Larry Bird squares off against Cam Neely in the third round of the Boston’s Biggest Sports Legend tournament.
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.
3. Cam Neely Cam Neely is a bad man. Bruins fans watched Neely grow up right in front of their eyes. After joining the Bruins at the age of 21, Neely became a force to be reckoned with on the Garden ice. In his first season, he scored 36 goals and made 36 assists while racking up 143 penalty minutes. Simply put, there was no stopping Cam Neely. He could beat you with his skill or could flat-out beat you up. His career numbers are excellent, but they would have been even better had it not been for Ulf Samuelsson’s hit to the knee in 1991. Neely played only 22 games the next two seasons but scored 50 goals in his first 44 games in the 1993-94 season (only Wayne Gretzky reached 50 goals in fewer games). A co-founder of the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care, Neely now serves as Bruins vice president.
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