Don’t you know about the bird? Well everybody knows, that bird is the word. Bird, bird, bird. Bird is the word. -Ramones
With tonight’s Three Point Contest fast approaching, I cannot help but reminisce. I cannot help but go back to a happier place and time. Go back to a time when Larry Bird was still in his three-point prime. Go back to a time when it was still fun to rhyme. So, just like my main man Nas, “I’m takin’ y’all on a trip straight through memory lane. It’s like that y’all…it’s like that y’all…it’s like that.” Damn skippy it’s like that. And now, I’m takin’ y’all on a trip straight to 1988. Takin’ y’all on a trip to the Prairie State. Sherman, set the Way Back Machine.
Chicago, Illinois. 1988. All-Star week-end. His Airness and the Human Highlight Reel going toe to toe. Slam for slam. Daaaaamn! And, there was the Legend. Larry Legend. Larry Joe Bird. Bird, Bird, Bird. Bird is the word. 1988. Larry Bird. Reigning three-point king. Larry Bird. Two-time reigning three-point king. Get the papers, get the papers. Larry Bird doing his thing. The world on a string. All that and a chicken wing. The Legend going for a three-peat. You know what happened next? I know you do. But I love telling it.
As the shooters dressed in the locker room, Bird stood up and announced, “All right, who’s playing for second place?” Wooo doggie. It’s on. Dale Ellis. Dale Ellis, the Silent Assassin. Dale Ellis, fresh off his NBA Most Improved Player Award season. Dale Ellis, third all-time in three-point shots made. Dale Ellis had one of the sweetest jump shots I have ever seen. Deadly off the screen. Like a three point machine. Eliis was unconscious. Knocking ‘em down one after another. Knocking ‘em down all the way to the finals. All the way to Larry Joe Bird.
In the Finals, Dale still kept knocking ‘em down. He wanted that crown. Showing everybody in old Chi-town. Knocked down shot after shot in the final round too. Finished with a score of 15. Pretty, pretty good. Not good enough. Larry’s tough. He plays rough. Larry Joe ties it up. Ties it up with one ball remaining. The money ball. Goodness gracious. You know the rest. You know why Bird was the best. Like he wearing a bullet-proof vest. Shooting as if he were blessed. The Legend puts it up. A split-second later, the ball barely off his fingers, the Legend turned and walked away. Turned and walked away with his index finger in the air. I…am…number one. No matter if you like it, ready take this, sit down and write it. I…am…number one. What does it take to be number one? Two is not a winner, and three nobody remembers. Larry Bird: “I’m the three-point king, I’m the three-point king!”
Peace out homies. Six Two and Even!