Celtics’ Jayson Tatum Finally Met Larry Bird At NBA All-Star Weekend

Jayson Tatum, Boiton Celtics, NBA News
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The 73rd NBA All-Star Game held a special moment for Boston Celtics fans when the past and present of the franchise’s superstardom converged just before the game began.

Jayson Tatum, who was not even born until six years after Larry Bird had hung up his sneakers, has spent considerable time studying Bird’s legacy through YouTube clips and classic NBA Finals footage. His admiration for Bird was palpable when they finally met in person.

This memorable encounter occurred near the Eastern Conference bench at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Sunday. Tatum and Bird exchanged a few words and captured the moment with a photo, with Tatum visibly thrilled.

Before the game, NBA legends Bird, Adam Silver, and Julius Erving chatted with the Eastern Conference team. Tatum had hoped to meet Bird then but missed the opportunity as Bird had already left the locker room. Luckily, Celtics’ PR expert Taylor Kielpinski-Rogers spotted Bird nearby and quickly arranged for Tatum to meet his idol.

“I ain’t going to lie, I met Larry Bird tonight for the first time. I never met Larry Bird in my life,” Tatum said. “I got to meet him. I was anxious. I got some juices flowing for the game right now.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Jayson Tatum, Larry Bird, Boston Celtics Updates

Bird, known for his reserved public profile, made a rare appearance in Indianapolis for the weekend. Having played a significant role in the city’s basketball history as a coach and general manager for the Pacers, Bird was honored as the Legend of the Year by the NBA Retired Players Association and even gave a rare interview to NBA Radio. His presence at the All-Star Game, alongside other basketball legends, highlighted his contribution to bringing the event to Indianapolis.

Meeting Bird was a surreal experience for Tatum, who was taken aback by Bird’s height and the immense impact he has had on the game and the Celtics’ legacy. Tatum, who has been accustomed to meeting NBA stars since his AAU days, found himself star-struck in Bird’s presence, cherishing their brief interaction.

“I got a chance to go meet him and tell him how much of an honor it was to meet him,” Tatum said. “He told me he was looking forward to meeting me, so, that was crazy to hear him say that. He’s a lot taller than I thought he was.” 

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Jayson Tatum, Larry Bird, Boston Celtics Updates

Jaylen Brown also had the opportunity to meet Bird in the locker room, where Bird greeted the team. Although their interaction was brief, Brown found it significant, marking his first time meeting Bird in person and appreciating the chance to see a Celtics legend up close.

Clippers Reveal Crushing Kawhi Leonard Injury News, Ruled Out vs. Mavs

The Los Angeles Clippers have confirmed that Kawhi Leonard, their key player, will miss an indefinite period due to ongoing issues with right knee inflammation

Suns’ Kevin Durant Seemingly Takes Shot At Coach Frank Vogel

The Phoenix Suns are currently resembling a failed experiment more than ever. Entering the season, significant concerns loomed over the team, and as the season

Lakers Break Nuggets’ Streak With Game 4 Victory, Extend Series

The Los Angeles Lakers, led by LeBron James‘ standout 30-point performance, kept their NBA playoff hopes alive by overcoming the Denver Nuggets 119-108 in Game