Larry Bird

Larry Bird offers thoughts on NBA potentially adding 4-point line

Larry Bird offers thoughts on NBA potentially adding 4-point line

The NBA has gone through its fair share of changes since Larry Bird donned a Celtics uniform, and the Hall of Famer is open to seeing it change even more.

Bird entered the league in 1979, the same year in which the 3-point line was introduced. At that time, 3-point attempts were a rarity. In today's game, they're a necessity.

Appearing Wednesday on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria," Bird explained how players from his era would have adapted if 3-point shots became more prevalent.

“Obviously, we’d be taking more 3-pointers because that’s where the game evolving,” Bird told WEEI. “You know, back in the day, we wouldn’t even guard guys out beyond the 3-point line. And very few games looked at the basket from 23 to 25 feet.

"But the game has changed and the game goes through periods where it changes and you just have to adapt to the changes. And that’s what we would’ve done, we would adapt. I can remember back in the day Danny Ainge said we should shoot all 3-pointers every game."

With seemingly every current NBA player not named Ben Simmons possessing or developing a 3-point shot, the next step could be the addition of a 4-point line. In fact, teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks already have added 4-point lines on their practice courts.

Bird can see the change being made to speed up the game somewhere down the line.

“It’s definitely a major change, but you can remember 10 or 15 years ago, they moved the 3-point line up and, eventually, they got smart about it and moved it back,” Bird said. “But a 4-point line wouldn’t make much difference.

"I think the problem with that would be guys shooting a lot of air balls and a lot more fast breaks, but it really doesn’t matter. The league is always looking at ways to speed the game up and score more points. If they did it, I wouldn’t be surprised. But, I like the game where it is now and it’s doing fine.”

As big of a change it would be, the NBA wouldn't be the first league to implement a 4-point line. It's become a staple in the BIG3.

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Larry Bird and Dr. J fought it out at the Garden, 35 years ago today

Larry Bird and Dr. J fought it out at the Garden, 35 years ago today

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Spurs, which tips off  Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 5 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.

The Boston Celtics-Philadelphia 76ers rival is pretty heated now as the two vie for Eastern Conference supremacy and the Sixers, who poached Al Horford from the C's in free agency, are responsible for Boston's lone loss so far early in the NBA season.

Still, it's got nothing on its '80s heyday when in order to reach the NBA Finals, Boston had to go through Philly or vice versa.

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Things got very heated 35 years ago today when the defending champion Celtics hosted the Sixers at the old Boston Garden. Boston was 4-0, Philly 5-0. The best player on each team sparked a legendary brawl that saw future Hall of Famers Larry Bird and Julius Erving go at it (see the video above). 

Bird had torched Erving and the Sixers for 42 points in 30 minutes (Dr. J had been held to six points) when an offensive foul call on Bird led to a scuffle that saw the benches empty and the two stars throw down.

The melee produced an iconic photo by the Boston Globe's Ted Gartland, working that night for the Associated Press, of Bird grabbing Erving by the throat (see below) and resulted in $7,500 fines each for Bird and Dr. J, which at the time were the second-highest fines for player conduct in NBA history.

Oh, and the Celtics won, 130-119. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Evan Turner picks his all-time Boston Celtics starting lineup

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File photo

Evan Turner picks his all-time Boston Celtics starting lineup

For a storied franchise like the Boston Celtics, it's borderline impossible to assemble the organization's "all-time" starting five. There always will be a select few legendary C's players who get snubbed.

So to send the Internet into a frenzy, NBA TV asked the Twitterverse to pick its all-time C's lineup while only being able to spend 15 points. The players and their point values go as follows:

5 points: Bill Russell, Larry Bird, John Havlicek, Kevin McHale, Paul Pierce.
3 points: Kevin Garnett, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, Jo Jo White, Tommy Heinsohn.
1 point: Rajon Rondo, Sam Jones, Robert Parish, Ray Allen, Antoine Walker.

Ex-Celtic Evan Turner decided to chime in with his go-to starting five, selecting Bird, Pierce, Garnett, Rondo, and Allen.

With it being so difficult to budget those precious 15 points, it's tough to disagree with Turner's picks. The Atlanta Hawks forward went with the 2008 championship lineup and simply replaced Kendrick Perkins with Larry Legend. The one mistake here may be taking Pierce over Russell, but we'll let it slide.

Speaking of legendary C's players, NBC Sports Boston's Celtics insiders A. Sherrod Blakely and Chris Forsberg recently drafted their Olympic 3-on-3 basketball team from Boston's all-time roster. While you ponder who to spend your 15 points on, you can check that out here.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.