Most people consider him to be one of the best basketball players of all time because of his time spent with the Boston Celtics from 1979 to 1992. A total of $26 million was amassed by his salary during his career. Larry left the NBA to begin a highly successful business career.
Larry Bird Early Life
Larry Joe Bird was born in West Baden Springs, Indiana, on December 7, 1956, to Georgia and Claude Joseph “Joe” Bird. His dad served in the Korean War, and he has four brothers and a sister.
His mother held down two jobs so that she could provide for Bird and his siblings as they grew up in the nearby town of French Lick. When he was a senior in high school, his parents split up, and a year later, his father took his own life.
Bird used basketball as an outlet to forget about his problems at home. He led the team in scoring, rebounding, and assisting as a senior at Springs Valley High School, averaging 31 points, 21 boards, and 4 dimes per game.
Larry Bird College Career
In 1974, Bird was offered a basketball scholarship to study at Indiana University. However, he struggled to adapt to college life and left after only a month. After transferring to Indiana State University from Northwood Institute (now Northwood University), he moved back to French Lick in 1975.
In 1979, he led the Indiana State Sycamores to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history, capping off a successful college basketball career. The 1979 championship game between the Sycamores and Michigan State had the highest television rating for a college basketball game in history.
Bird earned her Bachelor of Science in physical education in 1979 from the University of Arizona. He had career averages of 30.3 points, 13.3 boards, and 4.6 dimes in college. The Naismith College Player of the Year Award was one of many accolades he received.
“If I had to choose a player to take a shot to save a game I’d choose Michael Jordan.. If I had to choose a player to take a shot to save my life… I’d take Larry Bird.”
– Pat Riley pic.twitter.com/lHKAzFyXmY
— Larry Bird☘️ (@LarryBirdDaily) August 12, 2020
Larry Bird Professional Basketball Career
The Boston Celtics picked Bird with the sixth overall pick in the 1978 NBA draught. Not wanting to leave Indiana State before finishing his senior year, he waited to join them.
Bob Woolf, Bird’s agent, indicated his client would turn down any below-market offer from the Celtics and instead join the 1979 draught if the team insisted on paying Bird less than any other player on the roster.
After lengthy talks, Bird signed a five-year, $3.25 million contract with the Celtics, making him the highest-paid rookie in sports history. Not long after, the NBA instituted the Bird Collegiate Rule, which altered the criteria for draught eligibility and effectively eliminated the practice of teams selecting college players before they were contractually obligated to do so.
Following Bird’s arrival, the Celtics went from having won 16 games the previous season to having won 32 games the following year. Bird scored 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out 5 assists in the team’s 114-106 victory over the Houston Rockets in his professional debut.
That year’s Celtics team advanced to the Conference Finals before falling to the Philadelphia 76ers. With 21.3 points, 10.4 boards, 4.5 assists, and 1.7 steals per game, Bird concluded his first year with impressive numbers. His stellar play earned him a spot on the All-Star Team, and he was also recognized as the Year’s Best Rookie.
Up until he retired from professional basketball in 1992, he remained a member of the Celtics’ roster. Some of the highlights of his career include: being the third player in NBA history to win three consecutive MVP Awards.
Being the first player in NBA history to shoot 50% or better on field goals, 40% or better on three-pointers, and 90% or better from the free-throw line in a single NBA season; and being the first player in NBA history to win three consecutive NBA championships (1981, 1984, 1986). Later in his career, Bird had a lot of trouble with his back.
Larry Bird Coaching and Business Career
After his playing career ended, Bird remained with the Celtics from 1992 to 1997 as a special assistant in the front office. Then, in 1997, he became the coach of the Indiana Pacers, though he had previously stated that he didn’t plan to stay in that role for longer than three years.
Bird coached the Pacers to a 58-24 record in 1997–1998. After leading his team to its best-ever season, he was honored as the NBA’s top coach. In 1999 and 2000, he led the Pacers to the Central Division championship. After the end of the 2000 season, Bird followed through on his promise to step down as head coach after three years.
Having previously employed Bird as a player, the Pacers rehired him in 2003, this time as president of basketball operations.
After the 2011–12 season, he became the first and only man in NBA history to win all three individual accolades (MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year) when he was elected NBA Executive of the Year.
After leaving the Pacers for a year in 2012, Larry Bird came back in 2013 as president of basketball operations and stayed there until he left again in 2017. But he’s stayed on as an advisor to the group.
Larry Bird Personal Life
Bird wed Janet Condra in 1975, but the couple divorced a year later. Shortly after their breakup, in 1977, they reconciled and became parents to a daughter named Corrie. But in the end, they had to part ways permanently. Eventually, Bird settled down with Dinah Mattingly, whom he wed in 1989. Together, they adopted Conner and Mariah. TheActiveNews.Com is where you may go to get the most recent information.