Originally Posted by Owl
Won't contest the first point because so long as you except there have always been star calls then Bird won't be gaining that much more of an advantage now. Plus his game whilst clever enough to draw fouls had very little of the slashing that tends to get people to the line (and soft foul calls).
3 words, burden of proof. It's not for me to show that his shot was affected its for those who believe it was to prove it. And they'd have to overcome the fact that his free throw shooting kept on improving after the injury. And "his hand looked ugly" doesn't cut it. If he'd been on Blake Ahearn 95% type shooting in college then you could say, hey it got worse. It didn't. It got better, significantly better.
I won't say the advantage would be big but there would be an advantage, offensive and defensively.
Larry worked in the post a lot, battled inside and did his fair share of slashing, if you watched him you know, that type of play would always get people to the line, just because the best part of his game was shooting, doesn't mean he was strictly a jump shooter.
It got worse from college to NBA, of course he had to adapt and worked on his shooting throughout his NBA years getting better than he was, without having to adapt his shooting from the get go, he could probably better from early on.