With five seconds remaining in Game 5 of the '87 Eastern Conference Finals, the Pistons were an inbounds pass away from their third win of the series. Down by a point and seemingly lifeless, a spry Larry Bird cut Isiah Thomas' passing lane and stole the ball. With his momentum carrying the graceful Celtics forward out of bounds, Bird whipped the ball to a cutting Dennis Johnson who ended the game with a layup.
Afterwards, a thoughtful Isiah Thomas would say, ''Larry Bird is a very, very good basketball player. But if he was black he'd be just another guy.''