Who is Larry Bird's best teammate ever? Larry Legend had a lot of NBA All Star teammates over the course of his long and storied NBA career. Larry Bird's greatest teammates have included NBA champions, longtime journeyman, and talented rookies here and there. But who is the best Larry Bird teammate of all time? Which of Larry Bird teammates throughout his entire career do you love?
When it comes to Larry Bird's best teammates, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale have to be at the top. The trio joined forces to appear together in five NBA finals and won three championships for the Boston Celtics. Other Larry Bird teammates like Dennis Johnson, Cedric Maxwell, and Danny Ainge were instrumental in title runs alongside Bird as well. Lest we forget Larry Bird teammates such as, Bill Walton, Pete Maravich, Tiny Archibald, and Dave Cowens who are among some the best NBA players of all time.
Vote up the best Larry Bird teammates, and help decide which of Larry Bird's All Star teammates was #1.
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McHale was selected third overall in the 1980 NBA draft by the Celtics, and spent his first six seasons as a valuable bench player, backing up forwards Cedric Maxwell and Larry Bird, being twice named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year. After Maxwell was traded prior to the 1985–1986 season, McHale became a starter alongside Bird and center Robert Parish, where the three formed what is often considered the best front-court trio in NBA history. He won three NBA championships with the Celtics. Having already played in an NBA All-Star game as a bench player, after moving to starter, he played in an additional six All-Star games, and he was named all-NBA Defensive team six total times.
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Following the retirement of Dave Cowens, the Celtics organized a trade with the Warriors for Parish and a draft pick that they would use to select forward Kevin McHale. The two would join young star forward Larry Bird on the Celtics, forming what is often considered the greatest frontcourt in NBA history, appearing together in five NBA finals and winning three championships over seven seasons during the 1980s.
After an NCAA Final Four appearance in 1977, Maxwell was drafted by the Boston Celtics. He came off the bench his rookie year, but he was elevated to a starting small forward position for the 1979 season, a disappointing 29–53 team on which Maxwell was the lone bright spot. The following year, Larry Bird joined the Celtics, and the team started a resurgence that saw them become one of the dominant teams of the 1980s. Maxwell and Bird, along with Robert Parish and rookie Kevin McHale, won the NBA championship in 1981, where Maxwell was named Finals MVP. Maxwell and McHale would compete for the starting forward position over the next several seasons, with McHale eventually winning the starting job.
In the third act of this NBA career, Red Auerbach added the perennial All-Defensive Team member Dennis Johnson to the Celtics. Johnson joined a squad that included Hall of Famers Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish. With the Celtics, Johnson changed his playing style for the third time in his career - after being known as a slam dunking shooting guard with the Sonics, and an all-around scorer with the Suns, DJ established himself as a point guard who was defined more by playmaking than scoring. He won two NBA titles with the Celtics in 1984 and 1986.
Buffalo traded Archibald to the Boston Celtics as part of a 7-player deal before the start of the next season. His career at the Celtics started poorly. He showed up 20 pounds overweight. However, he adjusted and helped guide the Celtics to the best record in the NBA for three consecutive years (1979–1982). Archibald won his first and only NBA championship with the Boston Celtics in the 1980–81 season alongside young NBA star Larry Bird. In Game 6 of the 1981 NBA Finals, Archibald recorded 13 points and 12 assists as the Celtics closed out the series against the Houston Rockets.
Walton signed with the Celtics in 1985, after a prolonged courtship from the Lakers. Walton played a career-high 80 games for the Celtics during the 1986 season. Providing a reliable backup to Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, and playing alongside Larry Bird, Danny Ainge and Dennis Johnson, Walton received the 1986 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award en route to the NBA championship. He became the only player to have won an NBA Finals MVP, Sixth Man Award, and regular season MVP.