Larry Bird was a huge fan of Michael Jordan when they were both playing in the NBA. This past weekend, Jordan's documentary, The Last Dance, premiered, and it's all about his final year with the Chicago Bulls. However, during the second episode of the 10-part docuseries, it showed Jordan and the Bulls taking on Bird and the Celtics in the playoffs in 1986. The Celtics went on to win the series and the NBA Championship, but Jordan stole the show, as he scored 49 points in Game 1 and 63 points in Game 2, which is still an NBA record. Bird was interviewed for The Last Dance, and just had one thing to say about Jordan's performance.
"I've never seen it before, and I've never seen it after," Bird said. "That wasn't Michael Jordan, that was God disguised at Michael Jordan." Before the series, the Celtics knew how talented Jordan was at the time because he won Rookie of the Year in 1985. And while they were looking to slow Jordan down, Bird knew that wasn't possible. He said: "Our whole thing was just do what we can do to hold Michael down, but you don't hold the great ones down."
“That wasn’t Michael Jordan out there, that was God disguised as Michael Jordan.”
What a quote from Larry Bird pic.twitter.com/6m6LOotUY8— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) April 20, 2020
The Bulls may have lost to the Celtics in that series, but that was only a glimpse of what Jordan would become. He led the Bulls to their first NBA title in 1991, and they went on to win it again in 1992 and 1993. After taking some time off to play baseball, Jordan returned to the Bulls, and they won titles in 1996, 1997 and 1998, which was Jordan's final year in Chicago. The Last Dance not only takes a look at Jordan and his final season with the Bulls, but it also focuses on other players such as Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. Once the documentary was completed, Jordan was a little concerned about how fans would look at him once they started watching it.
"When people see this footage I'm not sure they're going to be able to understand why I was so intense, why I did the things I did, why I acted the way I acted, and why I said the things I said," The Last Dance director Jason Hehir said what Jordan told him, per The Athletic. "When you see the footage of [me riding with Scott Burrell], you're going to think that I'm a horrible guy. But you have to realize that the reason why I was treating him like that is because I needed him to be tough in the playoffs and we're facing the Indiana's and Miami's and New York's in the Eastern Conference. He needed to be tough and I needed to know that I could count on him."