Cedric Maxwell Rumors

Cedric Maxwell on Luka Doncic: 'This is Larry Bird reincarnated'

Cedric Maxwell played for six seasons and won two championships alongside Larry Bird in Boston. He was named the most valuable player of the N.B.A. finals in 1981. So you listen intently when someone like Maxwell refers to Bird in assessing the Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic. “You can quote me: This is Larry Bird reincarnated,” Maxwell said.
“Luka is better than Larry was at that age,” Maxwell said of Doncic, who turns 22 on Sunday. “The biggest thing is that there’s an arrogance, a cockiness, that Luka has that is directly out of the bloodstream of Larry Bird.” Doncic turned pro at 16 with the Spanish power Real Madrid, where he developed that maturity beyond his years. Bird was 22 when he scored 14 points in his N.B.A. debut. Another key contrast: Doncic didn’t land with a franchise as close to title contention as Bird and, in Year 3, finds himself in his most challenging stretch since he reached the N.B.A.

Cedric Maxwell: Luka Doncic is better than Larry Bird was at that age

Cedric Maxwell played for six seasons and won two N.B.A. championships alongside Larry Bird in Boston. He was named the most valuable player of the finals in 1981. So you listen intently when someone like Maxwell refers to Bird in assessing the Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic. “You can quote me: This is Larry Bird reincarnated,” Maxwell said.
Maxwell told me this last August, after watching Doncic beat the Los Angeles Clippers in the playoffs with an icy 3-pointer at the overtime buzzer that has been replayed over and over, and he said it again as he prepared for a radio broadcast of the Celtics’ game on Tuesday at Dallas. “This would be Larry Bird of the 2020s,” Maxwell said, “exactly how he would play now.”
Yet that’s what made the chats with Maxwell so entertaining. I am stubbornly measured. He’s no holds barred. Maxwell leaned into the notion that Doncic “is a carbon copy of Larry.” After an association with the N.B.A. that has spanned more than 40 years, he maintains that “comparison is good” — daunting (and downright damaging) as it has been for too many failed Next Jordans to list. “Luka is better than Larry was at that age,” Maxwell said of Doncic, who turns 22 on Sunday. “The biggest thing is that there’s an arrogance, a cockiness, that Luka has that is directly out of the bloodstream of Larry Bird.”
Nearly 40 years have passed and the once ‘twin towers of the paint’ in Boston, have still not cleared the air or mended fences. It’s said Bird holds grudges from what he perceived was Cedric ‘quitting’ on their 1985 team (Maxwell was actually very seriously injured). But Bird has not made many public comments about Maxwell at all. It’s almost as if the two never combined to make the NBA’s best front line with Robert Parish and enabling Kevin McHale to dominate the 6th man position. Maxwell on the other hand, has always been outspoken and though slightly more measured than usual when it comes to his tense relationship with Larry Legend, he still has spoken out more than once, including calling Kevin Garnett ‘the best all-around Celtics.’