Originally Posted by Owl
Just a couple of notes.
I'm fairly sure there have always been superstar calls. Bill Russell and other "old timers" have discussed it happening in their time.
Bird's college ft was .822, in the pros it was .886 (and .890 in the playoffs). The softball injury makes for a nice anecdote but it's hard to make a case that it genuinely (negatively) affected his shooting (or at least that affected his jump/set shot, which is the usual contention).
I don't deny that there have always been superstar calls, but if you watch games from back then and now, it's pretty clear that there's much more today.
Ever saw his shooting finger? All crooked after that injury, there's no way that that couldn't have made him adapt his shooting.
He had to really work hard to overcome that in his first years, and be the shooter he was.