Jalen Rose recalls getting benched by Larry Bird in game 7 against MJ and the Bulls: “I was pissed”

Jalen Rose recalls getting benched by Larry Bird in game 7 against MJ and the Bulls: “I was pissed”

Rose was left perplexed after he was benched by Bird in the ECF against the Bulls after sinking two consecutive shots.

Retired NBA player Jalen Rose had his share of great performances in the NBA, especially when he was still with the Indiana Pacers.

Although he started his first two years with the Denver Nuggets, it was with the Pacers that he started to shine. This happened when NBA legend Larry Bird took over head coaching duties from Larry Brown.

Rose shares the time he frowned at Bird

The former Michigan Wolverine proved he was more effective as a small forward rather than a shooting guard. This resulted in Indiana making three consecutive Eastern Conference Finals.

However, the 2000 NBA Most Improved Player reveals that it was not always smooth sailing between him and Bird. He recalled the time he got benched by Bird in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals as his team was playing Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

“In that game, fourth quarter, I made two straight shots, and they called timeout. And in the timeout, he took me out of the game. I was pi**ed, and I ain’t going back in. So I basically took a shower pill and jumped on the bus. Like I was pi**ed, and I felt like I was going to sit in the back and not talk to the coaching staff,” the 13th overall pick of the 1994 NBA Draft recalled.

Rose admitted that he was so livid at the time but could not avoid crossing paths with “Larry Legend.”

“So I walked up and like, damn, Larry already on here. Just walking, I’m like a kid mad at their parents. Just walked past him without saying anything. Then he was like, Jalen…, he’s like, f**k, should have got you back out there. I was like, ain’t say nothing else about it, I let it go right then,” he added.

Bird thinks highly of Jalen Rose
Despite that incident, the fact is that the Boston Celtics legend thought highly of Rose and that he is one of the best players he signed in the early 2000s. He points out how the versatility of the 6-foot-8 player was something that NBA teams should have seriously considered heading into the decade.

“I just feel that anytime you go out in free agency, or anytime you go into the draft, you’ve got to get players that can play multiple positions. Jalen Rose is the best thing to have on your team,” the 12-time All-Star said in 2001 via ESPN.

“He plays three positions. So, when you look to build a team or go out to try to pick up a free agent, you just can’t pick up a point guard that can just play one position. You’ve got to be able to play a couple of positions,” Bird added.

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BY BRIAN YALUNG
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