Sadly, I hated Bird growing up. I was born in 1981 and from probably 1989 til college I never missed a game. I hated our slow, old, white players, otherwise known as the ZAPS (Bird, McHale, Parish) but loved the cool black athletic players (Reggie, Shaw, Dee, Gamble) who of course were the ZIPS. Thanks Tommy. Bird was obviously great. So were McHale and Parish. I wish I could have appreciated Bird more, all of them actually. I was so happy when he retired.