Recently, ESPN’s JJ Redick made comments on Larry Bird & Steph Curry that had NBA legends and legacy fans up in arms- how day JJ attack one of the few NBA “untouchables.”
JJ told Stephen A. Smith and Chris “Maddog” Russo, “When I watch, let’s say Steph Curry, for example,” Redick continued, “When I watch Steph Curry off the ball in a playoff game getting grabbed and held by Marcus Smart, they’re attached to him at all times.”
On the day of his retirement from the Boston Celtics, when asked by reporters, Bird replied that Michael Cooper of the Los Angeles Lakers’ was his most formidable opponent. Larry Bird said, “The best defender I ever faced was definitely Michael Cooper.”
Considering Larry Bird’s rare praise of an opponent, it’s understandable that the always polite and mild mannered defensive legend, would take some offense to these thoughtless statements by Redick. “Coop” didn’t just get pissed off but, after Dominque Wilkins of the Atlanta Hawks called JJ’s statements to be “idiotic,” Bob Ryan of Goodman Ryan Tanguay Podcast questioned Redick’s basketball IQ, Nick Gelso, founder of CLNS, went on an extra-ordinary BoomerRANT, the 8x All-Defense and the league’s original “3 and D” player felt VERY talkative on the matter.
Mad Dog & JJ Reddick. This is gonna be a classic ?
[?: ESPN/youtube] pic.twitter.com/PprjLkPzkQ
— SplashBrosMuse (@SplashBrosMuse) February 15, 2023
Cooper was overseas when the ESPN aired the First Take segment and didn’t even know what was said until he returned late on Friday, February 25th, 1 week after the original airing of the ESPN segment, he immediately reached out CLNS to get his thoughts on record.
Recorded and released on Sunday that weekend, Cooper, in very uncharicteristic fashion, ranted on about the defensive physicality of the 1980’s, his experiences guarding Larry-Legend and he event went on to aim a harsh statement to Redick saying, “if you had played during the 80’s I’d have locked you up!” among other remarks in defense of Bird and the 1980’s players.
Throughout the epic 20 minute rant, the 1987 Defensive Player of the Year, cautioned fans and former players in the media from comparing decades, the 5x NBA champion said, “let’s leave comparisons to the fans…”
In typical fashion, Coop issued JJ an apology at the very end of the episode.
Michael Cooper, a defensive “monster” on the court in his day and a retired gentleman in his post playing career.
Subscribe to the Showtime with Coop Podcast on Apple Podcast and Spotify.
Ever wondered who Larry Bird considered to be the best defender he ever faced? Find out in this video! Boston Celtics legend and NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird called Michael Cooper of the Los Angeles Lakers “the best defender I ever faced.” Hear from ”Coop” about why he thought Bird was so formidable and how their battles on the court were some of his favorite memories.
Get ready to hear the incredible stories of how Larry Bird and Michael Cooper battled it out on the court, and how Cooper’s defensive skills ultimately earned him the defensive title from Larry-Legend. Don’t miss this chance to hear an all-time great talk about one of his toughest opponents.
Don’t miss this opportunity to get an inside look into Coop’s reply to J.J. REDICK’S Larry Bird comments and find out why he was so difficult to defender .