How Rookie Larry Bird Shut a Celtic Vet Up In His First Practice With Boston……

“Larry didn’t talk much junk” – Cedric Maxwell stated that during his time with the Celtics, Larry Bird wasn’t the greatest trash talker

‘Cornbread’ never saw Bird as the greatest trash talker during his time with the team.

While numerous anecdotes have portrayed Larry Bird as the NBA’s most ferocious trash talker, Cedric Maxwell, who spent six seasons alongside the Indiana native, held a different perception.

During his appearance on ‘Ryan & Goodman’ Podcast, ‘Cornbread’ revealed Bird wasn’t the one often engaging in verbal jousts. Instead, it was the other members of the Boston Celtics team who provoked opponents with their sharp-tongued remarks.

“Larry didn’t talk much then. That’s what people didn’t understand…. Larry wasn’t talking much then,” Maxwell said. “I was doing the talking, Kevin McHale, ML Carr, all of us were doing the talking. Larry didn’t talk much junk. Later on, you hear, ‘Oh, Larry Bird’s the greatest trash-talker of all time.’ Not when I played. He was not. You can ask his teammates that. He was not the greatest trash-talker at that time.”

Bird shut Maxwell down in an instance

During Bird’s rise to prominence at Indiana State University, ‘Ced’ might’ve not taken enough notice as he considered the former No. 3 pick as just another average white player on the roster. However, in just his second practice session with the Celtics, ‘Larry Legend’ didn’t take long to shut the chirping Maxwell down, making him realize he was no ordinary talent.

“When I walked in, there he was, doing a lot of talking. By the time our first practice was over, Curtis and Sidney both were cut, and Max is the only one left,” Bird told Andscape. “But Curtis and Sidney were really nice guys. Cedric was doing all the talking. So, second practice, them two were gone and it was just Cedric. And it didn’t take long to get him quiet.”

Aware of the immense expectations surrounding him due to the hype he had garnered upon his arrival, Bird understood that claiming the top spot wouldn’t come easily. However, the 6’9″ forward was prepared from the outset to showcase his ‘A-Game.’

Maxwell was shocked to see Bird outperform him

Prior to Larry’s arrival, ‘The Rubberband Man’ boasted his career-best scoring average of 19.0 points per game, leading him to perceive himself as the superior player, which is why he also considered Bird to be slow. However, observing Bird’s increasing efficiency as he moved further from the basket made Maxwell realize the true extent of his talent.

While Maxwell may have had a hard time giving his top spot in the team to a rookie Bird, it was certainly for the best, as under the latter’s leadership, he was only placed in the best scenario to win two NBA championships.


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