Kent Benson had to face Larry Bird’s wrath in the NBA after forcing him to return home only 24 days after joining Indiana University

Kent Benson had to face Larry Bird’s wrath in the NBA after forcing him to return home only 24 days after joining Indiana University

Larry Legend was hellbent on teaching his former teammate a lesson.
Larry Bird’s iconic legacy spans from his time at Indiana State University to his illustrious years with the Boston Celtics. However, it’s easy to forget that ‘The Great White Hope’s’ college career originates at Indiana University.

During his brief stint as a Hoosier under legendary coach Bob Knight, Larry’s time in Bloomington was short-lived for various reasons, with one significant factor being Kent Benson. A startling twist saw Bird returning home after a mere 24 days, a consequence of bullying he faced from certain Hoosier veterans, notably Benson, the primary antagonist.

Intriguingly, the former No. 1 pick even attempted to prevent Bird from playing basketball at the time of his arrival. The frustration with Benson left a strong and long-lasting impression on Larry, which led the 3-time MVP to show levels to his former teammate when they clashed in the NBA, a sentiment well documented in the book Drive: The Story of My Life.

Larry torched Kent Benson in 1985

When Bird and his Celtics reigned supreme, seemingly invincible, Kent entered the hallowed court of Boston Garden, tasked with the challenge of guardian Kevin McHale.

Despite occupying different positions on the court, Larry was determined to help the ‘Herman Munster’ destroy Kent. As a result, the two-time Finals MVP assisted McHale throughout the game, helping him record 56 points (a franchise record at the time).

Notably, a significant portion of McHale’s scoring spree came when Benson was guarding him. This highlighted Bird’s strategy of prioritizing to make Benson look inferior to his teammate

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