Aug 9, 2011, 3:48 PM EDT
Larry Bird and Chris Mullin were two of the greatest pure shooters the game has ever seen. Bird is in the Hall of Fame, Mullin gets inducted Friday.
They were also both on the original Dream Team for the USA in the 1992 Olympics. This was Mullin at his peak and Larry Bird well past his, but they played the same role on the team — help space the floor as shooters. They took and made more threes than any other two players on that squad (Mullin shot 53.8 percent from three for the Olympics, Bird 33.3 percent).
One day, in a quiet and near-empty Barcelona gym, Bird and Mullin got into a shooting contest: man on man, match the other guy’s shot or you owe him a hundred bucks. Stays even if both guys make it.
“It was just basic shots – jumpers, bank shots, not like the McDonald’s commercial (laughter),” Mullin said. “I got off nice. After a while I had him by … quite a bit.”
Like, how much – a grand?
“More than that. I think I was up like 20 shots. So we’re talkin’ back and forth (Bird was a legendary trash talker), and he starts coming back. I’m thinking, we could go another 30 minutes. Somebody’s gonna win big here.
“Finally, he gets it back to zero,” Mullin said, “and he goes, ‘I’m out.’ Just cut off the game right there.”
What, he didn’t want to take you down?
“Nope. Says to me, ‘I ain’t never lost, and I ain’t … now.’ “
- Dwyane Wade agrees to one-year, $20 million deal to stay with Heat 8
- PBT Podcast: Talking best signings of free agency so far 0
- Report: Pacers agree to four-year, $44 million contract with Monta Ellis 22
- Report: Greg Monroe signing a maximum contract with Bucks 56
- Lakers, Knicks struggle on hectic first day of free agency 63
- Trail Blazers assistant coach: ‘We didn’t publicize it, but we lost LaMarcus Aldridge’ 9
- Who is left on the board after wild first day of NBA free agency? 30
- Report: Warriors, Draymond Green agree to five-year, $85 million deal 20