Paul George talks about the time Larry Bird’s shooting form stopped Pacer practice in its tracks

Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George has been in the news quite a bit of late, explaining away why he’s unlikely to flee an up and coming Pacers team for his hometown Los Angeles Lakers next summer. George will be a restricted free agent next year, one the Pacers will likely match at all costs (that’s assuming they don’t sign him to an extension prior to that), and it’s still unclear if the Lakers (stuck with cap holds and Kobe Bryant’s reported refusal to take a pay cut) will have enough space under the cap to make a move possible.

So, not much of a story, there. What should be a story is Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird shooting basketballs. Because nothing is better than watching Larry Bird shoot a basketball. From Nima Zarrabi at SLAM Online:

SLAM: I believe you had talked about seeing Larry shoot in the gym.

PG: He picked a ball up that had rolled over. He rolled up his sleeves and made about 15 in a row and just walked out like nothing just happened. It was the craziest thing I’ve seen.

SLAM: How did you and the rest of the team react?

PG: We were speechless. We didn’t know whether to keep shooting or just to end practice. It was sweet, man.

Not unlike Julius Erving … still got it.

I don’t recall who said it, and it’s possible that this is an apocryphal story, but I remember hearing about a sportswriter that, upon watching Bird practice and swish jumper after jumper in the hours before a game, tell a passerby that it was “like watching a fish practice swimming.”

[Related: Is Paul George to the Lakers inevitable?]

An apt line. And yes, you’re allowed to end practice to watch Larry Bird keep shooting a basketball. Outside of the fish/swimming analogy, I can’t really think of any other proper comparisons. It’s not quite like watching B.B. King utilize vibrato, because there are a lot of great guitar players out there. It’s not quite like watching Lauren Hutton strut down a runway, because there are a lot of beautiful women out there. Lots of people can paint some pretty, pretty pictures. Many great books have been written by thousands of brilliant authors. Sliced bread has already been invented.

Larry Bird … shooting a basketball? That’s on another level. You should always call off practice if it results in a chance to watch the Legend work on his stroke.

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