Trail Blazers legend Bill Walton may be best known for helping Portland win the NBA title in 1977.
He is less known for the two-season parts he played at the end of his career with the Boston Celtics.
Walton played only 90 games for Boston, but in that limited time, no player had a greater impact on him than Larry Bird.
Bird is widely regarded as one of the best ever.
Walton echoed that sentiment, telling NBC Sports Boston’s Brian Scalabrine why Larry was the greatest player he ever played with.
Larry didn’t want the break. Larry didn’t want to timeout. Larry didn’t want days off between games. He wanted seven consecutive days of basketball and the first team to win four, okay. He didn’t want to wait. He was certainly not waiting for any of his teammates. He was not waiting for the bus. Not waiting for the TV show. Larry, he was ready to play and ready to deliver. And he never did. The way his brain – simply super intelligent, his analytical ability to understand what would work, when it would work, how it would work. And then the fact that his body was able to continue carrying how much he worked to be great, how much he worked to have his physical level because, you know, he had other guys who could do the job, but he made the commitment and determination, you know, ‘I will give my life, I will give my body to the Boston Celtics. And we will do everything we can to do it every day.
Walton is an NBA legend in his own right, so he talks to Bird’s talent for Walton to talk so much about him.
Greatness recognizes greatness. The real recognizes the real.