Larry Bird Claims 1984 NBA Finals Were Rigged

The Celtics and Lakers rivalry began in the 1980s, dominating the NBA Finals for almost the entire decade.

So much has been said about this historic NBA era, with documentaries like HBO’s Winning Time. However, some dark moments have been forgotten. Recently, Larry Bird brought up a controversial memory from the 1984 Finals.

Bird’s Bold Accusation

Larry Bird, one of basketball’s greatest players, claimed that the 1984 Finals were rigged. He believed that the league was desperate for better TV ratings and more fans back then. Baseball was America’s favorite sport at the time, and football was becoming more popular too.

Larry Bird made a huge accusation towards former #NBA’s commissioner David Stern…

He said the 1984 Finals were rigged by Stern.

Thoughts? #nbatwitter #basketball

Magic Johnson’s Rise

Meanwhile, Magic Johnson was becoming a star in Los Angeles. The NBA saw his potential to attract viewers. The rivalry between him and Bird is still famous today. “The trophies and rings didn’t matter,” said Bird. “It was all about beating the Lakers and Earvin.”

The Controversial 1984 Finals

In 1984, both teams met in the finals. The series was tied at two games each after four matches. Commissioner David Stern saw an opportunity for a seven-game series instead of just three games as before.

“Stern told a fan that the NBA needed a seven-game series for money,” Bird recalled. “When he says something like that to a fan, you know it’s going to be tough.” So when Game 6 came around, Bird believed it was rigged to ensure there would be a Game 7.

I think it’s wild how sports can get so intense!

“You don’t make statements like that without expecting something,” added Bird. “He’s the commissioner; he shouldn’t say things like that.” According to him, Stern wanted Game 7 for more money—and got his wish.

Reactions to Bird’s Claims

Brian McIntyre from NBA public relations called Bird’s comments “ridiculous.” If these accusations surfaced today, they would dominate TV and social media headlines.

Despite everything, Game 7 favored Boston as they won with a score of 111-102 at Boston Garden. McIntyre dismissed Larry’s claims saying there wasn’t any truth to them: "It’s all third-hand information."

“There’s nothing to it,” he stated regarding Larry’s accusations. “If Stern did say anything like that—it must have been just an offhand comment.”

Regardless of what truly happened back then—the league got what it wanted: an unforgettable rivalry stretching over seven games! For six years after this epic clash—either Boston or Los Angeles appeared in every final game!

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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