Larry Bird 1991 Playoffs: 32pts, Gm 5 vs. Indiana Pacers


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Boston Garden. May 5, 1991 `I can't leave those guys out there all by themselves' Injury-wracked, he was already deep into the autumn of his career. He had hit Indiana with a triple-double in Game 1 before checking into New England Baptist Hospital to go into traction for his aching back. And now, with 4:23 remaining in the second quarter of a deciding Game 5, he had stumbled going after a loose ball and had smacked his head against the hallowed parquet. "He's coming back in the second half, and they'll go crazy," Indiana coach Bob Hill warned his team. Right he was. Bird jogged through the runway, they indeed went crazy, and Bird took over the game, throwing in jumpers and post-ups while starting three fast breaks with rebounds and outlets. He finished with 30 points while shooting 12 for 14 on twos, and for sheer drama it was, and is, untoppable. "All I know is that they'll be talking about him for a hundred years," sighed Hill. Larry: "When I hit the floor, I thought I broke my jaw, because I couldn't move my mouth. I was in a lot of pain, but I could hear the crowd out there and I thought, `I can't leave those guys out there all by themselves.' "



DoubleVisionandco
Larry Bird took everybody to school. How you got home was your problem.
Ed Cortorreal
Give Lebron Larrys body and he will be a regular player. Give Larry Lebrons body and they wouldn't let him play...
IRONx MONKEY
I'm a Celtics fan, and although I watched this due to Larry Bird, it was great to see some footage of Reggie Lewis, a young man teetering on the brink of superstardom before he unexpectedly passed away. One of my favorite players...RIP Reggie. (And how come there's no highlight videos of Reggie)
terrorofsesameST
This is why he was dubbed "Larry Legend" !! Hearing Marv Albert "HERE COMES..LARRY BIRD!" gives me goosebumps. That's the shit legends are made of. In their primes if I had to choose a small forward to lead my franchise I take Bird over Lebron 10/10.
C. Poulin
I was 13.  I was a huge Celtic fan (still am) but I kind of liked the Pacers too.  But as that series wore on, I fricken hated Chuck Person!  I yelled at him through the TV a lot.  I remember watching this game and when Larry hit the floor, I was afraid that we were done.  When he came back into the game, I was so psyched.  And as the game ended, I was still yelling at the TV - screaming trash talk at Chuck.  I think I yelled at the TV and talked more trash to Chuck that series than I have actually playing ball my whole life. 
whatthehellimbored
Whenever Larry got fired up you knew you were in for a show!
BOOGIE80
Wgen you see that performance by Bird, you understand what separate real men with balls from the kids in today's basketball. 
Booma151676
Larry's playing chess and everyone else is playing checkers
Ghostfather
this was the last game my father and I attended together
Triple MVP legend
Chuck Person was a showoff, with a couple good years, but he popped his mouth off against one of the greatest, who chewed him up!
John Red
I saw this game and i thought the Celtics will lose all the way,but Larry came back and did "a performance to remember".that's a true leader for you in probably the best SF to every play the game.
Jay Ortiz
Remember this afternoon game when I was 9 years old...NBA on NBC forever a happy childhood time for me...care free days juss watchin hoops...actually watching legends and didn't really understand it at the time...juss loved it.
baroh2413
The most amazing thing is that Larry Bird was so injury ridden, at this point in his career, that he could hardly run or jump . It is almost painful to watch... he plays on sheer willpower and basketball-intelligence and still he put up such a performance. This is the Larry Bird i saw when I started watching basketball and I used to think he was overrated. Now I realize that I any normal person would have quit long ago and how tough the guy was
Grey Valentine
Larry was a badass, he played hurt and always got up as quick as possible when he fell. So imagine what went through the fans minds when they saw Larry laying down and not moving at all for that moment. He had a concussion and passed out for a brief moment, according to his book. The doctors wanted to shut him down for the game, but he decided to leave the room and come back. His pain threshold is amazing.
DONALD ALLEN
Larry Bird was a God a half dead broke back crippled Larry Bird still kicked ass, I'm so thankful that I came up in the 80s when the real NBA played ball today's NBA just leaves me cold
DoubleVisionandco
When Person pushed Larry had I been the Ref he would have hit the showers. He pushed Bird knowing he had a bad back so therefore it was on purpose. When that announcer said "Larry Bird has returned" that was nuff said, As when Bird got his shooting eye back nobody was gonna beat him. He wasn't called Larry Legend for nothing.
frostnip
i live in indy but damn bird......why u do these guys like that lmao
grigsolve
You cut the best part of this game out. When the game ended the Pacers actually came up to Bird and said ,"great game".
Richard Bernstein
Thanks for posting.  Almost all Laker fans I know who witnessed the 80s appreciate both halves of the Lakers/Celtics rivalry and their cast of stars. 
Jason Camp
8:01 wow.
shadboltbill
Talk about a star! Listen to the Garden crowd! Absolutely insane for Larry Bird!
TRJ2241987
That woman at 8:19 was seemingly at every major nationally televised Celtics home game for a solid decade
Daniel Birdhead
The outlet at 5:42 is outstanding...
Laid-Off Huffington Post Journalist
7:26 awesome two-man play. too bad McHale couldn't finish it off
cannedgoods29
Love watching Bird do his thing...But God...Do I miss Reggie #35
Wyndamn
Reggie Miller was right/ Dan Patrick show.
navyguyinva
To paraphrase Bird: "I know Chuck Person. He cuts my grass during the summer months..."
Raprap Angeles
So he suffered a serious head knock, probably even a concussion, still came back and dominated a younger Pacers team. Also at 10:10, Person's illegal screen hit Bird's gravely injured back, a back that was ailing since the late 80's and required a major surgery which sidelined him for a year and ultimately ended his career, and yet he just stood up and shook it off. Meanwhile LBJ had to be carried off and miss the rest of the game due to leg cramps...
Hi
The legend lives on....
Historical Perspective
Just think of Boston in 1991 with a prime Reggie Lewis and Len Bias to go along with the Big 3. I know Bird has said that he thought he would've retired earlier if Len Bias would've emerged, but Larry was so damn competitive that I think he would've played longer--I can't even imagine the number of Larry to Len connections that could've been. I hate coke.
newerafrican
Damn!! Just... Damn! Pure guts. The final hurrah for a true warrior. I hope Bird realizes how much he entertains us almost 30 years later.
James Matthews
Cortisone, Tordal, Vicodine-35 points
Jon Quist
I enjoying watching his passes. 10/10 passer.
Kevin Estrada
If there was a concussion protocol back then, Bird's comeback will never happen. Pacers routed the C's and will face the Pistons on round 2. The NBA's devoid of the human interest stories like these. Players coming back on the floor and willed the team to win.
Jason Serena
Watched this game as kid, it still gives me chills when the crowd reacts
MegaJusWright
This is Bird only a shell of his former self.
SinkHollyWood
4:07 ice on cheek, a bud light and a couple of vicodin and he's ready to play ball.
Aaron Ignacio
Bird's aura affects his teamates and the whole crowd. Unbelievable.
Good Man
That fadeaway and one gives me chills. Te commentary, the camera angle seeing the crowd react
Brian Decker
wow. electric game
radmcm22
Birds the man!
Alex K
IMAGINE IF HE DIDN'T INJURE HIS BACK BUILDING DRIVEWAYS AND WORKED MORE ON HIS ATHLETICISM
Mike Duncan
Finish the end of the game or Have your vids taken DOWN FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. wtf
Maximus Wolfe
THE Celtic THE man
Joe Johnson
Person's shot in the back at the end seemed like some deliberate frustration payback...everyone knew bird had the bad back
johnson#7
世界で一番好きな選手です
Rob Hannigan
Birds problem was he cut his hair and got rid of the mustache. Yeah I called it problem solved.
Jacques Nomdefamille
A year from retirement, a bad back, half concussed and still the only player on his team that can turn the game around. If Larry Bird isn't the greatest basketball player of all time I don't know who is.
Anthony Harp
Indiana was playing a zone for part of that game
Andrea Bragagnolo
speechless
Your Mother
I remember that afternoon. I was 10 yrs old, and they hadn't started broadcasting NBA games here yet so I stared at the wall as per usual.
Maximus Wolfe
I remember this game like it was yesterday. As a child I never got to see Larry Bird in his prime, but I was able to witness games like this, where his greatness still shine through those crippling, degenerative injuries. All that craftiness and basketball acumen on display. What a warrior. What a player.
julian rodriguez
8:02 he killed em.
Spudd Small
wow what a shot at 8:02
Jesse Richardson
That's tough.
dd wooten
His back issues were congenital (hereditary). He played this game with a back that could literally break at any moment. Then he cracked his cheek bone and gave himself a concussion diving for the loose ball. And still hung up 32 points!
Lex Lutter
крассавчег!
1230kman
he was so much better than anybody else it just seemed bizarre,,,, the absolute best clutch player of any sport ever. He fed off the pressure of competition,,this was HIS game and he was going to show you why.
Chris Kavanagh
I wish you would have shown the interview with LaSalle Thompson aftet the game. He said it was something to tell his kids about, and he felt privileged to have been involved. Of course Thompson played for Indiana, not the Celts.
Chris Kavanagh
Yeah me too! I can still remember it like the other day. . .Unbelievable, the man could barely run, and he still kicked ass like no other.
Chris Kavanagh
Let's pray that was a joke.
Chris Kavanagh
Well said. .But you're forgetting one thing. Bird's HEALTH, or lack there of. The man should have retired 4 years earlier for health reasons. He said it himself. His major back problem and the surgery to correct bone spurs in his heels. . .With ALL THIS, he still could go out and dominate the best athletes in the World. . .Let's see Jordan or Kobe, or even LeBron do this with those injuries, lol. They wouldn't stand a chance. Like Isiah said, "put us all in a room & Bird's the one coming out.
Ed Vega
"And here comes... Larry Bird!" 4:05 Spine-tingling! HOLY @#$, that rebound and pass at 5:41. Sensational.
Richard Gana
In Classical Antiquity, an oracle was a person or agency considered to interface wise counsel or prophetic predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the gods. As such it is a form of divination. Larry Joe Bird was and is the ORACLE of the nba
jjs777fzr
wow - painful to watch as it was a new decade and nearing the end of the Larry Bird era. Never seen him do so many fist pumps - probably the only way he could get his body motivated to move despite the pain. I recall watching this game and when he came back out of the tunnel I was jumping up and down screaming at the tv.
ttb kombs
yea your right he's amazing with his left hand too. best I've ever seen using his off hand
Chou Daniel
the best description of bird
Omar L
the BIRD man
Omar L
LOL
DoubleVisionandco
This performance of Larry is unmatched. Not only was he playing with a bad back and in so much pain he could hardley move, when his head hit the floor he got a concussion and couldn't even see straight. The team doctor told Larry he was out and couldn't play. When the doc turned his back Larry ran to the floor and finished with this masterpiece. Magic Johnson was the basketball Magician. Larry Bird was the basketball Wizard. That's why they both carry the title of Legend.
Jevories Moore
Larry Bird is my favorite cracka.
sugarmaple28
Seeing Bird hit the floor, damn it was sad, but what a finish. Even in 1991 with his back problems causing him major constant pain, he was able to come back out and do this.
sugarmaple28
As a Celtics fan there is respect towards your way as well, The Celtics and Lakers were the 1980s. Great games, great talent on both sides. Awesome era.
MrStinky24
Love the look of the celts locker room door. lol. Really? But as a life long laker fan this is the game i still remember watching as a kid that made me respect the Bird man...and that color Green...just a little bit.
Ted C
Chuck Person was such a bitch.
Jim26D
I was 12 when I was watching it. I broke down and cried when bird fell. Truly amazing all around player. Definitely top 5 all time, Jordan, jabbar, magic, and Karl Malone would be my all time team.
jjs777fzr
and RIP Dennis Johnson - hard to believe they arent around anymore.
Dkouts57
guy had a broken back and he did this. and no one ever traps anymore wtf
Edward Anthony Leone
The only people that ever gave Bird the praise he deserved were other NBA players & coaches. He was a true basketball genius. Was smart enough to know his weaknesses, & worked hard on the fundamentals necessary to overcome them. Via satellite I watched EVERY Celtics game for 3 seasons, 2 Championships, 84 & 86. He was the best at using ball fakes, being able to shoot w/ either hand & getting position to shoot or rebound. IMO he is the Best OVERALL SF ever! Bird, Magic & MJ were so fun to watch!
BJMcB92
larry bird showed more heart in this game alone than 99% of the players in the NBA today have. true competitor and amazing talent RIP Reggie Lewis
Charles Surette
"Out of the pages of Willis Reed" You could argue that Bird did MORE than Willis Reed. Remember, Reed was hurt in Game 5 of the 1970 Finals. He had four days rest, and even in Game 7, he scored two buckets and mostly a motivational presence for the Knicks. Bird, on the other hand, slammed his head to the parquet in the second quarter, came back in the third dealing with a concussion, and absolutely caught fire and helped give the Celtics the victory.
sliverradio
I was absolutely losing my mind screaming and cheering at the top of my lungs in my parent's basement
TheMotleyFuckingCrue
Bird was the man! Bird played against great and tougher teams then LeBron (No Disrespect to LeBron), Bird went against Magic and Kareem's Lakers, Dr.J's 76ers, Isiah's Bab Boy Pistons, MJ's Bulls, and Ewing's Knicks. Also the game was more physical in the '80s and '90s then today. LeBron gets away with easy lay up's cause everybody is afraid to hard foul him.
SteveSbc406
It wasn't his non-stop hustle that caused his back problems. The actual cause of his back problems makes me respect him more as a man than I even respected him as a player. Already a superstar legend, and multimillionaire, Larry built the driveway at his home himself. This famous superstar multimillionaire injured his back digging shoveling and moving gravel Larry bird was the shit. How many other pussies in his position would do real man's work like that? Very few to none in my estimation
Shiang Li
Just to add to your comment: Bird gave 200% every play of every game - he dives for impossible loose balls and sacrifices his body just to gain the extra bit of edge... As well, he's one of the toughest players to have played basketball. Aint afraid of confrontation unlike players like Lebron
Jason Sapp
R.I.P. Reggie Lewis
Captain Zeppos
One of the rare times when a player is bigger than the Game. Only a Legend could do that.
Charles Surette
The best team in basketball, with the best crowd and fans in basketball.
ACORNSUCKS
Dirk has never had an assist or hit the floor.
theNL9
10:33 2k12 :D
Realize
crowds are never this loud anymore
Jonathan Cariveau
Is anyone else amazed that Kevin Garnett's performances in these playoffs at this stage of his career bring ones like these to mind? Just tonight, 29/13/4
TheBloodshower
Back when the NBA was still for men, not for overpayed hip-hop boys...
FavreianVengeance
I don't know that I've seen Bird this pissed off in any other game. I don't know if it was the concussion, the deciding game with whispers they were old or if it was Chuck Person. But he was pissed. He was all in Person's grill before the concussion, so I think he was just fired up.
mrgrandprix fourspeed
Respect your opinion and Magic, but I think Magic gets much more attention than Bird. Magic's enthusiasm was great for the game and fans-he was more popular than Bird, but Bird's personality shouldn't diminish what he did on the court. Kareem was not friendly to fans or reporters but I think he's best center ever. I think Bird > Magic because of scoring and clutch play. Magic had playoff blunders in 81 & 84. Bird has highest winning % (in games he played) of any NBA player ever - over 70%
No compliance
Magic had the superior team for 8 out of 12 seasons no doubt...plus the West was nothing compared to the East in terms of who you had to go through to get to the Finals.
No compliance
Another point, it wasn't just shooting, Bird was way better at scoring in the post and rebounding, and Defense Bird is 84th all time Defensive rating to Magic's 221st spot. Also, secondly Bird shot 5,000 more career shots than Magic so Magic does not make the all time greatest score list like Kareem, Hakeem, MJ, Bird, Oscar, Wilt...Russell and Magic were the only two that weren't scoring dynamos. Not trying to be abrasive just sharing my opinion.
No compliance
How can you say that when MJ is considered one of if not the greatest ever...don't bring race into it man. Magic MJ and Bird all respected eachother....and The fact remains that Kareem is considered one of the greatest centers...Magic joined a 47 win laker team and improved them 13 wins.Bird was the only change made in '80 to the Celtics, who were 2nd to last place in the league and improved them 32 wins without parish or mchale man..Magic is the greatest PGever but I'd take Bird or MJ over him.
mark lee
You could tell Larry was playing in back pain
bolder2009
I agree! That's why I said 'ARGUABLY', because the same thing could be said about Magic.