Michael Jordan Says Larry Bird Is Far Better Than LeBron James And Any Other Small Forward Ever (2023)

Michael Jordan and Larry Bird are two of the most iconic and successful basketball players in the history of the sport. Their careers overlapped for a number of years and they faced off against each other in some of the most memorable moments in NBA history. Despite being fierce competitors on the court, the two players had a deep respect for each other and their relationship went beyond just being rivals.

One of the most well-known moments in the Jordan-Bird rivalry was the 1992 Olympic Games, where they led the US Men’s Basketball team to a gold medal. The team, known as the “Dream Team,” featured some of the best players in the world and was considered a dominant force. Jordan and Bird were two of the leaders of the team and their teamwork and leadership skills were instrumental in the team’s success.

Off the court, Jordan and Bird had a close friendship and often spent time together away from the game. In fact, Bird has said that Jordan was one of his closest friends in the league. They would often play golf together and hang out, despite the fact that they were fierce competitors on the court.

In addition to their friendship, Jordan and Bird also had a deep mutual respect for each other’s talents and accomplishments. Jordan has said that Bird was one of the toughest opponents he ever faced, and Bird has praised Jordan’s work ethic and competitive drive.

Despite the fact that they were rivals on the court, Jordan and Bird’s relationship was characterized by mutual respect and friendship. They pushed each other to be better players and their competitiveness helped to elevate the game of basketball to new heights. Their rivalry will always be remembered as one of the greatest in the history of the sport and their friendship is a testament to the respect and admiration they had for each other.

Their respect for each other even led to Jordan saying that Larry Bird is the greatest small forward in NBA history, andthat not even LeBron James could be compared to Bird.

Per The Sportsrush:

“Larry was a debate. He still is. People ask me all the time who my all-time five top players are, and when I start saying Larry, they interrupt me. They say, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. He can’t play with LeBron James!’ I tell them, ‘You guys don’t get it. Larry is far better than any small forward who played the game, and to be honest, I’m still not sure if he is a small forward or a power forward.”


Michael Jordan Says Larry Bird Is Far Better Than LeBron James And Any Other Small Forward Ever? ›

They say, 'You've got to be kidding me. He can't play with LeBron James! ' I tell them, 'You guys don't get it. Larry is far better than any small forward who played the game, and to be honest, I'm still not sure if he is a small forward or a power forward.

Did Michael Jordan say Larry Bird was better than LeBron James? ›

In the book "When The Game Was Ours," Jordan explained how high he was on Bird and how impressive he was in comparison to the rest of the players who played before and after him. The GOAT even goes on to say that not even LeBron James could be compared to Larry, explaining how great No.

Was Larry Bird better than LeBron James? ›

In both the regular season and the playoffs, Bird trails LeBron James in points. In comparison to James, Larry is a better rebounder, averaging 3.7 boards per game than James. In his pro basketball career to date, Bird is averaging 22.8 points per 36 minutes, 9.4 assists per 36 minutes, and 9.4 boards per 36 minutes.

What did Michael Jordan ever say about Larry Bird? ›

“When you see a player like Luka, when you see a player like Dirk, they're great players, but they're not Larry Bird” - Michael Jordan says Larry Bird's work ethic was way above the game.

What did Larry Bird say about LeBron James? ›

Report" with ESPN's Bill Simmons, Larry Bird admitted two things. First of all, Larry Legend voiced his opinion on the whole debate over who the best player in the NBA is. "LeBron James is by far our best player in this league. I don't think there's really anyone next to him.

Who was Michael Jordan's favorite basketball player? ›

According to Darren Rovell of The Action Network, UNC basketball legend Walter Davis was Jordan's favorite player growing up.

Was Larry Bird the best shooter ever? ›

Larry Bird is the greatest shooter in the history of the Boston Celtics. Although Ray Allen is an excellent shooter, Bird's resume is too glaring to ignore. Bird was a tremendous three-point shooter in an era where the three-point shot was a back-breaker to a team.

Who was better Larry Bird or Kobe Bryant? ›

As far as a direct comparison goes, Kobe Bryant won 2 more championships and Larry Bird won 2 more MVP awards. Both retired with 2 Finals MVP trophies to their name.

Why Michael Jordan is still better than LeBron? ›

Jordan still managed to average 30.1 ppg on his career. Jordan has appeared in the all-defense first team 9 times while Lebron has appeared 5 times. As well, Jordan has won the steals title 3 times and a DPOY in 1988. Jordan has 6 out of 6 finals he's been in, while Lebron has won 4 out of 10 finals he's been in.

What did Jordan average against Larry Bird? ›

Michael Jordan had 33.5 points per game versus Larry Bird in his career.
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What did Kareem Abdul Jabbar say about Larry Bird? ›

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Once Heaped Huge Praise On Larry Bird

"I remember the game he played against the Lakers, the first year that his Celtics won the world championship with him on the team, and he was ridiculous.

What did Wilt Chamberlain think of Larry Bird? ›

Back in the 1990s, Wilt the Stilt made an appearance for an interview with radio host Howard Stern. Chamberlain explained why he believed Larry was an incredible talent. Wilt said: “Well, I think that may be in the minds of many, but this man also is very, very talented.

What is LeBron's favorite famous quote? ›

You can't be afraid to fail. It's the only way you succeed - you're not gonna succeed all the time, and I know that. You have to be able to accept failure to get better.

Who says LeBron is better than Jordan? ›

Scottie Pippen said this morning on Mike and Mike: "Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to play the game...But I may go as far as to say LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game because he is so potent offensively that not only can he score at will but he keeps everybody involved...

Is Larry Bird considered one of the best basketball players of all time? ›

Bird has been described as one of the greatest basketball players and greatest shooters of all time. He was selected to 12 NBA All-Star teams. Bird won three NBA championships (in 1981, 1984, and 1986) with the Celtics and won two NBA Finals MVP Awards.

Who is the greatest of all time Michael Jordan or LeBron James? ›

Michael Jordan is still the greatest of all time—at least according to an anonymous group of NBA players. The Athletic surveyed 103 NBA players, 58.3 percent of whom said Jordan would top their overall rankings. LeBron James was second with 33 percent of the vote, while Kobe Bryant came in at 6.8 percent.

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