Larry Bird Was a Power Forward, NOT a SF

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Larry Bird Was a Power Forward, NOT a SF 

Post#1 » by pinkblackattack » Thu Mar 6, 2014 3:06 am

This misnomer keeps getting spread around lazily by uneducated people that Bird was a Small Forward, thus making it easier for said uneducated people to suggest he was a bad defender, or "slow", or "unathletic", which makes any comparisons to Bron not only pointless and stupid, but ignorant.

Couple facts:

1.) He was drafted out of ISU as a POWER FORWARD.

2.) He started the first FIVE seasons of his career (80-84) at POWER FORWARD. (even basketball-ref shows this) Some argue that at this time he was just simply a "combo forward", which really isn't the case at all. He was so versatile he COULD and DID play some minutes at SF (same way early Duncan played spot minutes at C), but the fact is he led the Celts in rebounding his first FOUR seasons (yes, even over Robert Parish) and Maxwell was nowhere even CLOSE (Bird basically doubled Max's rebounding in 84). Small forwards don't typically go around averaging 10.5 rebounds a game their first SIX seasons in the league. People will try and use Shawn Marion as an excuse, but Marion played POWER FORWARD in Phoenix most years, and he didn't have to contend with any other serious glass cleaner as Amare was and always has been a mediocre rebounder at best.

3.) The ONLY reason he was moved to the 3 is b/c McHale became so good KC had to stick him in the starting lineup. They essentially started 2 PF's in the lineup, and it was only successful b/c both Bird and McHale were versatile defenders who could guard multiple positions (especially McHale before his foot got messed up).

4.) Even Michael Jordan said, and I quote: "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."

5.) When you view Bird as A POWER FORWARD, which he was, you see his "athleticism" in a completely different light. Hell, even his first 7 seasons he was well above average athletically even if you view him as a SF.

But as a PF...he was basically the precursor to the stretch 4 we see today. Only quicker and more agile. Had the same vert as Karl Malone (28''). Had a more than respectable wingspan and standing reach. Was closer to 6-10 than 6-9, and literally dwarfed most "small forwards" from his era.

6.) People lie and claim they "hid" Bird on defense. Uh...NO. Bird guarded MOSTLY PF's. Watch ACTUAL tape. Yes he defended some SF's and even some Centers, but NO Small Forward, especially from that era, is gonna stand toe to toe with Moses Malone on the glass, or guard Kevin Willis well. Bird was able to do that, and do is consistently well. His schtick on defense was playing cornerback; they already had shotblockers in McHale and Parish, Bird provided the roaming baseline to baseline action they needed to annoy teams.

7.) And this is the big one here, that should put an end to this idiotic nonsense about Bird vs. Lebron or this and that (btw Lebron still has a LOT to prove before he can even be compared to Bird, Small Forward or not) -

http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=combined&type=per_game&per_minute_base=36&lg_id=NBA&is_playoffs=N&year_min=&year_max=&franch_id=&season_start=1&season_end=-1&age_min=0&age_max=99&height_min=0&height_max=99&birth_country_is=Y&birth_country=&is_active=&is_hof=&is_as=&as_comp=gt&as_val=&pos_is_g=Y&pos_is_gf=Y&pos_is_f=Y&pos_is_fg=Y&qual=&c1stat=trb_per_g&c1comp=gt&c1val=10&c2stat=g&c2comp=gt&c2val=500&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&c5stat=&c5comp=gt&c6mult=1.0&c6stat=&order_by=ws


That's a list of all the forwards in NBA HISTORY who averaged 10+ rebounds/game for their career in atleast 500 games. ONLY forwards, so no Centers masquerading as PF's like Duncan, or guys that split time between the positions, only TRUE forwards.

EIGHT GUYS. 8.

Malone, Barkley, Rodman, Bird, Debucherre, Garnett, Hairston, and Baylor.

3 of those guys played in an era where stats are so skewed and overrated as to not even be taken seriously, especially Baylor's. They'll never be duplicated again, for good reason.

Since the MERGER though, only FIVE forwards in NBA HISTORY have averaged 10+ boards a game for their career.

Bird and four other PF's.

And NO ONE tries to claim Rodman, or Barkley were "combo forwards" or "small forwards". Just because you start your career as a SF in their case, doesn't mean they didn't play the significant portion of their careers at the 4, b/c that's EXACTLY what they did.

So...

either Bird is BY FAR the greatest rebounding SF in modern NBA history, who was able to guard and fight guys on the glass like Moses Malone and Kevin Willis...and who outrebounded Kevin freakin McHale every season, and even Parish most of the time.

Or He's just the greatest PASSING PF of all time, who btw, unlike most true SF's, didn't play a second at point forward, and who accumulated just about every single assist out of the high or low post.

Which one sounds more realistic? Exactly...

Just b/c he's labeled as a SF doesn't mean that's what he was.
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Re: Larry Bird Was a Power Forward, NOT a SF 

Post#3 » by The Infamous1 » Thu Mar 6, 2014 3:22 am

Bird was a good help defender and a below average man defender. He would get torched by today's SF and PF's routinely.

Imagine him trying to guard melo or blake :lol:
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Re: Larry Bird Was a Power Forward, NOT a SF 

Post#4 » by pinkblackattack » Thu Mar 6, 2014 3:22 am



So you basically are trolling me with asinine lists made by websites without anything other than a single word and no worthwhile comeback.

I type out like a page, explain what I'm talking about, and you just use a pathetic jerk-like comment? :lol:

That's cute dude. But try again. And try watching some TAPE. And YOU'RE "wrong". By a longshot. Come at me with something better than copypasted links to the usual fodder.
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Re: Larry Bird Was a Power Forward, NOT a SF 

Post#5 » by The Infamous1 » Thu Mar 6, 2014 3:24 am

And I agree about the point forward thing, but many people have gone back and try to rewrite history as if bird ever did that or could do that role. He simply didnt have the ball handling ability


Lebron and Pippen are point forwards they can be a teams primary playmaker,ball handler, and run the offense....basically the defacto point guard for entire games. Not true for bird. He was a great big man passer and occasional primary playmaker out of the post. Kinda like cwebb or KG.
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Re: Larry Bird Was a Power Forward, NOT a SF 

Post#6 » by pinkblackattack » Thu Mar 6, 2014 3:25 am

The Infamous1 wrote:Bird was a good help defender and a below average man defender. He would get torched by today's SF and PF's routinely.

Imagine him trying to guard melo or blake :lol:


I peruse the site a lot, and aren't you that guy that hates on Bird randomly. Did he steal your girlfriend or something? Or just torch your team.

Yea those 3 All NBA Defensive teams, those are 3 more than Melo and Blake combined, both of whom are AVERAGE defenders at BEST.

Bird would guard them just fine. He'd be the only one TORCHING them though. And I'm pretty sure Melo "torches" a lot of guys in today's no defense league. Fake laughs don't work buddy. Again, try something better than hyperbole and butthurt feelings.

:lol: ----> real laugh.
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Re: Larry Bird Was a Power Forward, NOT a SF 

Post#7 » by pinkblackattack » Thu Mar 6, 2014 3:27 am

The Infamous1 wrote:And I agree about the point forward thing, but many people have gone back and try to rewrite history as if bird ever did that or could do that role. He simply didnt have the ball handling ability


watch some tape buddy boy. bird had EXCELLENT ball handling for a POWER FORWARD, especially on the break.

And again, he wasn't a point forward, b/c he was a POWER FORWARD. Jimmy Rodgers tried to turn him into one, and Bird shut that down quick. Power forwards don't handle the ball in the half court set.


Lebron and Pippen are point forwards they can be a teams primary playmaker,ball handler, and run the offense....basically the defacto point guard for entire games. Not true for bird. He was a great big man passer and occasional primary playmaker out of the post. Kinda like cwebb or KG.


So basically you just made my point for me. lmfao.
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Re: Larry Bird Was a Power Forward, NOT a SF 

Post#8 » by Clyde Frazier » Thu Mar 6, 2014 3:32 am

pinkblackattack wrote:


So you basically are trolling me with asinine lists made by websites without anything other than a single word and no worthwhile comeback.

I type out like a page, explain what I'm talking about, and you just use a pathetic jerk-like comment? :lol:

That's cute dude. But try again. And try watching some TAPE. And YOU'RE "wrong". By a longshot. Come at me with something better than copypasted links to the usual fodder.


Not trolling at all. Your incorrect rant wasn't worth responding to any further when the general consensus among anyone who follows basketball is that bird was a SF. Just like duncan is a PF (or was for the majority of his career), iverson was a SG, west was a SG (although more debatable as back then players were really just considered guards), etc.

Why is it so unbelievable to you that a prototypical SF with size could average 10+ RPG? Bird was a small forward for the majority of his career, plain and simple.
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Re: Larry Bird Was a Power Forward, NOT a SF 

Post#9 » by rrravenred » Thu Mar 6, 2014 3:32 am

Either keep it polite or refrain from posting, please.
ElGee wrote:You, my friend, have shoved those words into my mouth, which is OK because I'm hungry.


Got fallacy?
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Re: Larry Bird Was a Power Forward, NOT a SF 

Post#10 » by Warspite » Thu Mar 6, 2014 3:35 am

The other crazy thing about Bird is that in the half court he was the PG after Tiny retired. Neither DJ or Ainge were PGs but it worked when Bird could avg 5-7apg.


I just dont recall thinking that my teams SF is going to go off playing the Celtics. You have to understand that Birds Celtics didnt have to play defense untill maybe the last few mins because they were so good on offense you had to have a great game to stay in the building.

I was watching a Pistons/Celtics game last week. McHale had 51pts Bird 36pts and Parish 30pts. The Pistons were able to score 110pts but the Celtics put up 144. Maybe in today snail ball slow pace you could take advantage of Bird but I dont think most NBA teams could score 120pts on a college team and Birds Celtics could put up 120 pts on the every team.
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Re: Larry Bird Was a Power Forward, NOT a SF 

Post#11 » by pinkblackattack » Thu Mar 6, 2014 3:40 am

Clyde Frazier wrote:

Not trolling at all. Your incorrect rant wasn't worth responding to any further when the general consensus among anyone who follows basketball is that bird was a SF. Just like duncan is a PF (or was for the majority of his career), iverson was a SG, west was a SG (although more debatable as back then players were really just considered guards), etc.

Why is it so unbelievable to you that a prototypical SF with size could average 10+ RPG? Bird was a small forward for the majority of his career, plain and simple.


No you're trolling. And you're also being narcissistic and rude as hell. My post was not only more than "worth " reading, but yours was a pathetic attempt at being a smartass.

Rant? Wasn't even CLOSE to a rant. Nor was it remotely CLOSE to "incorrect". so my ability to write my thoughts out online and provide insight and stats and history is hard for you to understand or read?

Should I have just acted intellectually challenged and wrote 2 lines like you did?

The fact is, as I ALREADY explained, Bird was forced to move to SF by his coach, and would be the only SF in modern NBA history to have 10+ boards a game for his career. Bird was a great rebounder, but a LEGENDARY passer, which makes it all the more "believable" that he was simply a passing savant at PF.

What is so hard for YOU to understand by reading what I actually WROTE.

TRY READING IT. Put on your glasses, take out a dictionary, and READ IT. Watch some tape. Like for example, how Bird scored primarily from the pick and roll, pick and pop, or on post ups...sort of like Malone and Dirk.

Then come back civilized instead of like a troll. If you think I'm incorrect about something, explain what the heck you mean.
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Re: Larry Bird Was a Power Forward, NOT a SF 

Post#12 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Mar 6, 2014 4:52 am

So this thread went bad right from the beginning, and it's clear it's not getting better.

pinkblackattack, I understand you're frustrated with the initial responses here, but you responding with such condescension would only ever make things worse. If you want to start threads here, you've got to solicit opinions, and you've got to have some patience for those with differing opinions. If you want nothing but to bloviate, start a blog.

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