"I think we played hard. But it was a lackadaisical hard." -Otis Birdsong explains a loss
When Larry Bird was injured for most of the 1989 season, I had little doubt that Otis Birdsong would step in and play some valuable minutes. Bird was limited to only 6 games that season and when Birdsong was brought in, I didn't think the Celts would miss a beat. Ok I'm obviously joking. But when they acquired the former 4 time All Star I was somewhat optimistic.
Birdsong only wound up playing 13 games that year for Boston and was actually on the playoff team that got swept in the first round by the Pistons. In looking at his stats he did have a fairly productive career with both the Kansas City Kings and the New Jersey Nets. Boston was his last stop before retiring.
I remember the great Zander Hollander from his 1987 Complete Handbook of Pro Basketball had this to say about Otis (while playing for the Nets) in regards to his poor FT shooting:
Has a house with a 30 foot living room ceiling in Upper Saddle River, NJ. You'd think he would've put up a basket to practice his free throw shooting.
I really never understood that when guards, especially ones who were as prolific offensive players as Birdsong, struggled so mightily at the free throw stripe.
Otis challenging Dumars on the break
However becoming older obviously makes some people bitter. I respect the older players who call it like it is, and give credit to younger stars in the league. Sure not all deserve it but some do. What we don't need is a comment like this from Birdsong back in 2005:
Q. What about today's stars? A. I look at some of the guys they call superstars and All-Stars, and I just laugh. Give me a break. You know what makes 'em a superstar? ESPN, TNT, TBS . . . they play on TV every day, and just because you're on TV, you're a superstar. It's sort of like a soap opera. People look at these guys all the time, and in their mind, they've got to be great because they play on TV all the time.
Well that certainly sounds bitter to me. Sounds like one of those guys who's upset he didn't play today because of how much more money he'd have made. The last information I could find was that Birdsong was in the front office for the Arkansas Rim Rockers, a team that is now defunct.
Lastly if you want, you can email him if you have a LinkedIn account. Maybe ask him how he feels that Chucky Atkins has pocketed over $32 million in his career.