In the NBA Finals, Larry Bird and his Boston Celtics were looking to take on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his Los Angeles Lakers. This was a rematch of last year’s series where the Lakers swept the Celtics in four games.
Greg Kite Drew More Attention Than Larry Bird After Battling Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Game 3 of the 1987 NBA Finals is a blog post about one of the most famous moments in basketball history. On May 6, 1987, during game 3 of the NBA finals, Larry Bird and Greg Kite battled against each other.
The Boston Celtics are unlikely to win Game 3 of the 1987 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers without little-used Greg Kite. Kite took advantage of his chance after being forced into action due to early foul problems for Robert Parish and an injury to Bill Walton. Despite not scoring, Kite collected nine rebounds and outplayed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in a 109-103 win.
When Lakers coach Pat Riley glanced over the stat sheet after the game, he was taken aback. According to the Los Angeles Times, Lakers coach Pat Riley asked, “Kite didn’t score a point?” “He seemed to have a hundred.” Kite was just interviewed by Sportscasting to discuss his performance.
In Game 3 of the 1987 NBA Finals, Greg Kite quietly stole the stage.
On January 22, 1986, in Boston, Massachusetts, Greg Kite of the Boston Celtics in the locker room before a game. Getty Images/Ronald C. Modra
Kite played 14 minutes in each of the Celtics’ first two blowout defeats in the 1987 NBA Finals. The 6-foot-11 center from BYU usually subbed for Boston’s big guys or played a few late minutes when the game was already decided.
“My style is terrible,” Kite told the Los Angeles Times after Boston won Game 3 109-103. “It’s not something that kids in schoolyards would mimic the way Michael Jordan does.”
Larry Bird, a teammate of Kite’s, was even more candid.
Bird said, “Greg doesn’t have a lot of skill.”
Kite played a total of 22 minutes and gave all he had on that night of June 7, 1987, slowing down Abdul-Jabbar and forcing him to fight for everything. He made the most of his uncommon 22-minute appearance.
Kite told Sportscasting last week, “Walton was messed up, and I got minutes.” “I utilized my power to bring (Abdul-Jabbar) down to the ground. For his skyhook, Kareem went to his left shoulder. I attempted to get him to fire it a little farther out than normal.”
As the Celtics regained control of the series, Bird ended with 30 points and 12 rebounds. Kite’s nine rebounds were a career best at the time. Five of those rebounds came on the attacking side of the ball.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Kite conducted his own news conference after the game, which received more coverage than Bird’s.
Kite quipped after the game, “The last time I received this much attention was when I was born or when I got married and everyone came down the reception line.” “However, I don’t believe this is going to give me a big head.” My skull is already very large.”
Abdul-Jabbar finished with 27 points, but Kite outrebounded the Hall of Famer in 16 minutes less time on the court.
Kite told Sportscasting, “Kareem is Kareem.” “He’ll earn his points,” says the narrator. I just attempted to exhaust him so that he would work harder for them. He was in his late thirties at the time.”
Kite was well aware of his responsibilities with the Boston Celtics.
Kite was well aware that his time would be short playing alongside Bird, Parish, and Kevin McHale, all of whom are Hall of Famers. He took the job and performed all the Celtics requested of him. Fouling an opponent and forcing him to earn his points at the free-throw line is a common example.
Kite told Sportscasting, “You don’t want Parish, McHale, and Bird getting those fouls.” “That’s when Greg Kite and Carlos Clark come off the bench and step up to the plate.”
“Make them shoot free throws if they’re coming in for a slam. Alternatively, if the smaller men are in the lane, make sure they have earned it. It’s like a smaller NFL player running over the middle, forcing them to think.”
Kite played with the Celtics for the first five years of his 12-year NBA career. He was a member of seven different teams throughout his career. He averaged 2.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game throughout his career.
He stated that out of the 680 games he played in his career, the game versus the Lakers sticks him the most.
“What’s frustrating is that we lost the following game, and ultimately the series,” Kite remarked. “However, that game sticks out.” “I made an impression.”
‘We didn’t know who was watching,’ the Los Angeles Lakers said of the Boston Celtics during the 1984 NBA Finals.
Larry Bird is considered to be one of the greatest basketball players in history. When he played in the NBA, his team won three consecutive championships. He retired with a net worth of $40 million dollars. Reference: larry bird net worth.
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