Dennis Rodman has recently turned heads for a multitude of reasons, but none have taken on the magnitude that his comments regarding that of Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird have.
The Chicago Bulls legend was asked to weigh in about his thoughts on Gilbert Arenas saying that Bird in his prime would beat LeBron James in a one-on-one matchup. Arenas wasn’t saying that Bird is better than James, but rather that a one-on-one matchup favors the former’s style of play.
Rodman seemed flustered, jokingly offering to leave instead of answering the question. Though, he chose to answer the question differently, stating that Bird, one of the greatest players of all time and a basketball Hall of Famer, would be playing on an entirely different continent.
“If Larry Bird played in this era, I think he’d be in Europe,” he said. “He’d be somewhere over there. His game was fit for Boston at that time in the ’80s and stuff like that. Today’s world, oh hell no. There’s no way. I’m not downplaying him ’cause he’s a great player at that time, just like I was. But I’m saying, no, there’s no way.”
Rodman continued by saying that he thinks the kid from Denver—Nikola Jokić—is way better than Bird.
Agree or disagree with Rodman? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/6dEN04Odfb
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 26, 2023
Naturally, those in the NBA world had a lot to say on the matter and offered their thoughts on social media:
I HATE the Celtics, and I think todays players are better. That being said, Larry would still be a legend today. This is cap https://t.co/p2qbF2fcAx
— Nino Narcotics🤐 (@StevePerkel) June 27, 2023
Embarrassment to even post this idiocy. https://t.co/ESbXMBhYci
— Harvey Araton (@HarveyAraton) June 27, 2023
Dennis must be kidding or what the heck is he drinking ? LARRY BIRD WOULD BE A SUPERSTAR IN ANY ERA @celtics @NBA. The guy has it ALL / size- range-passing skills/ rebounds- anticipates & a FIERCE COMPETITOR!!Who agrees with Rodman?!https://t.co/irWfqnmqMK via @USATODAY
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) June 26, 2023
Dennis Rodman: “if Larry Bird played today he’d be in Europe there’s no way”
2 minutes of Larry Bird Vs Dennis Rodman: pic.twitter.com/XBjnwtaEHp
— Dr Skipper (@VictorySlap4700) June 26, 2023
“Larry Legend” would absolutely BUST UP some of these players today. He would be in contention for the MVP just as he was in his prime.
Don’t talk about the LEGEND like that! https://t.co/yMPtm9UAjA
— J. R. VanHoose (@JRVanHoose) June 26, 2023
Dennis Rodman is:
Correct Lebron & Jokic > Larry Bird (not a knock AT ALL!)
Absolutely incorrect he’d be in Europe. He’d be Top-5 player now.
Also only defender in NBA history w/any success in “containing” Bird
…which may influence his opinion except almost no Rodmans since. https://t.co/La18kFh7Ma
— #StopCopCity (@ChuckModi1) June 26, 2023
Dennis Rodman’s opinions on Larry Bird were beyond idiotic 36 years ago, and nothing has changed.
— Chad Finn (@GlobeChadFinn) June 26, 2023
Going on a limb here to say Larry Bird was the most confident, most intimidating player of the 1980s. I think it is why he's so disrespected by later generations of fans. https://t.co/UukLABr2C9
— Sergeant–Sarge for Short (@SergeantMartee) June 26, 2023
Dennis must still be scarred cause geez that’s an awful take https://t.co/tLiSpiDOJW
— Dime Dropper (@DimeDropperPod) June 26, 2023
Larry Bird would be a Top 5 Player in the NBA today. This take by Rodman is absolutely ridiculous. https://t.co/jm0IjJtDSb
— Sam Block (@theblockspot) June 26, 2023
Insane take Larry’s game was timeless dude would have modern day defenses in hell https://t.co/g9vf87QD4Q
— Kevin (@Easilyy) June 27, 2023
1. There’s a MASSIVE gap between Jokic and playing in Europe, including literally every player in the nba
2. It sucks that it’s so easy to get engagement from posting these dumb takes
3. The “kid from Denver” ?!?? https://t.co/6tFKr3RBRD
— Brett Hanfling (@Brett_Hanfling) June 26, 2023
Larry Bird tuned up Dennis Rodman as a rookie…. it became a big controversy in the 87 ECF.
That's where this is coming from.
I disagree. https://t.co/e7NvlJbLPq
— NewDemocrat4Life (@reesetheone1) June 26, 2023
oh Dennis–haven't we already gone down this path. Just stop. Bird would be even better in today's era. value of 3pt shot, passing, ballhandling from his position. He's literally the ideal modern era frontcourt player. https://t.co/Ftof9hGRRT
— Greg Skaljac (@Beeskal) June 26, 2023
Needless to say, there was probably no reason to amplify these comments, as Rodman has shown some level of disdain for Bird for nearly 40 years. It’s fair to say that the masses did not agree with his take.
[USA Today, VladTV]