Rebels Always Stay in the Game - And You Should Too

True provocateurs never accept "good enough." They view the status quo with disdain, continuously searching for a new, different, better, or simply more interesting way to do anything. Even at the top of their game, they will continuously push themselves to see if they can attain what others deem impossible. 

Rebellious Inspiration Transcends Time And Place 

Sometimes, corporate rebels can draw inspiration from innovators from another time and place. Case in point: the 1985 Boston Celtics (yes, really). On March 3rd, 1985, Kevin McHale played the game of his life against the Detroit Pistons, beating Larry Bird's franchise record for the most points scored by a player in a single game. Bird's original record was 53 points; McHale brought his tally up to 56 and, seemingly satisfied with his performance, took himself out of the game before the final buzzer rang. In his mind, he worked hard, he clinched the record, and he was done.

In case you're wondering – Kevin McHale is not this story's rebel hero. At all. 

However, like most 80's Celtic stories, Larry Bird is. As someone who built a career redefining what's possible in basketball, Bird couldn't fathom why a player would voluntarily dismiss himself from the action. In his mind, McHale didn't just have an opportunity to beat the record – he had the chance to destroy it in the final seconds of the game, forever raising the bar on what players could strive for on the court. Bird said as much when he was interviewed about the game later. While he praised his teammate's effort, he couldn't help but point out that, "He should have gone for 60."

Nine days later - Larry Bird beat McHale's record by scoring 60 points. Over 30 years later, it's still the highest points scored in a single game by one player in Celtics history.

What We Can All Learn From Larry Bird

No matter when you were born or how you feel about sports, Larry Bird's performance over 30 years ago is a perfect example of three universal rebel truths:

  • Rebels never take themselves out of the game, even after a perceived victory.

  • Rebels don't see achievement in terms of finish lines – to them, there is no finish line. They are never done; it's more about redefining the current perceived limitations and restrictions. As soon as they've hit that next milestone, they look to see what else is possible. 

  • Rebels play to win, but they recognize that it's not just about competing with everyone else; they know that even when they've "clinched a win" or are first in the market, they need to keep innovating and moving forward.


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At REBEL & REASON, we love hearing about new rebel heroes. Who do you draw inspiration from when you need that extra push to keep innovating and moving forward? Tell us about in the comments!