Dominique recalls heated contests vs Bird, Celts

In case you missed it, Steve Bulpett had a terrific article on Dominique Wilkins' wars with Larry Bird when the Hawks and Celtics played back in the 80s.  Definitely worth the entire read but a couple highlights from Dominique:

One of the first times I ever played against him, I went out for the opening tip and I went to shake his hand. He just stood there and looked at me stone-faced with his hands behind his back,” Wilkins said recently.
I was like, ‘Whoa.’ Then we were getting ready for the tip and he says to me, ‘You don’t belong in this league, Homes.’ I couldn’t believe it, but it happened so fast, I didn’t know what to think.

Dominique mentions the crazy dunk he had on Bird, and I'm guessing it has to be this:

Also thought it was interesting how Bird said the Hawks were too young to win it then.  I distinctly remember the 88 series, where the Celtics won the first 2 at home only to lose 3 straight to Atlanta.  They went to the Omni for Game 6 where the Hawks could close them out.  But the Celtics pulled off a very impressive road win, setting up the showdown for the Game 7 Bird-Wilkins duel.

Looking back on it, you can't help but wonder how the 80s would've gone for Boston had the East been as poor then as today.  It was really the last decade where the East was clearly the much better conference.

One thing there's no questioning: Celtics vs Hawks in the 80s were always great contests to watch.