I never really felt the pressure - Larry Bird on why he always stepped up during big games

  • 4.09.2023 17:48:35

One thing NBA fans admired about Larry Bird was his fearlessness and consistency, especially during big games. While most of his fellow Hall of Famers acknowledged the pressure whenever they faced a tough challenge, Larry Legend remained unfazed, went out there, and delivered.

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For Bird, every game was the same for him because he had always been ready. More importantly, he never ran short in mental and physical toughness because he worked tirelessly to be in his best form at all times.

"I don't know. Because going into those games, you never knew what was gonna happen. But I always had enough confidence in my game, and I put in the time and the hard work," Bird told ESPN when asked how he was able to rise to the occasion during big games. "I never really felt the pressure."

Larry was all about playing hard
Looking at Bird's legendary career, only a few would question his guts. But while he never felt pressure whenever the game was on the line, "The Hick from French Lick" admitted that one thing always kept him bothered heading into the game.

According to Bird, his confidence and work ethic never allowed him to succumb to pressure, but on the other hand, he still knew that everything could happen in a ball game. Hence, the thought of being unsure about whether he would be able to perform at his best or not, depending on how the game played out, was perhaps the only thing that gave him cold feet.

"The only thing I was always worried about was how I was going to perform because I wanted to perform at a high level for myself. And you never knew that until you stepped on the court," Bird revealed.

Larry's mind was somewhere else

Worried or not about how his performance would be, Bird guaranteed a spectacular showing more often than not. Why? Because Larry Legend was like a car engine, once he got himself going on the court, not one player could stop him from performing at a high level.

Some may say there was nothing special about that, as Bird wasn't the only NBA star who could keep going once he was in the zone. However, what made Larry Legend unique was that he wasn't even focused on the game itself, and it happened on a nightly basis.

"I have no idea [where that came from]," Bird once told his former Boston Celtics teammate Kevin McHale in a one-on-one interview. "... There's games out there, Kevin, I tell people. They won't believe me, but we'd be playing really well. And the press was [like], 'What were you thinking when you made it? [I'm like], 'I wasn't thinking. I was thinking about my grandmother, wondering how she was doing today'... People don't understand that, but that's how I did. A lot of times, we'd run a play. I know what the play was, but my mind might be somewhere else."

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Source: basketballnetwork

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