Reggie Miller recalls a time when he learned not to talk trash to Larry Bird in his book I Love Being The Enemy
My rookie year, we played the Celtics at Market Square. It was a close game, but we could never beat them. It came down to free throws. There were about twenty seconds left, and we fouled Bird. We were down by 3 points. Bird went to the line to shoot two. I was standing on the line – and being a rookie dumbass and not realizing this was one of the best free throw shooters to ever the play the game, I tried to throw off his timing. As he went to shoot, I kind of said out the side of my mouth, “Hey! Hey!”
He stopped right before he shot, looked at me, and said, “You got to be kidding me. Rook you got to be kidding me.” He shot one. Boom. We are down 4 now. Bird gets the ball again, and before he shot, he said, “Rook, I’m the best shooter in the league right now. In the league. Understand? And you’re up here trying to say something?” Boom. We were down by 5. What made it worse was that Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge were laughing their asses off. I was thinking, “What a dumbass I am. You’re up here talking shit to Larry Bird. He’s at the free throw line.” I felt so stupid.