Tom Brady squares off against Larry Bird in the quarterfinals of the Boston’s Biggest Sports Legend tournament.
1. Tom Brady There may never be a greater Cinderella story in sports than that of Tom Brady. A relative unknown in the 2000 NFL draft, Brady was famously drafted at No. 199 before becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the history of football. After stepping into a starting job midway through the 2001 season, Brady became the pivotal point of the franchise’s turnaround. His game-winning drive in Super Bowl XXXVI cemented his legend at just 23 years old. Two years later, Brady was leading the Patriots to back-to-back Super Bowl victories before setting an NFL record for most touchdowns in a single season (50), as the Patriots became the first team to finish a regular season 16-0. Already with two Super Bowl MVPs and an NFL MVP, Brady is far from finished. Though it seems unthinkable that Brady can add to his legacy, he’ll try to do just that for the better part of the next decade.
2. Larry Bird It’s difficult to put into words what Larry Bird did for basketball in the city of Boston. Bird was so impressive at Indiana State that Red Auerbach drafted him in 1978, knowing full well that the Celtics would have to wait another season to see Bird in green. The wait was well worth it, with Bird beating out collegiate rival Magic Johnson for Rookie of the Year honors following the 1979-80 season. That was just the beginning for Bird, who helped lead the Celtics to championships in 1981, 1984 and 1986. Bird spent most of his career collecting accolades, including three MVPs, 12 All-Star selections, a gold medal and three memorable 3-point contest victories. Bird’s 29.9 points per game is the highest mark in franchise history, while Larry Legend’s clutch shots throughout the ’80s will never be forgotten.