bird had and not the court vision, though Dirk does have great court vision for his size.

doesn't matter, see Klove

ShiroRX
06-01-2011, 12:48 PM
kareem can learn humility from bird.

J4KOP99
06-01-2011, 12:52 PM
I never got to watch Bird...so I dont know about the comparison... but Dirk is certainly one of the best pure shooters I have ever seen in my life

Bird was so, so, so, so, much more than just a pure shooter.


I feel bad for anyone who didn't get to see the guy play... He might be my favorite player of all-time, and that's saying a lot considering I'm a life-long Lakers fan. I respect the hell out of the guy... he doesn't take himself too seriously (and isn't an arrogant guy) now that he's retired, which is pretty cool especially when you look at some of these others guys... (Magic, Kareem, Jordan, Pippen, Walton, etc.)

ttam68
06-01-2011, 12:59 PM
A lot of respect for a humble legend

John Walls Era
06-01-2011, 12:59 PM
Bird was also one of the best playmaker/passers for his position... ever.

Swift n Sil3nt
06-01-2011, 01:04 PM
WAy to mess up the title. Larry Bird is a legend.... its not that he feels honored by comparisons to Dirks. Its that he feels honored that he is what Dirk if often compared to.
Big difference...

You may want to reread the article another time or 5.

John Walls Era
06-01-2011, 01:08 PM
You may want to reread the article another time or 5.

"I understand (the comparisons). I've always felt it's an honor when they compare anyone to me, because I haven't played ball for 20 years."

There you go. Maybe you should read it again... or maybe 5 more times.

Max Power
06-01-2011, 01:10 PM
Larry Bird continues to be awesome.

Shareeb_omac2
06-01-2011, 01:18 PM
You will noticed Dirk's rebounding numbers have started dipping ever since they acquired Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood. He honestly just doesn't try to crash the boards like he use to have to.

airforceones25
06-01-2011, 01:24 PM
WAy to mess up the title. Larry Bird is a legend.... its not that he feels honored by comparisons to Dirks. Its that he feels honored that he is what Dirk if often compared to.
Big difference...

So in normal translation what you just said is....

Bird isn't honored by being compared to Dirk
vs
Bird is honored that Dirk is compared to him

it's the same ****. you are looking way to deep into it lol

"It's really an honor for me to have people compare us." - Bird

Hellcrooner
06-01-2011, 01:35 PM
uhhhhh shouldnt it be the other way around.

Dirk being honored to be compared to Bird?

He is the cheap replica after all.

Ebbs
06-01-2011, 01:40 PM
Regardless of all the stupid feedback in here it was a classy move by Bird and a nice compliment to Dirk.

I don't know why people always have to look for the bad in these kind of threads.

LA_Raiders
06-01-2011, 01:44 PM
Irk is the man with out D...

Purple&Gold24
06-01-2011, 02:00 PM
Only celtic with class. :hide:

bedford1829
06-01-2011, 02:05 PM
Larry Bird continues to be awesome.

Hes a class act. I didn't expect any other response from him. His modesty in part is what makes him great

Hawkeye15
06-01-2011, 02:25 PM
I was lucky enough to watch Bird as a kid. I really only started to understand the game around the 1984 timeline, but I caught the 84' NBA Championship series, and started watching him with my dad.

Bird was a much better overall player, but the comparisons are valid. They both were tall perimeter guys who were great shooters from everywhere, and extremely crafty. But what sets Bird apart from Dirk, and most for that matter, is his ability to pass from the forward position. In fact, Bron is the only SF to come along that passes like that, and even Bron doesn't have the sheer creative ability Bird had when it came to passing, Bron gets a lot of his assists on breakdowns when teams collapse on him. Bird was also one of the most fierce competitors, and it actually made him happy to see the other guy miserable. I don't think Dirk has the same fire, but then again, only a handful of guys in history do.

Dirk is a great player, will end up top 15 ever probably. His game slightly resembles Bird (since there is really nobody else to compare him to), but Bird was a better player and its by a good margin.

WeBallin
06-01-2011, 02:34 PM
kareem can learn humility from bird.

Why cause Kareem came off a tad bit more real? I mean they comparin Dirk to Bird, Not Pippen sayin Mike Miller is a Greater shooter then bird, an in a sense thats what Pippen said when he said LBJ is the best Player ever............:mad:

TheHighLife
06-01-2011, 02:37 PM
Whats up with all these players being compared

WeBallin
06-01-2011, 02:37 PM
I was lucky enough to watch Bird as a kid. I really only started to understand the game around the 1984 timeline, but I caught the 84' NBA Championship series, and started watching him with my dad.

Bird was a much better overall player, but the comparisons are valid. They both were tall perimeter guys who were great shooters from everywhere, and extremely crafty. But what sets Bird apart from Dirk, and most for that matter, is his ability to pass from the forward position. In fact, Bron is the only SF to come along that passes like that, and even Bron doesn't have the sheer creative ability Bird had when it came to passing, Bron gets a lot of his assists on breakdowns when teams collapse on him. Bird was also one of the most fierce competitors, and it actually made him happy to see the other guy miserable. I don't think Dirk has the same fire, but then again, only a handful of guys in history do.

Dirk is a great player, will end up top 15 ever probably. His game slightly resembles Bird (since there is really nobody else to compare him to), but Bird was a better player and its by a good margin.

I'm not so sure about that, cause in the article bird says that Dirk Reminds him of Chris Mullin.....so maybe Dirk is a Rich Mans Chris Mullin

Hellcrooner
06-01-2011, 02:37 PM
I was lucky enough to watch Bird as a kid. I really only started to understand the game around the 1984 timeline, but I caught the 84' NBA Championship series, and started watching him with my dad.

Bird was a much better overall player, but the comparisons are valid. They both were tall perimeter guys who were great shooters from everywhere, and extremely crafty. But what sets Bird apart from Dirk, and most for that matter, is his ability to pass from the forward position. In fact, Bron is the only SF to come along that passes like that, and even Bron doesn't have the sheer creative ability Bird had when it came to passing, Bron gets a lot of his assists on breakdowns when teams collapse on him. Bird was also one of the most fierce competitors, and it actually made him happy to see the other guy miserable. I don't think Dirk has the same fire, but then again, only a handful of guys in history do.

Dirk is a great player, will end up top 15 ever probably. His game slightly resembles Bird (since there is really nobody else to compare him to), but Bird was a better player and its by a good margin.
:rolleyes:

there we go Again.

FOR SURE BETTER THAN HIM:
MIKAN/RUSSELL/ROBERTSON/COUSY/WILT/BAYLOR/PETIT/FRAZIER/WEST/BARRY/DRJ/WALTON/MOSES MALONE/MAGIC/KAREEM/BIRD/JORDAN/HAVLICEK/STOCKTON/KMALONE/THOMAS/HAKEEM/JORDAN/SHAQ/KOBE/DUNCAN/LEBRON/WADE
thats 27.

and then you got the ones you can ARGUE as better than him:
POLLARD/MIKELSEN/MARAVICH/REED/MONROE/DANTLEY/B KING/GILMORE/BELLAMY/GERVIN/D THOMPSON/B KIng/ISSELL/TOMJANOVIC/PARISH/MCHALE/MCADOO/WILKINS/WORHTY/M LUCAS/GREER/COWENS/ARCHIBALD/D JOHNSON/HAYES/UNSELD/PIPPEN/ENGLISH/PAYTON/HARDAWAY/RICHMOND/MULLINS/EWING/KIDD/ROBINSON/WEBBER/IVERSON/PAU/GRANT HILL/T MAC/

and thats jus ttop of my heand, im forgetting people for SURE.

Hellcrooner
06-01-2011, 02:40 PM
I'm not so sure about that, cause in the article bird says that Dirk Reminds him of Chris Mullin.....so maybe Dirk is a Rich Mans Chris Mullin

id take mullins over dirk any day of the week and twive on sundays.....

as log as you keep the liquor bottles far from his hands.

Rentzias
06-01-2011, 03:04 PM
Carlisle said: "I played with Larry Bird for three straight years when he was the undisputed best player on the planet.
Was definitely close with Magic, but I'll have to agree with Rick "This Guy Is The Greatest!" Carlisle.

Chronz
06-01-2011, 04:28 PM
:rolleyes:

there we go Again.

FOR SURE BETTER THAN HIM:
MIKAN/RUSSELL/ROBERTSON/COUSY/WILT/BAYLOR/PETIT/FRAZIER/WEST/BARRY/DRJ/WALTON/MOSES MALONE/MAGIC/KAREEM/BIRD/JORDAN/HAVLICEK/STOCKTON/KMALONE/THOMAS/HAKEEM/JORDAN/SHAQ/KOBE/DUNCAN/LEBRON/WADE
thats 27.

and then you got the ones you can ARGUE as better than him:
POLLARD/MIKELSEN/MARAVICH/REED/MONROE/DANTLEY/B KING/GILMORE/BELLAMY/GERVIN/D THOMPSON/B KIng/ISSELL/TOMJANOVIC/PARISH/MCHALE/MCADOO/WILKINS/WORHTY/M LUCAS/GREER/COWENS/ARCHIBALD/D JOHNSON/HAYES/UNSELD/PIPPEN/ENGLISH/PAYTON/HARDAWAY/RICHMOND/MULLINS/EWING/KIDD/ROBINSON/WEBBER/IVERSON/PAU/GRANT HILL/T MAC/

and thats jus ttop of my heand, im forgetting people for SURE.

Im not convinced hes out of the range of top15


id take mullins over dirk any day of the week and twive on sundays.....

as log as you keep the liquor bottles far from his hands.
I am however convinced your letting your hatred for Dirk blind you to his greatness. LMFAO Mully? Cmon bro take that back, its too ridiculous a notion for a poster of your rep to claim.

Bruno
06-01-2011, 04:30 PM
"I would have loved to compete against all these young guys: LeBron (James), (Kevin) Durant, Dirk. When you play this game, you want to go up against the very best. But I can't even beat Magic (Johnson) in a H-O-R-S-E game any more. That's how far I've fallen."

Gotta love Bird for being a no BS straight shooter. I've never heard the dude embellish or exaggerate to make any point. As far as NBA personalities go, Birds gotta be one of my all time favorites.

Hellcrooner
06-01-2011, 04:30 PM
Im not convinced hes out of the range of top15

well he is nto retired.

he coudl stil get a three peat for the mavs and go past many of the names....

but even in that case i wouldnt still picture him at 15.

Hawkeye15
06-01-2011, 05:36 PM
:rolleyes:

there we go Again.

FOR SURE BETTER THAN HIM:
MIKAN/RUSSELL/ROBERTSON/COUSY/WILT/BAYLOR/PETIT/FRAZIER/WEST/BARRY/DRJ/WALTON/MOSES MALONE/MAGIC/KAREEM/BIRD/JORDAN/HAVLICEK/STOCKTON/KMALONE/THOMAS/HAKEEM/JORDAN/SHAQ/KOBE/DUNCAN/LEBRON/WADE
thats 27.

and then you got the ones you can ARGUE as better than him:
POLLARD/MIKELSEN/MARAVICH/REED/MONROE/DANTLEY/B KING/GILMORE/BELLAMY/GERVIN/D THOMPSON/B KIng/ISSELL/TOMJANOVIC/PARISH/MCHALE/MCADOO/WILKINS/WORHTY/M LUCAS/GREER/COWENS/ARCHIBALD/D JOHNSON/HAYES/UNSELD/PIPPEN/ENGLISH/PAYTON/HARDAWAY/RICHMOND/MULLINS/EWING/KIDD/ROBINSON/WEBBER/IVERSON/PAU/GRANT HILL/T MAC/

and thats jus ttop of my heand, im forgetting people for SURE.

god you hate Dirk dude. Cmon already, get over it

Bruno
06-01-2011, 05:56 PM
god you hate Dirk dude. Cmon already, get over it

x2. Give credit where credit is due.

Chronz
06-01-2011, 06:04 PM
well he is nto retired.

he coudl stil get a three peat for the mavs and go past many of the names....

but even in that case i wouldnt still picture him at 15.

Plz tell me how its logical for the only way for Dirk to pass some of the names you listed is to expect him to accomplish what they have never done before with teammates far inferior to theirs?

kozelkid
06-01-2011, 06:07 PM
I was lucky enough to watch Bird as a kid. I really only started to understand the game around the 1984 timeline, but I caught the 84' NBA Championship series, and started watching him with my dad.

Bird was a much better overall player, but the comparisons are valid. They both were tall perimeter guys who were great shooters from everywhere, and extremely crafty. But what sets Bird apart from Dirk, and most for that matter, is his ability to pass from the forward position. In fact, Bron is the only SF to come along that passes like that, and even Bron doesn't have the sheer creative ability Bird had when it came to passing, Bron gets a lot of his assists on breakdowns when teams collapse on him. Bird was also one of the most fierce competitors, and it actually made him happy to see the other guy miserable. I don't think Dirk has the same fire, but then again, only a handful of guys in history do.

Dirk is a great player, will end up top 15 ever probably. His game slightly resembles Bird (since there is really nobody else to compare him to), but Bird was a better player and its by a good margin.

Good post.

I don't think Dirk will make it to top 15 though, maybe top 20 though.

Voodoo Alchemy
06-01-2011, 06:19 PM
he rebounds? lol hes getting less boards than amare whos called a lazy rebounder for his size

size or not, amare's just plain lazy unless it comes to dunking the ball.

KnicksR4Real
06-01-2011, 06:28 PM
I feel like whenever a white guy is in the NBA, they compare him to Bird. But that's probably just me.

DR_1
06-01-2011, 07:22 PM
That's pretty cool for him to say that, and not pull a Kareem or Pippen.

BTW what is with all these classic players debating who's the better player lately lol?

blastmasta26
06-01-2011, 07:27 PM
I feel like whenever a white guy is in the NBA, they compare him to Bird. But that's probably just me.
The only Bird comparisons I've ever heard are Dirk and Gallinari lol.