Larry Bird joins an exclusive club when he becomes the fifth player in NBA history to reach 20,000 points with 5,000 assists. The others are Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, John Havlicek and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Not a bad starting five.
In Boston's 123-95 rout of the Washington Bullets, Bird reaches 20,000 when he hits a foul-line jumper in the third quarter.
Flashbulbs sparkle behind the east basket support in Boston Garden. There is a loud and long ovation, and the Celtics forward is presented with the basketball. He motions as if is going to throw the ball into the crowd. Then he smiles. His reverent fans love it.
"It isn't really that big a deal," Bird says of becoming the 15th player to score 20,000 points. "You want to get it out of the way and go on with it. Hey, if they paid us by the point, I'd have 50,000 by now."