Dominique Wilkins Recalls ‘Don’t Belong in This League’ Comment from Larry Bird

at 3:21 pm | By

Larry Bird is notorious for trash talking. But when Dominique Wilkins came into the league in 1982, he didn’t know how bad it really was. That is, until he faced Bird and experienced it first-hand.

The Atlanta Hawks are in Boston Wednesday (Feb. 11) to play the Celtics, and Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald interviewed Wilkins who used to play for the Hawks.

Wilkins was more than willing to answer some questions. What we all learned was a story of Wilkins covering Bird in a game and what was said. Wilkins told the Boston Herald:

One of the first times I ever played against him, I went out for the opening tip and I went to shake his hand. He just stood there and looked at me stone-faced with his hands behind his back.

I was like, ‘Whoa.’ Then we were getting ready for the tip and he says to me, ‘You don’t belong in this league, Homes.’ I couldn’t believe it, but it happened so fast, I didn’t know what to think.

Then they had the ball and I was on him and he said, ‘I don’t know why they got you guarding me, Homes. You can’t guard me.’ Then, whap, he hit a three. Then he came down again and said, ‘They made a mistake putting you on me, Homes,’ and he took another three.

So now I’m hot. I’m hot. I mean, I’m steaming.

Then a little while later, I came down on a break and he was backpedaling. I just went right after him. I jumped up and he tried to challenge, but I took that right through the rim. He fell and hit the basket support.

He got up and said, ‘I like you, rookie. You’ve got (guts).’ I was happy for a second, and then he said, ‘But I’m still going for 40 on you tonight.’

But I got him. He only scored 39.