After Kevin Durant revealed that he's joining the Warriors, Durant has been accused of jumping on the Warriors bandwagon by Stephen A. Smith, gotten the ire of Charles Barkley for taking a shortcut towards a championship ring, and taken a lot of flak from Reggie Miller who spoke in the same tone about his decision.
This is regardless of the fact that perennial All-Star players— including Charles when he went to Phoenix in 1992, and Reggie hoping for a spot on the Knicks— have always looked to join great teams, well before LeBron decided to take his talents to South Beach in 2010. You can point back to this list of examples: Wilt Chamberlain leaving the Sixers to joining forces with Hall of Fame scoring phenoms Jerry West and Elgin Baylor on the Lakers in 1968; Earl Monroe joining the All-Star stockpiled Knicks in 1971; 1982 MVP award winner Moses Malone joining forces with Dr. J and a team that boasted three other All-Stars to win the title in '83; Rodman to the Bulls in 1995 to begin their second three-peat championship title quest; or Gary Payton and Karl Malone joining the Lakers in 2003 one season after their three-peat championship run from 2000-2002.
One player who would never fathom joining another dominant team is Larry Bird. The three-time MVP and Hall of Famer who won three rings with the Celtics during the '80s spoke on a SiriusXM NBA Radio podcast Friday about KD's decision.
"I couldn't imagine going to the Lakers and playing with Magic Johnson," the former Celtics star said. "I'd rather try to beat him."
Bird's from the fraternal order that you don't create truces and join forces with enemies to win battles together. And he didn't have to with the Celtics, and continued to explain why he couldn't pull a Durant-like decision. "I could never imagine myself going and joining another team with great players," he said, "because I had great players and I was in a great situation."
Instead of continuing a curmudgeon "kids these days" diatribe, the Pacers president also acknowledged that today's NBA is much different now due to the free agency allowing players like Durant and Curry to form superteams, and make stupid amounts of money doing it.
Imagine if Bird and Magic did play together, though. There would be no Lakers-Celtics rivalry that brought the NBA out of their financial crisis, and no mystique that we now consider the ones of the best eras in NBA history. To hear the rest of what Larry Legend had to say, you can tune into the podcast here.
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