Dennis Rodman says Larry Bird would play in Europe, not the NBA, in the modern era

Imagine Larry Bird playing in the modern NBA that emphasizes outside shooting.

Dennis Rodman can’t.

He said Bird wouldn’t be in the league…or even in the country.

“If Larry Bird was playing in this era, I think he would be in Europe,” Rodman said during an interview with VladTV. “I’m just warning you, man. He would be somewhere there. His game was worthy of Boston at that time in the 80s and stuff like that. The world today, oh fuck no, there’s no way. I don’t minimize him because he was a great player at that time, just like me, but I say no, it’s not possible.

So Bird, a 12-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion who shot 37.6% from deep in his career, would be playing overseas these days?

Rodman could argue that the modern game has become too fast, versatile and athletic for the 6-foot-9 bird, who is known more for his shooting prowess and basketball IQ than his ability to run and jump.

But Bird was the founding member of the NBA’s 50-40-90 club, shooting 50% from the field, 40% from 3-pointers and 90% from the free-throw line in one season. And he’s one of only three players to do so repeatedly.

I’m pretty sure one of today’s 30 NBA teams would take a chance on him.

The 3-point line was adopted by the NBA during Bird’s rookie season in 1979. Even as one of the greatest shooters of his generation, Bird attempted just 1.9 threes per game during of his 13-year NBA career, a total that in today’s game is less than many starting centers.

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, a two-time MVP who won his first NBA title this season, shot 34.8 percent on 2.9 three-point attempts per game in his career. Like Bird, he has an elite all-around skill set that doesn’t rely on athleticism.

“He’s slow as hell. He plays slow, but this guy had a game,” Rodman said of Jokic. “I think he’s better than Larry Bird, I mean nowadays, yeah. I say he can shoot those three like woosh, my God. So, wow. Compare him to Larry Bird , I think people choose him.”

Rodman, who was selected in the second round of the 1986 draft, criticized Bird after the Pistons lost to the Celtics in the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals, saying Bird was only celebrated because he was white.

“I was green. I was talking nonsense,” Rodman told VladTV of his past comments. “I was frustrated because – guess what? – I got my ass booed by this kid. That’s why I probably said something at the time. Not because I was angry or out of hate or something. No, it just came out like that. ‘Cause I wasn’t really paying attention to the whole league, I was just paying attention to my team and stuff like that, and just wondering why this guy is so good or what i call him, awesome.

“I think I would have said the same thing if he was black. I think I would have said the same thing, I would have said something in a different direction, but it happened to be Larry Bird. I apologized many times. That’s history.

Both Bird and Rodman were Hall of Fame players, although for very different reasons. Rodman was a seven-time first-team All-Defensive selection who led the league in rebounding for seven straight seasons. He was an agitator, but a key player, on five championship teams, winning two titles with the Detroit Pistons and three with the Chicago Bulls.

But he was an offensive passive who averaged 7.3 points on 5.8 field goal attempts per game during his career.

So if Bird is playing in Europe, where exactly does that leave Rodman?

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