BOSTON (CBS) — Doug McDermott knows there’s a chance he might get drafted by the Celtics, and he knows that if that happens, he’ll have to win over some new fans.
He also knows the quickest way to accomplish that feat: Praise Larry Bird.
The former Creighton star has been compared to Bird in the past, in part due to their play on the court but mostly due to the fact that McDermott appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in a remake of Bird’s own cover appearance in 1977.
McDermott spoke to the media after his workout for the Celtics on Thursday, and he said he had his hesitations about doing that photo shoot for SI.
“I thought they were crazy. I didn’t want to disrespect Larry like that,” McDermott said. “But I think it was a cool idea, just to show some people that were around in that time maybe just a flash to the past. I’m glad that I was the one chosen to be able to do that, but obviously there’s never going to be another Larry Bird. It’s just cool to kind of have a tribute to him with that cover.”
McDermott listed Bird as one of the players he looked up to, but he doesn’t think any young player should be compared to the Birds, Magics and Jordans of the world.
“It’s really not fair. I don’t think you can compare anyone to Larry Bird. There’s just not going to be another one,” McDermott said. “It’s good to have a guy like that for everyone to look up to, all these young guys, myself included. That’s the best of the best right there — him and Magic and Michael, those guys. You can’t compare guys to those three, I don’t think. I just take pieces of his game and try to apply it to mine.
“We’re each our own players. People get really caught up in the comparisons — your height, your weight, what you look like, stuff like that. I think people just need to focus on what can this guy bring to the table to help our team to win, and those comparisons will kind of be put aside.”
The history of the Celtics was not lost on McDermott, who took some time to soak in where he was for this workout.
“It’s unbelievable. I want to get my phone out and take some pictures,” he said. “This is a franchise that everybody grows up watching. My grandparents, my dad, this was always their team, so it’s cool to be able to be a part of a history pretty much. Really blessed to be here.”
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