Bird was showing me it was all business, and I was beneath him” – Michael Jordan on how Larry Bird put him in his place in 1984

Bird was showing me it was all business, and I was beneath him” – Michael Jordan on how Larry Bird put him in his place in 1984

“Larry Legend” sent MJ a message even before he made his NBA debut.

Before competing in the 1984 Olympics, the USA men’s basketball team played a series of exhibition games against NBA All-Stars. Led by Michael Jordan, a group of college guys embarrassed the pros, with the North Carolina product wowing the basketball world.

MJ had yet to make his NBA debut, but he already announced himself as the next big thing. Still, the likes of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird wouldn’t let the young prodigy steal their spotlight that easily. That’s why the latter put Jordan in his place with one simple gesture.

During the pregame warmup one night in Indianapolis, an Olympic team ball bounced to the pros’ end of the floor. Jordan chased after it. Larry Bird picked it up. Instead of handing the ball to Jordan, Bird sneered and kicked it back over Jordan’s head. My world and welcome to it. ‘Bird was showing me it was all business now, and I was beneath him,’ says Jordan. ‘I didn’t forget,'” Curry Kirkpatrick wrote for Sports Illustrated.

Magic and Bird were also on the NBA squad that competed against college stars. However, they were no match for MJ. and Co., with Team USA beating the pros in eight consecutive contests.

Even though the All-Star roster varied from game to game, it featured the likes of Isiah Thomas, Kevin McHale, Bill Walton, Robert Parish, James Worthy, and Clyde Drexler, along with the two aforementioned legends.

Meanwhile, Jordan was joined by Chris Mullin, Sam Perkins, and Patrick Ewing, with several future Hall of Famers, including John Stockton, Karl Malone, and Charles Barkley, not making Bob Knight’s team.

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