Who do you believe is the most underrated rebounder of all-time?
This isn’t a topic that’s discussed about all too often, because of the way the game has evolved. It’s now more focused on what’s happening on the perimeter. But as per-usual, rebounding is such an important aspect of the game, and Larry Bird was a player who I never felt was given as much respect for it. Many have high regard for his brilliant scoring and ball-distribution, but the work that he put on the boards made him more than a complete player for the Boston Celtics.
Through his first five seasons in the NBA (1979-1985), Larry averaged AT LEAST 10 rebounds a game, along with two offensive. You have to remember that throughout his prime, Bird played on a team full of solid rebounders, and that included Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish, and Cedric Maxwell.
Bird, of course, later came down with many issues with his back, which ultimately forced him to retire. But that wasn’t the only reason, guys. He also believed that the game wasn’t as competitive to him anymore, which was understandable. However, even with his career winding down, he still finished his final season with rebounding dominance. The 35 year-old pulled down 9.6 a game.
Bird finished with 8,974 career rebounds in his 13-seasons, and I believe if he’d played for maybe 3-4 more years, it would’ve been WAY more than what it stands right now.
Amazing. Larry Bird to me, is no question the most under-appreciated rebounder this game will probably ever see. His simple passion to play the game is why he’s one of the greatest athletes of all-time.
By Isiah Curry