They are about equal as GOAT closers. Maybe Bird by a tiny margin, because he had better range, plus taller (easier to get shot against anyone) and better passer (draw defense and pass to wide open teammate for easy points).
Roughly equal offensively, but Jordan was more clutch defensively. MJ made way more clutch defensive plays than Bird did (not that Bird wasn't clutch defensively as well, because he was).
Offensively, MJ was more able to take over the final 4-6 minutes of a game on his own and pull out a win more consistently than Bird. Again, not that Bird didn't do this, because he certainly did do so better than all but 1-2 players in history.
As Loki adequately stated above:
Bird was equal to MJ offensively.
But MJ was really completely dominant defensively. Bird not in that convo.
I will say this... Bird was 2 steps ahead of everyone else, mentally, thru the course of an offensive set (and defensively too, but his feet were not fast enuf). And I mean 2 steps ahead of MJ, too. No one, except MAYBE Magic, was at that same level... the game within the game, if you know what I mean.
Easily the greatest SF of all time.
EDIT: oops. my bad. With respect to closing...there is no one I feared more that Larry Bird. While an insanely clutch shooter (from anywhere), he also had that knack to make plays in every way...the key pass...the key deflection..etc.
As a Laker fan, I never wanted Bird to have the ball with the final possession.
Last edited by bleedinpurpleTwo : 06-24-2011 at 10:34 PM.
They are both very clutch. But there are some differences.
Jordan creates his own shot better and can shoot anywhere from the field. Jordan could run down the floor and shoot it in your face in about 10 seconds. He did it against the Lakers in 91, and Bird didn't that like Jordan.
But I trust Bird to set up his teammates more. While MJ could do the same, but Bird is better at it. Jordan probably played better in the 5 minutes of the game with his epic scoring talent. And Bird is better at doing little things and passing it to his teammates, and finding the right person. Plus Bird had more and better scoring options than Jordan did. Bird is more of a team player, but Bird could score a lot if he tried harder and focus scoring. But Jordan was the better scorer in the last 5 minutes I'm guessing.
Bird has more crazy shots with game winners though. It's amazing how those shots will go in. Jordan may have more game winners with possibly better efficiency, but I dunno. Bird's are more entertaining though.
But you can't really judge them accurately unless you see them play. I'm guessing a lot of people haven't. Plus we don't really have stats to go by. So, you would have to watch them play more often than not.