“6’8, 6’9 That’s a Genetic Gift”: Shorter Than Stephen Curry, Pistons Legend Isiah Thomas Eulogizes Larry Bird

Published 07/05/2023, 12:30 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Isiah Thomas is undoubtedly one of the most successful smalls in the NBA. The 12-time all-star was inducted into NBA’s top 75 recently. Isiah also led the Detroit Pistons to NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990. In a recent interview with Sway In The Morning, Isiah talked about his alleged role in the Chris Paul trade, his early life, NBA in the ’80s and everything else.

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The conversation began on the relatability of shorter NBA players to the masses. Two of the most interesting conversations happened around two legendary sharpshooters – Larry Bird and Stephen Curry.

Unfurling the Larry Bird statement


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Dennis Rodman has remained in the headlines even after his NBA career. His bold statement regarding HOF Larry Bird has surfaced quite vividly. On VladTV, Rodman seems to disagree with Gilbert Arenas’ claim that Larry Bird could defeat LeBron James one-on-one.

He said, “Okay, let me put it this way. If Larry Bird played in this era, I think he’d be in Europe. I’m just being honest, man. He’d be somewhere over there…”


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During Isiah’s interview, the lot mentioned his infamous thoughts regarding 33 in Green. Thomas had agreed to the statements that if Larry Bird were black, he’d just be another black player.

When asked to reveal his two cents, the point guard mentioned that his approach to Larry Bird has changed since his retirement. He said, “If Larry Bird was playing today, he’d still be the MVP of the league, and his team would still be winning championships.”

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Thomas backed up his statement by claiming similarities in the play style of Bird and Nikola Jokic. He gave Larry Bird and the Celtics at least 2-3 championships in the modern-time NBA. 

Given that, the group proceeded to discuss Bird’s shooting prowess.

Stephen Curry needs to be credited more

Stephen Curry had to be discussed as the conversation revolved around elite shooting. On the topic of Curry, Sway asked Isiah why Stephen Curry is not given his credit despite all the accolades. “People, for whatever reason, in sports, people want to hate on the small guy,” Isiah replied.

Zeke then touched on how smaller guys are usually the underdogs since bigger guys dominate the game. “When you blessed with the genetic gift of size, weight…Right, where you 6’8, 6’9 and… you know, can jump and can do… you know, that’s a genetic gift that we small guys don’t have.”


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Isaiah continued. Isaiah explains that people easily relate to small guys in the NBA. This, in turn, takes away from the extraordinary skills of those players.

Stephen Curry has inspired this generation like no other. His small size and fundamental approach to basketball have made him a people’s favorite. Like Kobe is for fadeaways, Curry is for threes. 


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Given that, do you think Curry is not given enough props despite being crowned as the best shooter in the NBA? Share your views in the comments!



Written by:

Saahil Dhillan


One take at a time

Saahil Dhillan is an NBA Writer at Essentially Sports. He has been writing articles and blogs for 5 years now, including those for a sports brand that manufactures knee braces, for a Red Bull athlete in 2019 and for a documentary of an Ultra Running Coach in 2021. There’s plenty Saahil can write about why he likes basketball, having followed the NBA for more than 10 years, but he is most keen on picking out various offense/defense strategies, on/off-court decisions, roster changes in crunch time and other underrated key elements that leave an impact on the scoreboard.
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Edited by:

Aayush Kapoor




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