Bird honored by Nowitzki comparisons

June, 1, 2011
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesLarry Bird watches from the sideline in some of his final playing days with the Celtics.
After all that hubbub about whether it was fair to compare Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki to former Celtics forward Larry Bird, it turns out Larry Legend was actually honored by it all:
[Mavericks coach Rick] 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."

Check out the full article for more from Bird, including the fact that you might be able to take him in a game of H-O-R-S-E nowadays.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter,



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?


Jonny Gomes, Red Sox

Red Sox OF Jonny Gomes discusses the atmosphere in Boston, the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, his team's slow start and more.

Larry Lucchino, Red Sox

Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino discusses his team's response to the Boston Marathon bombings, how the city bounced back from the tragedy and more.

Donnie Wahlberg, Actor

Actor Donnie Wahlberg talks about this year's Patriots' Day, his experience involving last year's Boston Marathon, security presence in the city and more.

Martin J. Walsh, Boston

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh comments on how this Patriots' Day differs from those in the past, securing the marathon, the role sports plays in the city and more.

Kevin Millar, MLB

MLB Network's Kevin Millar weighs in on the uniqueness of Patriots' Day 2014, the Nationals' benching of Bryce Harper, the brawl during Brewers-Pirates and more.


Jeff Green
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksK. Humphries 0.9