Bill Walton tells his first-person account of Bird’s legendary left-handed game

Fans of the Boston Celtics are have long caught on to the team’s self-produced podcast “View From the Rafters: Behind the Scenes with the Boston Celtics” to catch the exclusive stories told by the players and coaches themselves.

And there are few stories more iconic in team lore than the tale of legendary forward Larry Bird’s infamous “left-handed” game, where he played the majority of the contest with his off hand on a whim. In the third episode of the new podcast, champion Celtics center Bill Walton regaled listeners with his account of that night told from a first-person perspective.

“Larry was well-known for predicting what he was going to do on the road trips,” began Walton.

“Larry said ‘We’re going to win them all, and I’m going to average a triple double’, and the reporters, they said ‘yeah, right’, and then he would go out and do it.”

“We have the game in Seattle the night before, and the reporters come to him and it’s all the same guys,” he continued. “In those days, the reporters were part of the team, and it was fantastic.”

“They traveled with us, stayed in the same hotels. We ate our meals together — it was just fantastic.”

“They asked ‘Larry … you’ve come to the end of the road trip. What do you (have) in store? You’ve achieved all your milestones.’ He said, ‘I’m going to play this game left handed’. They said, ‘Yeah, right’. He said ‘No, I’m going to play left-handed. But, if the game’s in doubt in the fourth quarter, I’ll switch back to the right hand’.”

“But, he played the entire game left-handed, and he had a triple-double,” added Walton with a tinge of awe still in his voice perhaps audible all these years later.

“Everything he did was like that,” he marveled.

And while careful analysis has since shown that the legend of Bird’s “left-handed” game was not quite as one-handed as it has perhaps been billed, it’s still one of the most impressive performances in a career filled with them.

For Walton, “being on the Boston Celtics with Larry Bird was like being on a tropical island,” and for Celtics fans, even decades after his playing career ended, we’re still finding hidden nuggets of buried treasure like this tale.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire