For Championship Hopes to Soar, the Hornets Need a Bird

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Published: May 25, 2010

The cliché goes that putting together a title team is like putting together a puzzle. To that end, it is all about not only having enough pieces, but pieces that fit together; that compliment each other. If it were possible to go back and grab any all time great to add to this roster, we would surely improve no matter who we selected, but there can only be one who is the BEST fit for this particular Hornets roster. That player, my fellow Hornets fans, is Larry Bird.

Admittedly, Jordan and Bill Russell were the other two candidates who were right there with Bird when I looked back at the history of the NBA, but both of them overlapped other puzzle pieces that were in place in a way that Bird didn’t. For instance, Jordan dominates the ball and therefore Paul wouldn’t be at his absolute best. Russell would bring so much to the defensive end, but couldn’t play with Okafor due to their lack of offensive flexibility.

Bird, however, fills so many of the gaping holes that we have in our championship puzzle. He would instantly step into the starting small forward spot and give this team one of the best starting fives in the league. Rebounding was a huge weakness last year as the team only pulled down 40.3 boards per game last year and had a rebounding margin of -1.8. Our starting SF only managed to pull down 3.7 rebounds per game, leaving West and Okafor with too much responsibility on the glass.

But all that is a thing of the past, as we’ve kidnapped 1984 Larry Bird and put him in Hornets teal and all of a sudden made that frontline formidable. That year Bird averaged 10.5 boards- his sixth straight year in double digits. Not to mention he also put up 28.7 PPG and 6.6 APG on 52 percent shooting. He also shot 43 percent from three, and the advanced stats show that three-point percentage goes up when you play with CP3.

These are all the tangibles, but don’t forget the intangibles. Bird was a nasty competitor who would do whatever it took to win, and an attitude like that is contagious. Do you think Bird would let West or Okafor get away with giving 80 percent? He also becomes the end of game threat CP3 has never really had. Paul can make the last shot, but he would be much happier setting up someone else to do so. There is perhaps no player in the history of the game you would want catching a perfectly placed pass from CP3 with three seconds on the clock than Bird. It would be automatic.

And Lastly, let’s not forget the two teams we would have to go through to win it all. There is no player in the history of the game that loves beating LA more than Bird, and then in the Finals, something tells me Bird would be just fine heading into the Garden.

 

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