Larry Legend Bird's career wasn't about Athletic Ability. The closest thing to Athletic Ability that Legend had, was his Hand Eye Coordination, the best we've ever seen in Pro Basketball. And Larry's 6'9 225 pound frame, he could play both forward positions, because of his ability to rebound, shoot, pass and handle ball. All relating to his Hand Eye Coordination not his ability to run or jump. Larry was too big for almost any Small Forward that tried to cover him, other then James Worthy or Domique Wilkins in his era.
Because he could shoot right over you and back most Small Forwards down in the post. And Larry was too quick for most Power Forwards to cover him, Larry wasn't fast obviously but quick. With excellent footwork and always knew where he was going. Larry Bird was one of if not the smartest basketball players the game has ever seen. Not a genius off the court but brilliant on the court and that was the secret to Larry Bird. To go with his Hand Eye Coordination.
Larry Bird with his brilliance and Hand Eye Coordination could see things happen before they did. And thats what made him better then everyone else, because he always knew where to be and where to go. Because he always knew where they play was going to be, where he had to be to make the play. He saw things that his coaches or even Point Guard couldn't see and being the Leader of the Boston Celtics. On the floor, he took it upon himself to always make sure he was in the right place to make the play.
Thats why he was such a great rebounder, because he always knew where the ball was going to bounce. Based on the guy shooting the ball and based on his own shots, he knew when he missed the shot. And where to go based on how he missed it and when he made the shot.. This is also why he was such a great passer, because he saw openings for his teammates. In where to go to receive the ball and would pass the ball there. Even if his teammate isn't there yet and his teammate would go to that spot. And generally be wide open for a layup or a jump shot.
The Celtics always knew they had to get the ball to Larry. At least once on every possession, because he would either get his own shot. Or set up one of his teammates. The reason why Larry Bird was such a great Leader, because he was team first and team last and everything else in between. How many games would it take to win, in order to have the best playoff position possible. To get to and win the NBA Finals, which is how he and the Celtics judged their success. In the 1980s and the Celtics knew to get on Legend's back and he would show them the way. And take them to the Promise Land.