This topic is a joke.
That has much to do with the Len Bias and Reggie Lewis tragedies and then some bad draft luck and bad decisions. And really, does holding what the franchise did after his retirement make any sense?
Not really holding him...more of the disadvantage of lower longevity. When Bird become injured after 9 seasons, there's a few throwaway seasons when he's playing hurt. And then there's the risk of draft after that while Karl Malone was a sure thing for twice as many seasons.
If not Karl Malone then how about...Scottie Pippen or David Robinson for 19 seasons never miss a game. Would we still take Larry Bird?