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Hicks
02-04-2004, 07:03 PM
This story is from Reggie Miller in his 1994 book “I Love Being the Enemy: A Season on the Court with the NBA’s Best Shooter and Sharpest Tongue”.

Vol. I is on Larry Bird:

Originally said by Reggie Miller:

My rookie year, we played the Celtics at Market Square. It was a close game, but we never could beat them. It came down to free throws. There were about twenty seconds left, and we fouled Bird. We were down by 3 points. Bird went to the line to shoot two.
I was standing on the line—and being a rookie dumb *** and not realizing this was one of the best free throw shooters ever to play the game, I tried to throw off his timing. As he went to shoot, I kind of said out of the side of my mouth, “Hey! Hey!”
He stopped right before he shot, looked at me, and said, “You got to be kidding me. Rook, you got to be kidding me.”
He shot one. Boom. We were down by 4 now.
Bird got the ball again, and before he shot, he said, “Rook, I’m the best shooter in the league right now. In the league. Understand? And you’re up here trying to say something?”
Boom. We were down by 5.

What made it worse was that Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge were laughing their asses off. I was thinking, “What a dumb *** I am. You’re up here talking **** to Larry Bird. He’s at the free throw line.” I felt so stupid.
The one boost of confidence I got was after my second game in the league, which was at the Boston Garden. The Celtics were about ready to beat us—there was maybe a minute or so left—and I was standing back there as someone was shooting a free throw. Standing nearby was Bird, but I wasn’t saying a thing. I mean, this was Larry Bird, and I was playing only my second game. But he took a couple of steps over and said, “Reggie, keep working on your game. You’re gonna be a great player.”

I didn’t know Larry from Adam, but that meant a lot to me. I had played decently that night, scored 10 or 12 points. But for him to come up and say something to me… he didn’t have to say anything. I was just another snot-nosed rookie. But something must have caught his eye.
Of course, Chuck Person tried to talk **** to Larry all the time, but it didn’t work too often.
In my fourth year in the league, we were playing at the Boston Garden. It was close to Christmas, I think. Chuck was all psyched up to face Larry. I think Chuck envied Larry, especially when Boston came to Indianapolis. Chuck played for the Pacers, but Larry was born and raised in Indiana. He played at Indiana State. He lived in French Lick during the off-season. Chuck resented Larry’s coming to Market Square and having the place sell out, with everybody wearing Celtic green in Bird’s honor.
Hey, the man’s from Indiana, right? So you got to give the man his props. He’s one of the greatest players of all time. I think Chuck envied that.

So we were playing in the Garden, and Larry was taking the ball out in front of our bench. He had been on a roll, and I think Mike Sanders was guarding him at the time. Chuck was on the bench, and he said to Larry, “You wouldn’t be doing that **** if I was out there.”
Larry turned to Bob Hill, our coach, and said, “Bo, put this clown in.”
Bo started laughing, but Larry said, “No, Bo, I’m serious.”
Then Larry turned to the scorer’s table and yelled, “Sub!”
Man, the ref was starting to do the five-second count, and Larry was doing this ****. Chuck wouldn’t get up, so Larry said, “I thought so,” and then threw the ball in just in time. I was thinking, “This guy is crazy.”
Later in the same game they were coming down on the fact break. Their point guard threw the ball to Bird, and he got it at the three-point line, in front of our bench again. Mike Sanders was on him. Larry turned around, found Chuck on the bench, and said, “Chuck, this is for you: Merry Christmas.”
He turned and shot a fallaway three. Boom. Nothing but net.

Hicks
02-04-2004, 07:58 PM
I'm surprised all the attention is going towards Vol. II. I think some of these Bird quotes are classic. :laugh:

ROCislandWarrior
02-04-2004, 08:16 PM
I tried to throw off his timing. As he went to shoot, I kind of said out of the side of my mouth, “Hey! Hey!”
He stopped right before he shot, looked at me, and said, “You got to be kidding me. Rook, you got to be kidding me.”

Wow.... Remember in the atlanta game when J Terry tried to mess up reggie at the line... then Reggie was all like "What? What??...come on..."

That must have reminded reggie of this

Peck
02-04-2004, 08:27 PM
My favorite part of that book is when he tells Johns stark that he will handcuff him on defense all night. Of course Reggie is more colorfull his quote was "shakles & chains, *****".

I've been re-reading the book again lately & it has certainly brought back many fond memorys.

I also love how he marvels about Verns 11 years with one team. :dance:

Sometimes I need to read these things because it always helps remind me how special Reggie is sometimes.