33 Years Ago Larry Bird’s Steal And Assist Buried The Pistons

Today is the 33rd anniversary of Larry Bird‘s iconic steal and assist against the Detroit Pistons in Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals. With the Pistons leading by one point and in possession of the ball in the waning moments of the game, Bird steals Isiah Thomas’ inbound pass and passes it to Dennis Johnson for a shocking winning layup.

There have been other famous steals in Celtics history such as Gerald Henderson’s steal against the Lakers in ’84.

Can’t forget the unforgettable call, “Havlicek Stole the Ball!” in 1965.

It is probably the most famous radio call in NBA history. The raspy, gritty tones of the late Celtics broadcaster Johnny Most describing the closing seconds of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the defending champion Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers.

What made the Bird steal so unforgettable is the fact that Larry Legend was at his peak as one of the most influential players in American sports history. He was already a three-time MVP, so it magnified the act. It also won the game. The Celtics would go on to defeat the Pistons in that series.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.