Bird: Portrait of a Competitor by Roland Lazenby

By Roland Lazenby

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Extra info for Bird: Portrait of a Competitor

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In the negotiations for Bird's rookie contract, his agent, the late Bob Woolf, argued that as a dominant player Bird was worth $1 million per year. Auerbach attempted to counter that centers, occasionally guards, dominated NBA play, but never forwards, never from the corner of the floor. But over the course of his career, Bird proved that his passing demoralized opponents almost as much as his three-point shot. "I grew up all of a sudden," he once said of his adolescence. "I was a guard as a sophomore and junior in high school, before I grew up.

If it goes in, it goes in. " Even during his slumps, Bird could use his rebounding, passing and other skills to control the outcome. Of these "other" skills at Bird's disposal, it was his passing that set him apart from other forwards. In the negotiations for Bird's rookie contract, his agent, the late Bob Woolf, argued that as a dominant player Bird was worth $1 million per year. Auerbach attempted to counter that centers, occasionally guards, dominated NBA play, but never forwards, never from the corner of the floor.

However deep their disappointment, the Lakers quickly recovered back home in the Forum. Magic had a Finals-record 21 assists, and Showtime rolled to a 137-104 win. Bird was outraged at Boston's flat performance. "We played like a bunch of sissies," he said afterward. "I know the heart and soul of this team, and today the heart wasn't there, that's for sure. A. come out and push us around like they did. Today I didn't feel we played hard. " The next day the Los Angeles papers began touting Worthy as the series MVP, a development that infuriated the Boston players.

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