NBA, Pat's Sixers Blog, We Reminisce / Nov 9, 2009 / 3:30 pm

We Reminisce: Larry Bird and Dr. J Fight In Boston


Every day The700Level.com runs a feature called “Today in Philly Sports History.” Today’s feature looks back at this date in 1984 when Dr. J and Larry Bird basically tried to kill each other at the Boston Garden.

The700Level sets the stage:

Boston was well on their way to winning the game when the bad blood started. Bird had put up a tremendous 42 points and seven rebounds by the fourth quarter, and supposedly took every opportunity to remind the Doctor of his running tally. The bad vibes–heightened, no doubt, by a near half-decade-long playoff rivalry that had blossomed between the two teams–grew until the two stars eventually came to blows, inciting a bench-clearing brawl in the process. Avowed Celtics fan Bill Simmons, who was at the game as a young’n, described the experience as being like watching a fight between Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

Both players were ejected for the reaminder of the fourth quarter. The Celtics won the game, 130-119, and they went on to be the dominant team in the rivalry for the rest of the decade, making three further finals appearances to the Sixers’ zero.

The height of the confrontation was captured in one of the most memorable sports photos ever taken.

Source: The700Level

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  • Kermit The Washington

    Dr. J FTW

    I’ve been losing respect for Larry Bird recently. I know he wasn’t the only jerk out there as far as the superstars of the time, but he always looked 20 years older than everybody else, and therefore should’ve known better.

  • Kermit The Washington

    And these “Above The Rim” ads you guys have posted here have some of the sickest dunks ever done in the history of the world. TFB is NAAAAAASTY

  • Dagomar

    Kermit, so not only do you hate on Bird, but you like the ads that are absolutely saturating our screens now when we visit the site. I assume you’re a Wizards fan too. If so three strikes; you’re out.

  • sh!tfaced

    “…like watching a fight between Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.”

    Hah! Almost sounds like borderline gay.

    What happened after that pic then was when Barkley came over and pinned Bird’s arms behind his back so Dr J could a free shot.

  • Claw

    Bird was telling the 76ers to get somebody else to guard because the old man couldn’t stop him. Bird was an All Time Trash Talker, but if you can back it up its all good.

    Its not like DeShawn talking smack for the Wiz and he could be in the NBDL next week along with dude from Miami/Cleveland that was the self promoted best three point shooter. Was it Damon Jones?

  • Ian

    well an in his prime dr j would drop the same 42 back and dunk on the whole celts team

  • Captain Jean Luc-Picard

    Dr. J is black; Larry Bird is white: coincidence?

  • dagwaller

    I like both of these players – it would’ve been an ugly fight.

  • Promoman

    Dr. J & the 76ers were bitch-made in this instance. They had to jump Larry because Larry shut Dr. J’s ass down and dropped his own number on his ass too. It’s that much more of a bitch move by Dr. J & 76ers when you take into account that Larry was never a great 1 on 1 defender, unless the game was on the line.

  • KnicksFan84

    Good ole days of the NBA. NBA is in sissy mode now.

  • jditty

    Anybody know of a good way to watch some of these games now? I hear so much about the Sixers squad from the 80’s but I haven’t actually seen them play a whole game. Youtube maybe?

  • http://www.FireLuviSmith.bastard Chicagorilla

    Isn’t this the one where one Philly dude grabs Bird, then Doc comes over and starts throwing Jabs while the other guy is holding Bird? That shit was funny as hell. The only time I seen a player get “jumped” in the NBA.

  • Kaya Mann

    Bird wasn’t a great defender, but played with Hall of Fame Defensive players… Doc shoulda reminded Bird that he woulda put his “Nutz” in Birds mouth dunking on him 5 years prior!!!! Outta respect Bird shoulda shut his trap and just play – Karmas a Bit@h though – didn’t MJ put 63 on his Mighty Celtics 2 years later?????!!!

  • EXPO336


  • AWCroy

    Does anyone know anything about this picture? I think I have an original print and I’m trying to track down some background on it??

  • TJ

    in a interview bird said that the way he saw it the score was 42 to 6 and he let the good doctor know about it.. Bird was always running his mouth same with rick berry players just arent like that anymore the league is SOFT