Dennis Rodman is an interesting person with interesting ideas but sometimes interesting ideas are still profoundly wrong. Like his latest, shared on Vlad TV when presented with archival footage of Gilbert Arenas saying that Larry Bird would beat LeBron James in one-on-one. The Worm, while remaining a fashion icon, unleashed a take that literally caused me to rub my eyes and stare out into the abyss praying the rising tide would simply whisk me away.
"I’ll put it this way," Rodman said. "If Larry Bird played in this era I think he’d be in Europe. I’m just letting you know, man. He’d be somewhere over there."
“His game was fit for Boston at that time, in the 80s and stuff like that," he continued. "But in today’s world - Oh, hell no! There’s no way. I’m not downplaying him, 'cause he was a great player at that time, just like I was, but I’m saying no, there is no way."
Rodman is, in fact, downplaying Bird.
The Celtics legend's game was suited for his team in the era he played in. It was also generationally advanced and the style would translated beautifully to today. He was an exquisite passer and there is more space. He could create off the dribble and would get to handle the ball more often as a 6-foot-7 point guard. He shot 38 percent from three-point range but never really had the leverage to hoist more than four attempts per game. Modern day Larry Bird would not be playing in Europe. He'd be like Luka Doncic. One of the best players in the league.
Modern day Rodman on the other hand? A 6-foot-7, 210-pound defensive specialist who would cheat off that assignment so he could boost his rebounding numbers without an ability to create offense or knock down jumpers? That's a tough sell.
Anyway, Larry Bird was really good and will always be good and whatever hypothetical the next person cooks up to devalue his greatness will be as empty as the previous one.