Larry Bird squares off against Paul Pierce in the second round of the Boston’s Biggest Sports Legend tournament.
2. Larry BirdIt’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.
7. Paul PierceWhen Shaquille O’Neal gives you the nickname “The Truth,” chances are you’re pretty good. Paul Pierce has lived up to that name in his 12 seasons in Boston. A native of L.A., Pierce embraced the Celtics and their rich history and made sure that he would make his mark on basketball’s most successful franchise. Pierce has been the most durable and dedicated member of the Celtics, averaging almost 80 games per season in 10 of the last 11 seasons. He once hit the game-winning shot over the Blazers after having spent seven hours repairing teeth he had lost in a game the night before. He also recovered from 11 stab wounds in Sept. of 2000 to play all 82 games that season. He’ll be remembered largely for helping raise the 17th championship banner. His legacy will certainly live on when he retires, and his No. 34 is destined for the rafters.
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