Larry Bird’s Incredibly Savage Left-Handed Game


31 years ago today, Larry Bird announced his retirement from the NBA after 13 seasons. Let’s look back at one of his memorable moments.

Valentine’s Day 1986, the Celtics came into Portland winning 14 of their last 15 games, despite Kevin McHale being injured for 9 of those games.

At this point, the game got a little bit too easy and boring for Larry Bird so he decided to challenge himself by finishing every basket (other than a jumpshot) with his left hand. He ended up scoring 20 points with his left hand, nearly half his total! 

Bird’s teammate Bill Walton recalls:


“At the end of one of the trips, he had accomplished every goal, we hadn’t lost a game on the trip, and Larry told all of us players and the media too, we were all standing around waiting to leave, he said, ‘Tomorrow night’s the last game of the trip, I’m going to play this one left-handed, at least through three quarters.’”


Despite all this, Bird still scored 47 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out 11 assists (21-34 FG). Bird hit every three-pointer he took. For good measure, he hit the game tying shot to send the game to OT, and then made the game winning shot.

The night before in Seattle he had 35/15/11, so this was his second consecutive triple double in just as many nights. Bird truly in his prime here…

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