NBA: 30 greatest playmakers in NBA history

(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /
9 of 30
Larry Bird, Boston Celtics
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

22. Larry Bird, Boston Celtics

Larry Bird, a.k.a. “Larry Legend”, made a name for himself as one of the best pure shooters in the NBA. He created quite the legacy with the Boston Celtics, winning three NBA championships as one of greatest playmakers and scorers in the game.

Bird was a 12-time All-Star, 1979-80 NBA Rookie of the Year, a Finals MVP and a three-time regular season MVP in his time with Boston. During the Celtics run to the 1986 NBA title, Bird averaged 25.9 points, 9.3 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 2.1 steals per contest, making his Finals MVP selection a no-brainer by season’s end.

Bird wasn’t a walking triple-double, but his career production put him close to a triple-double average. He put up 24.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game. For his career, he racked up 54 triple-doubles.

While it didn’t look like much, they came in moments where his team needed it. In a series-deciding Game 6, he put up 29 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds against the Houston Rockets.

He wasn’t the most athletic player out there, but he used his basketball IQ to his advantage, making plays when his team needed him the most.