Picture Perfect: When Dr. J Put Larry Bird & Kevin McHale On A Poster

There are so many forms of awesome in this pic that I don't want to even waste words trying to build it up. Ready? Here it goes.

1. Dr. J's mini-fro so aerodynamically proportioned here, it's not even funny. That's the thing, though. Was there any NBA player who enjoyed their celebrity in the '80s more and probably had sex with more women than Julius Erving? Think about it. Ladies loved the guy (just ask JaVale McGee's mama). His interviews were always smooth as newborn baby skin. The 'fro was never not in tip-top condition, regardless of length. He was a dunking machine and chicks dig dunks. Seriously, outside of Magic Johnson - and I'm sure the gap between Magic and #2 is probably wide - but being Dr. J in the '80s had to be dope as hell. It just had to be.

2. Who the hell did Larry Bird think he fooling? And Kevin McHale, too? Combined, their vertical in this picture had to be something south of eight and a half inches off the ground. Look where there hands are in relation to the ball. They stood no chance.

3. Bostonians have hilarious accents, so hearing the collective "FAWK!" from the crowd would have been awesome, too.

4. The Converses! The Nikes!

5. Dr. J definitely has the "motherfucker" face. You know, the kind of face when you dunk the ball and scream at the top of your lungs, "Motherfucker, get off me!,"  or some variation of that. At the park, this either leads to a fight or the game being stopped for like a minute because the entire park went apeshit. That's another thing. There aren't many greater basketball moments than when someone gets dunked on at the park and it feels like the entire park shuts down for a good five minutes. Is it over exaggeration? Of course it is, but when a "motherfucker dunk" presents itself, you've got to treat it as such. "Motherfucker dunks" are the shit. I have no clue why I'm cursing so much.

In all seriousness though, the Boston/Philadelphia rivalries from the '80s were must-see-TV but never quite get their just due because of Boston's decade long power struggle with the Lakers, and later Detroit. In an ideal world which has long since passed, Boston and Philly meet again in the playoffs this year headlined by the Rajon Rondo/Jrue Holliday slugfest and the Andrew Bynum/Kevin Garnett cold war in the post. A "motherfucker dunk" from Bynum on Garnett as the trailer on a fast break would have been appreciated, too.

In an ideal world.

12 Replies to “Picture Perfect: When Dr. J Put Larry Bird & Kevin McHale On A Poster”

  1. A few things.
    1. If you know you have a chance of being posterized every night, you should groom your arm pit hair.
    2. The look on the other sixer's face (my limited basketball knowledge not helping me here) is priceless. He's in awe.
    3. Kevin McHale is from the same hometown as Robert Zimmerman aka Bob Dylan, Hibbing, Minnesota. I injured McHale's nephew in both soccer and hockey. So Dr. J and I have something in common. Kind of.

  2. Very good piece.

    Lost in the hype over Magic vs Bird, Celtics vs. Lakers was a tremendous rivalry between the Sixers and Celtics. The pinnacle was '81-'82 when they traded game 7 wins in two epic showdowns. If you can catch those on Classic, you won't be disappointed.

    In the eight years from '80-'87, the Eastern Conference was a closed shop. Boston went to the Finals five times and Philadelphia three.

  3. Great photo.

    However, fouled on the play by Bird, did not complete the dunk.

    3:03, fourth quarter, Game 7, '82 ECF.

    1. Thank you for your reply! I've been saying this for years! He was fouled and missed the dunk. However, I love this photo!! I was 13 years old and remember this like yesterday. Philadelphia was my team!!

    2. Thank you for the post. I've been telling people for years that Doc was fouled on the attempt. But, the photo is still sweet!

  4. Mchale and parish effectively made it almost impossible for a late in his career Doc to operate with that limited offensive team. Doc is still my favorite player ever and that sixer team played their hearts out to win in 82.

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