Michael Jordan reveals how he earned Celtics legend Larry Bird’s respect after recording a 63-point playoff game, and that too in his second season

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Back in the 80s, the league was pretty much ruled by Magic Johnson‘s LA Lakers and Larry Bird‘s Boston Celtics since both the teams combined won 8 championships in that decade.

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Michael Jordan had to play his best to earn the legends’ respect. And that’s what he did in Game 2 of the 1986 Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

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MJ lost that match and the series but he earned Larry Legend’s respect. He dropped 63 points on the Celtics.

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Still to this day, that’s the highest scoring by a player in an NBA playoffs match. As a matter of fact, MJ appears 4 times in the top 10 highest individual scoring games in the playoffs.

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After the match, Larry said:  “I think he’s God disguised as Michael Jordan”. 

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He further added ” he put on one of the greatest shows of all time. I couldn’t believe anybody could do that against the Boston Celtics”

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7 players from the Celtics tried to guard MJ that game, out of which 5 are Hall of Famers. But despite that feat, Jordan said “I’d much rather  be scoreless and win the game than lose the game and score 63 points.”

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Further, remembering the aftermath of that match Jordan said,  “He(Larry Bird) paid me the highest compliment. And I think that was very gratifying that I earned Larry Bird’s respect”.

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It was a hard-fought match.  The Celtics beat the Chicago Bulls by 135-131 in double OT. Boston swept the Bulls in that series and went on to win the championship that year.