In the early 2000s, Larry Bird was a member of the Boston Celtics. In 1995, he left to join his hometown team in Indiana. One year later on New Year’s Eve 1996-1997, Cedric Maxwell challenged Larry to drink 10 beers while shooting 3 pointers for money. As expected by many former teammates and friends who are familiar with Bird’s competitive nature, he responded by pouring water into Maxwell’s tea before making six out of ten shots from behind the arc that night en route to winning
Cedric Maxwell was a part of the Boston Celtics during the 1980s. He was also one of Larry Bird’s best friends. On New Year’s Eve, 1985, Bird wanted to win a drinking contest against Maxwell. So he spiked his tea with alcohol and won.
When Cedric Maxwell challenged former Boston Celtics teammate Larry Bird to a drinking battle on New Year’s Eve in 1980, he must not have realized Larry Bird’s fondness for a few drinks. Cornbread didn’t seem to comprehend the extent to which Bird would go in order to win such a contest. Maxwell described the competition’s funny narrative earlier this year, which included “Greyhounds” and drugged tea.
In 1981, Larry Bird and Cedric Maxwell won the NBA title.
When Larry Bird came in Boston in 1979, he offered the Celtics the transformational talent they needed to be contenders, but Maxwell had already established himself as one of the league’s most promising forwards.
Maxwell was selected with the 12th overall choice in the 1977 NBA Draft by Boston. In his sophomore season, he exploded into the forefront, averaging 19.0 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists.
Bird and Maxwell’s 1-2 punch quickly elevated the Celtics to contender status. Boston advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1980. The C’s became champions only a year later, with to crucial signings like Robert Parish and Kevin McHale.
While Bird became one of the NBA’s most recognizable players virtually as soon as he walked on the court, it’s worth noting that Maxwell was named NBA Finals MVP in 1981. He asserted his influence on the series, leading the squad in scoring with 17.7 points per game while also playing a key part in limiting Houston Rockets big Moses Malone’s stats.
In the Finals, Maxwell established himself as an alpha. Earlier in the season, he attempted to do so in a drinking challenge with Bird, but things went sour for Cornbread.
To win a drinking challenge early in the 1980-81 season, Bird poisoned Maxwell’s tea.
Maxwell said that challenging Larry Bird to a drinking contest was a huge mistake. After all, as Maxwell put it, Bird “grew up” in Indiana drinking beer.
Cornbread had no idea that Larry Legend was equally determined to win at any costs.
The former Finals MVP told NBC Boston about his New Year’s Eve 1980 adventure with Bird and eight others at a restaurant in Salt Lake City. Maxwell said that he started to feel bad after drinking “Greyhounds” beverages. He attempted to eat something but felt “woozy,” according to him.
The prospect of drinking tea energized the Celtics forward. There was just one problem: Bird had topped up his drink with extra bourbon.
Bird allegedly slipped “four or five” nip bottles, often known as shooters, into his tea, according to Maxwell. Maxwell basically drank vodka straight up, with very little tea. Outside the restaurant, he instantly puked.
Maxwell said the anecdote reminded him of the togetherness of those Celtics teams, despite the dubious nature of his provocation. Unfortunately, he has a tumultuous connection with Bird.
Maxwell is seeking to make amends with Larry Legend by burying the hatchet.
Larry Bird and Cedric Maxwell pose for a photo | Getty Images/Focus on Sport
With the Celtics, Larry Bird and Cedric Maxwell won two championships, permanently enshrining themselves in Boston mythology. However, the relationship between the two is still a little fragile.
Prior to the decade’s turn in 1979, Maxwell seemed to be the franchise’s leading man. Bird’s entrance, on the other hand, imbued the Celtics with a sense of “great white hope.” According to SB Nation, Maxwell discussed this idea with CLNS Media last year. Another complication in the connection is Maxwell’s unceremonious exit from the Celtics in 1985, when he was traded for an injury-plagued – but white – Bill Walton.
Cornbread, on the other hand, is attempting to make things better. The two-time NBA champion, whose number has since been retired by the Celtics, expressed regret over the perception that he snubbed Bird throughout the years. His one regret, he told CLNS Media, is that he didn’t have a better connection with Larry Legend, and said he wanted to mend fences with his former comrade soon.
Maybe Maxwell and Bird can go out for a drink after all, as long as Max doesn’t make another stupid challenge.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
RELATED: During the 1992 Olympic Games, Charles Barkley instantly regretted drinking beer with Larry Bird and the Dream Team: ‘My Head Hurt for Like 2 Days.’
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