Bird’s injury woes are a real shame, especially considering how lethal he still was in his ninth season. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, the surgeon who operated on his back would later wonder how it was even possible for him to play professional basketball in his condition. I don't think that had anything to do with playing style. At least 106 people shot, 14 fatally, in Chicago weekend violence, Watch live: Gov. I think the Bulls would've had a tougher time. Despite being in constant pain and already a shell of his former self -- the surgeon who operated on his back would later wonder how it was even possible for him to play professional basketball in his condition -- he led the Celtics to records of 52-30, 56-26, and 51-31 the next three seasons. He definitely would've had a long career without injuries. Larry Bird is nicknamed Larry Legend for a reason: He did legendary things on the basketball court. In 1990, he broke a small bone in his back … But that's it. The catcher missed the next three weeks with an injury. It wouldn't be the NBA anymore, it would be the LBA. Woolf looked on, in sheer panic. They may still have been upset by the 89-90 Knicks (45-37), only because Ewing had a monster series and the first round was still a best of five, but you have to like their chances with Bird at full health against a team they beat 4-1 in the regular season. J.B. Pritzker gives a coronavirus update, After Twitter outcry, 5 women detail Chris D’Elia’s alleged sexual improprieties. Also, could he have been competitive in the mid 90s against the Bulls? The domino effect of a revitalized Celtics franchise in the early 90s would be hard to predict. Bird played first base. He had a quintessential old man game. He missed 37 games last season with back problems. The Celtics were favorites to challenge for the title early in each of those seasons, but would ultimately see early exits from the playoffs, with Bird significantly limited those latter two postseasons. Yea, the Celtics might have won the first or maybe the second one but they wouldn't be able to stop the late 90s bulls. 33 was retired, Bird was in obvious pain and often stood while videotaped footage from his career was shown on large screens. He was throwing himself after every loose ball, always showed up to games if he was capable of playing (or even when not capable) so who knows. Bird, 36, has a history of back troubles, including sciatica, a nerve pain connected with disk problems. Larry Bird is forced to retire because of a bad back. Also, is there a possibility that the Celtics might have knocked off the Bad Boy Pistons in 88 or 89? It's in the 30 for 30 with Magic on ESPN. Jordan was too good with pippen. Retired Boston Celtics superstar Larry Bird underwent back surgery at New England Baptist Hospital Friday to alleviate recurring pain. 1987 … In part because of how he played, but also because of the lack of good medicine, and he injured it really badly off court making a driveway for his mom. Larry Bird's stat line is really impressive. Bird's bad back forced him to retire in August after 13 years in the NBA. I definitely can't imagine a healthy Bird averaging just 15.5/6.4/6.2 on terrible .510 TS% his last two years in the playoffs. I think we all at least agree that Larry Bird's coaching career would have been longer if he had a healthier back. Officials at New England Baptist Hospital said Bird was expected to make a full recovery in six to eight months. If he was able to have an injury free career then I imagine the whole landscape of the NBA at the time would have changed. Maybe one less championship in the early 90s. Plus, the bone spurs were a big factor too. BOSTON - Former Boston Celtics star Larry Bird was resting comfortably yesterday after undergoing five hours of back fusion surgery. The fusion surgery reportedly involved shaving strips from Bird's pelvic bone and placing them vertically alongside his vertebrae to strengthen the damaged area and ease the pain that has plagued him. The operation was performed Friday by Dr. Alexander Wright, chief of spinal surgery at the hospital, who operated on Bird in June 1991 to correct a disk problem in his lower back. In 1990, he broke a small bone in his back in a fall during training camp. In 1990, he broke a small bone in his back falling in training camp. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. With him at full strength, they probably would have beaten the Pistons in 1991, setting up an epic Eastern Conference Finals against Jordan and the Bulls. Retired Boston Celtics superstar Larry Bird underwent back surgery at New England Baptist Hospital Friday to alleviate recurring pain. Press J to jump to the feed. Doctors will not know for six to 12 months whether the operation has been successful. I think if he stayed healthy he would be one of top 5 best of all time. Despite the best efforts of trainer Dan Dyrek, Bird suffered with back problems the rest of his career, although Dyrek was instrumental in helping Bird be able to play the last half of his career. I doubt they had the depth and talent to beat the Bulls once they matured into a championship team, but they would have made several deep(er) runs in the playoffs and Bird would have greatly improved his own personal resume. Maybe, with Bird's career extended, the Celtics don't suffer through the rest of the 90s. A foul ball was hit between home plate and first. Larry Bird Association. Maybe Bird is better remembered by the current generation instead of being largely anonymous in popular culture. Bird has a history of back troubles, including sciatica, a nerve pain connected with disc problems. Both remained on the ground for several seconds. Well before Lebron Larry Bird was probably the undisputed best forward in basketball history. And yet in the time since he retired in 1993, many have forgotten how … Bird's bad back forced him to announce his retirement last Aug. 18 after 13 years in the NBA. In the stands was his agent, Bob Woolf. Bird's bad back forced him to retire in August after 13 years in the NBA. How much better would the Celtics have played in the regular season with their leader healthy and present? The fusion surgery involved shaving strips from Bird's pelvic bone and placing them vertically alongside his vertebrae to strengthen the damaged area and ease the pain. Honorable Mentions – Larry Bird, Charles Barkley. Then again Bird had injury issues because of how he played. Instead of a 13 year career (the last three years of which were interrupted with back injuries) with 21791 points, 8974 rebounds, 5695 assists, he'd probably end up with something like 15 years and (assuming he returned to pre-1988 form) 26000 points, 10000 rebounds, 7000 assists -- significant improvements all around. He missed 37 games last season with back problems. They also probably would have beaten the Cavs in 1992, who they took to 7 games despite Bird playing just 4 games and limited to 11 points in under 27 minutes per game -- the same Cavs team that took the Bulls to 7 games in the next round. Larry started experiencing significant back problems in the 89-90 season, after returning from surgery to remove bone spurs from both heels. Bird, 36, has a history of back troubles, including sciatica, a nerve pain connected with disk problems. He missed 37 games during the 1991-1992 season. RELATED:Â Reducing Low-Back Pain: What You Need to Know Read More >> But Bird, having endured significant back pain since 1985 and knowing full well the details of his contract, told Gavitt he had made up his mind and wasn't going to take money he didn't earn. Celtics might have stolen one from the bulls. The spinal fusion operation was performed by Dr. Alexander Wright, chief of spinal surgery at the hospital, who operated on Bird in June 1991 to ease pressure on discs and nerves in his lower back. If Larry were to not injure his back and have consistent 1900 point seasons he might have broken 30,000 points. A subreddit dedicated for NBA news and discussion. He injured his back paving his mothers driveway. During ceremonies Feb. 4 at Boston Garden, when his No. Bird is the only non-center to win three consecutive MVP awards (1984-86). Over his last three seasons, Bird still averaged an incredible 21.6/9.2/7.2 on 47/37/92 shooting splits, but he missed 66 regular season games and 7 playoff games over that span. While I can't imagine them winning, they definitely would have put up more of a fight than the Pistons, who got swept by the Bulls and walked off the court before the final buzzer. Larry started experiencing significant back problems in the 89-90 season, after returning from surgery to remove bone spurs from both heels. Bird eventually got up and returned to first base. Bird and the ISU catcher collided. The spinal … Maybe their battles with the Bulls take just enough out of them that they don't win their first three in a row and Jordan doesn't retire early in 1993. Back injuries have hurt or ended the careers of athletic greats such as Larry Bird, Dwight Howard and Marian Hossa.