The Loop

Throwback Anyday

A friendly reminder that nothing beats Nolan Richardson's hilarious story of hearing about Larry Bird for the first time

February 12, 2021

You never really know why some clip from the past resurfaces on Twitter at a given moment, much less why it goes viral (again), but it's one of the great parts about the platform. On some rainy Friday in the year 2021, you might suddenly run across a clip from, say, 2014, and Nolan Richardson's hall of fame induction ceremony. And in that clip, Nolan Richardson might be telling the timeless story of the first time he came across the name Larry Bird. That's what happened today, courtesy of a sports radio host in Arkansas, who swept in from the Razorback State to make my day. Watch:

It's a terrific story, and it actually redeems Nolan Richardson in my head, because previously I only knew him as the man who broke my heart in 1994 when his Razorbacks beat my beloved Duke in the championship game. Him, Corliss Williamson, and Scotty Thurman were essentially baketball demons in my eyes, but now? Now I see the good in Nolan Richardson. (I will never forgive Thurman, though.)

Richardson's whole speech at the HOF induction was terrific, from the funny stories to the not-so-funny ones about the hardship of making it as a black coach in the south. If you have a free half hour today, it will be time well spent.