From, "Playing for Keeps" by David Halberstam
Sunday, November 1, 2009
WHAT ARE YOU ADDING TO YOUR GAME?
Knowing that his physical skills were limited, knowing he could never let his body slip even a little, every summer Bird went back home to Indiana and worked out diligently, trying, not only to stay in the best of shape with a strict regimen, but to improve his game by adding shots. One year it was an up-and-under shot summing off a fake. Another year it was a shot designed to add a degree of separation for a player who was not getting any younger; a faked drive forward followed by a quick backward step as he released the ball. One year it was improvement in his left hand; he had come into the league with a good left-handed shot, but as his career progressed, he sensed the need for that additional option and refined it. On the first days of Celtics’ preseason camps, the other players liked to see what Bird had added to his game over the summer. Bird expected his teammates to care as much as he did and to show the same loyalty he showed.