Larry Bird and Bill Laimbeer have genuinely hated each other for over 30 years

Larry Bird and Bill Laimbeer stood in the middle of an intense Celtics-Pistons rivalry spanning the late 1980s and early 1990s. But the individual feud between those two wasn't just a battle within that war. It was personal. It was beef.
Starting with his trade to the Pistons in the early 1980s, Laimbeer built a reputation as not just a strong rebounder and scorer, but a relentless pest. On one hand, he'd make dirty and dangerous plays, then act like nothing had happened. On the other hand, he'd flop and whine to bait the referees into calling fouls on his opponents.
Nobody despised Laimbeer for this quite as much as Bird did. Bird's public campaign against Laimbeer's style of play dated back to the Celtics-Pistons playoff series in 1985, and really took off after Laimbeer started a brawl by fouling Bird hard in the 1987 playoffs. Bird accused Laimbeer of intentionally trying to injure him, and never withdrew the accusation. Even decades later, these two NBA legends maintain an icy distance because of how things played out on the court.
This beef might never end, so in this episode, we learn about what built it.
Written and produced by Seth Rosenthal
Directed and edited by Jiazhen Zhang
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  • Hello, it's Seth! Thanks for watching this Beef History, and thanks for being you. Wanted to drop a quick note encouraging those of you who enjoy our channel to click the "subscribe" button. If you do that: 1. You'll be notified when we post new stuff. 2. You'll get to see occasional updates (and sometimes offer input!) about what we're working on. 3. We'll get to go to our bosses and be like "hey look we have a lot of subscribers" and they'll think that's cool and maybe find us more friends to help make even more videos. We love you, come be part of our community.

    SB NationSB NationVor Monat
    • Bill Simmons isn't just a fan interviewing Bird. I thought that was a strange description of Bill otherwise I like the beef video.

      Jason EdwardsJason EdwardsVor Tag
    • Definitely keslowski vs edwards!!!

      Cory CybulskiCory CybulskiVor 4 Tage
    • Thumbs up☝ good 1

      91bix 2Mont391bix 2Mont3Vor 6 Tage
    • can we get Brad Keselowski vs Carl Edwards, the most destructive beef in sports history?

      Jacob DavisJacob DavisVor 21 Tag
    • BEEF episode Damien Lillard VS. Russell Westbrook it’s there and it’s all over Instagram and in the lockeroom Size and Hype Vs. Heart and taking souls with GM winners

      Train wreck ThomasTrain wreck ThomasVor 27 Tage
  • Subscribed. Been enjoying your videos for a while. Nice job!!

    GameJonezGameJonezVor 4 Stunden
  • Referring to today's NBA: Laimbeer would put so many players in the hospital the games would even be fun to watch.

    Patrick Mundhenk-KochPatrick Mundhenk-KochVor 7 Stunden
  • I love to think of the NBA during the 80's era as players walking onto the court with chain-wrapped chests, fists adorned in brass knuckles, metal helmets and cleat shoes tipped with 3" spikes. It's most definitely a different NBA today.

    MrEnjoivolcom1MrEnjoivolcom1Vor 7 Stunden
  • Laimbeer will never coach in the NBA wow what a surprise when your a great wnba coach yeah that says it all

    Rodney HerringtonRodney HerringtonVor 10 Stunden
  • Grew up in the 80's as a Lakers fan. Couldn't stand Bird and the Celtics but had respect for them..........but I absolutely HATED the Pistons!!

    uncletaylorifyuncletaylorifyVor 12 Stunden
  • giannis can easily score if these two is guarding him.

    Jerry BordadoraJerry BordadoraVor 12 Stunden
  • I hope one day that someone loves me as much as Seth loves the word dominate.

    Jared EichelJared EichelVor 14 Stunden
  • Do a beef history on Kelly Slater vs Andy Irons its a great rivalry and competitive surfing doesn’t get much love in the main stream but totally should. Also if you don’t have anyone at SB nation who knows competitive surfing pay me 20$ and a diet Pepsi I’ll make the video... or write the script... or consult on the script... or will just do it for free... or will maybe make the video and call it Old Beef or Beef Explained... just kidding. But also I’m not.

    Nathan SchiltzNathan SchiltzVor 15 Stunden
  • Back when basketball was filthy

    EliasEliasVor 16 Stunden
  • That definitely ain’t tofu. That’s beef beef

    OhighO SkaterOhighO SkaterVor 17 Stunden
  • Laimbeer was a piece of trash. Tried to injure people. Not just fool.

    Joe MazzariJoe MazzariVor 18 Stunden
  • I like ‘em both...

    Lynx DominanceLynx DominanceVor 18 Stunden
  • "Insert any player's name from the 80s that wasn't on Detroit" and Bill Laimbeer genuinely hated each other - and it would would probably be right.

    Nicolas CuencaNicolas CuencaVor 21 Stunde
  • Lol. Everyone's gotta have a legacy.

    Keystone State_WarriorKeystone State_WarriorVor 21 Stunde
  • These fairy ass nba players today give each other tugs after the game in their hotel rooms.

    Frank WhiteFrank WhiteVor 22 Stunden
  • Larry Bird to this day still hates bill lambierr

    Sean FelderSean FelderVor 23 Stunden
  • I miss the days before the flagrant foul lol

    Samantha NicholeSamantha NicholeVor Tag
  • Hated him but must respect him billy

    Matthew RogersMatthew RogersVor Tag
  • Why every brawl starts with pistons

    Matthew RogersMatthew RogersVor Tag
  • Yeah Larry.....whopppp whoop whoooop

    Matthew RogersMatthew RogersVor Tag
  • These guy's really went at it back then. These days you see pro football players trading jerseys after the game. Lol

    Guitars rcoolGuitars rcoolVor Tag
  • The highlight of Bill Laimbeer's career happened when Robert Parish punched him.

    Zamppa86Zamppa86Vor Tag
  • Nobody likes a lame beer, period!

    Jason Wilmot BandJason Wilmot BandVor Tag
  • I was court-side, right behind one of the basket stanchions, at a Blazers v Pistons game one time. During the game, Bill Laimbeer would cuss profusely at Dennis Rodman, his own teammate, calling him lazy and stupid. One time Rodman fell into the crowd and there was Laimbeer yelling at him with a string of insults even have made my Drill Sargent blush. He was definitely, "different".

    WootTootZootWootTootZootVor Tag
  • bird cultivated controversy all the way through his career, one of the greatest in the game

    randy rysdalerandy rysdaleVor Tag
  • larry was the ty cobb of the nba

    randy rysdalerandy rysdaleVor Tag
  • Laimbeer was a piece of s***

    Frank CastleFrank CastleVor Tag
  • oh my god. The fight of '87

    Evan HachiyaEvan HachiyaVor Tag
  • Aww remember when nba teams had mediocre white people playing

    LAVIN20LAVIN20Vor Tag
  • Bill Laimbeer was a total scumbag he tried to hurt people all the time one of his famous moves was putting his foot underneath a player's foot as they jumped for a shot or rebound so they would come down step on his foot and roll your ankle badly!

    Johnny ScareCrowJohnny ScareCrowVor 2 Tage
  • Ngl the bad boys era of Detroit sports is probably the biggest moments of basketball history; they wanna talk about changing the game, bill did that

    ExT NfrasierExT NfrasierVor 2 Tage
  • I heard the fan that interviewed Larry Bird sold his website to Spotify for 8 figures. If a lowly fan can do that, the superior journalists of SDNation should have no trouble making names for themselves.

    Free Brain SurgeryFree Brain SurgeryVor 2 Tage
  • If you can find enough facts pls talk about when kg told melo that Lala tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios

    Alex-B23Alex-B23Vor 2 Tage
  • LB and BL

    Alex HastingsAlex HastingsVor 2 Tage
  • Laimbeer will always be a thug to me.

    AxelLawAxelLawVor 2 Tage
  • 14:50 That "fan" who interviewed him is BIll Simmons, a professional sports writer.

    ORagnarORagnarVor 2 Tage
  • I miss this version of the NBA. todays NBA is full of cry babies. and I thank Reggie Miller for that and his art of the flop and whine.

    Ken AdamsKen AdamsVor 2 Tage
  • Bird is awesome Lamebeer is just a thug who does psychological warfare with harsh play. No one enjoys it.

    bastardjusticebastardjusticeVor 2 Tage
  • Bill Laimbeer was a dirty player. The Pistons were a classless team of turds.

    Bonzi BuddyBonzi BuddyVor 3 Tage
  • Lol, Laimbeer was an O.G. troll.

    Robb NobleRobb NobleVor 3 Tage
  • One guy is a top five player of all time and the other guy is a hockey goon.

    Sean RocheSean RocheVor 3 Tage
  • Imagine if this happened now days.......PC culture would want to cancel basketball 😉😉

    Mario & LuigiMario & LuigiVor 3 Tage
  • my nga BILLY BEER

    bad berriesbad berriesVor 3 Tage
  • Laimbeer was probably extremely jealous of Bird, considering Larry had real skill...and lots of it.

    Shotgun ArmsShotgun ArmsVor 3 Tage
    • Laimbeer accomplished what he wanted, getting into their heads. He just did it too well. So who won? Think about it.

      tikogtotikogtoVor 12 Stunden
  • Damn Celtics 18-2 when playoff series are tied at 2 going into game 5 in Boston. Make that 19-2 after that steal. Keep in mind that’s 1987 not 2020

    Bullet Toof TonyBullet Toof TonyVor 3 Tage
  • Bill Lambier was a top ass hole. Dirtiest player ever. Intentionally hurting players.

    sostarecisostareciVor 3 Tage
  • CLASSIC BASKETBRAWL 😆

    David RDavid RVor 3 Tage
  • Seth u are very great for telling story for real u are funny too

    Giorgio didie KouassiGiorgio didie KouassiVor 3 Tage
  • Does anyone name Bill Laimbeer as one of the top 5 players of all time? No one would ever take him over Bird. No more talk.

    don wilsondon wilsonVor 3 Tage
  • Everyone should hate Bill Laimbeer. Hate that guy.

    Vinayak PandeVinayak PandeVor 3 Tage
  • Laimbeer is the biggest scumbag to ever play in the NBA.

    CalbenmikeCalbenmikeVor 3 Tage
  • Everyone gives the Celtics a pass for walking off the court , before the game was over, but they sure do remember the Isaiah and the Pistons doing it against the Bulls. Kept Isaiah off the Dream Team because of it, but Larry was there! Total hypocrisy.

    Mark SheppardMark SheppardVor 3 Tage
  • I own Combat basketball for the snes 😂

    Striker92Striker92Vor 3 Tage
  • 12:40 273?

    Álvaro de BazánÁlvaro de BazánVor 3 Tage
  • Hey SB Nation...be on the lookout for Giannis and Harden beef because it's definitely been brewing

    TOAST Thoughts Of A Stoner T.VTOAST Thoughts Of A Stoner T.VVor 3 Tage
    • Ironically Giannis smacked Harden in the face with a basketball like Larry did to Bill🧐 Giannis also said Kemba was the step back king and not Harden. He said he wants someone who is going to pass the ball on Team Giannis when asked if he was going to pick James Harden for the All Star game. All because James Harden was salty because Giannis won MVP?🤔

      TOAST Thoughts Of A Stoner T.VTOAST Thoughts Of A Stoner T.VVor 3 Tage
    • Or tenderizing rather.

      TOAST Thoughts Of A Stoner T.VTOAST Thoughts Of A Stoner T.VVor 3 Tage
  • After 40 years of following BB, I didn't know this history. Thank you, this makes a lot of sense. Excellent, most excellent research and thesis!

    christschoolchristschoolVor 4 Tage
  • Always looking, hunting for a reason to whine and complain. I'm sure that all considered Laimbeer the dirtiest player because he is white too. No?? Oh yes right, that only goes one way. Of course.

    opugilistopugilistVor 4 Tage
  • When players were & acted like men

    Jimmy CJimmy CVor 4 Tage
  • I did notice something fascinating. Laimbeer did allow Larry to land on top of him thus breaking his fall. Larry's head could have hit the hard wood. But Laimbeer did also grab his head and neck so there was some resentment too. Was Bill 100% dirty? I don't think so. Did he actually want to hurt people? I don't know. Was he using psychology to his advantage in that sense to intimidate? Absolutely yes. But isn't that part of the game to a certain extent? At least for some people. Laimbeer is the result of how the league puts players on pedestals and creates superstars. Players whose focus is doing the dirty work of defense rebounding etc and taking what the defense gives you not just padding your stats will emerge as a result.

    Timothy NoratTimothy NoratVor 4 Tage
  • Larry bird was a dork , especially after he got smoked by magic j. In the NCAA finals , he's carried that hate his whole life .

    Becky WattBecky WattVor 4 Tage
  • Should've been titled Larry Legend and Bill Lambier

    NameLess_ Joker01NameLess_ Joker01Vor 4 Tage
  • I think Bill Lambeer was the most hated player in the NBA, not just by Larry Bird.

    Youbetter BackoffYoubetter BackoffVor 4 Tage
  • why you gotta start out with a comment on socio-economic status and imply that it affected their motivation as athletes?

    p kellyp kellyVor 4 Tage
  • One of my favorites moments was when Robert Parrish clawed Laimbeer and knocked him to the ground.

    Ken ArthurKen ArthurVor 4 Tage
    • And the refs didn't even call a foul on him.

      Guitars rcoolGuitars rcoolVor Tag
  • BIRD would woop his ass

    Theodore BierbauerTheodore BierbauerVor 4 Tage
  • Billl Lambeir was better than just a *good player* he had the highest career win share (106) of any of the players on those pistons bad boy teams. By a pretty comfortable margin. Higher than Issah, higher than Rodman, higher than Joe Dumars.

    Ciaban KCiaban KVor 4 Tage
  • Laimbeer was a scum bag.

    seanspec89seanspec89Vor 4 Tage
  • need a good one today

    Denisetgqj SteeletpdiDenisetgqj SteeletpdiVor 4 Tage
  • miss those crazy rivalries.. you don't see this nowadays. They are all way too friendly between each other..

    Jeff CockmannJeff CockmannVor 5 Tage
Larry Bird and Bill Laimbeer have genuinely hated each other for over 30 years