Boston Celtics Legend Larry Bird’s Hilarious Response to an Autograph Request from Ben Affleck
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
If you’ve followed the 2023 Celtics, one thing is clear: they’re not shy.
Whether it’s Jayson Tatum playing Willy Wonka or Grant Williams enjoying a random FaceTime call with Mark Wahlberg, they are blessed with the gifts of both hoop and gab.
While the former was definitely true of Celtics legend Larry Bird, the latter was not always accurate. While Bird’s famous for his on-court trash talk, he’s not always as chatty when it comes to basketball outsiders.
I learned this myself a few years back when I wrote a “Tonight Show” bit for Larry Legend. And Massachusetts natives Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have an even cringier tale.
Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy interviewed the famous friends about their new film “Air” when they shared a story about Affleck (long before he was famous for being the face of Dunkins) requesting an autograph from Bird for Damon’s birthday.
Specifically, Damon requested a lengthy quote from a broadcaster following one of Bird’s game-winners in the 80s:
“The wonderful arrogance of Larry Bird! Two to tie, 3 to win!”
After thinking it over, Bird said, “Too long,” and wrote:
“Matt . . . best . . . Larry.”
Still, pretty wordy for Larry Bird!
Affleck isn’t the first one to be rebuffed by the Birdman, as Number 33 apparently declined an offer to appear on “Cheers” (the role wound up going to teammate Kevin McHale, who was funny enough to earn a second appearance.)
Which is ironic, as when he wants to be, Larry can more than hold his own with some of the greats...