Larry Joe Bird was born on December 7, 1956, in West Baden Springs, Indiana. He is a former basketball player, coach, and executive in the N.B.A. Bird was considered by many to be one of the most versatile basketball athletes, being the only one in N.B.A. history to be named Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, N.B.A. Finals M.V.P., All-Star M.V.P., Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year. Bird is truly an inspirational man of superior talents!
Larry Joe Bird was born on December 7, 1956, in West Baden Springs, Indiana. After an immaculate career, it is easy to overlook the difficulties Bird had to face before becoming the legend he is today. His father, Joseph Bird, served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War and, after the conflict, he returned with depression and alcoholism.
In 1976, Bird’s father separated from his wife and committed suicide. Despite all the sorrows and difficulties, Bird continued to devote himself to basketball. He was the first to arrive and the last to leave basketball training. Such dedication earned him a spot on Indiana State University’s Sycamores.
Bird had an astonishing college career. One of his most popular moments was the N.C.A.A. tournament, which achieved the highest-ever television rating for a college basketball game, mainly because of the rivalry between him and Spartans’ point guard Earvin “Magic” Johnson. As he graduated, Bird was selected by the Boston Celtics, where he would change the game. He immediately improved Celtics’ wins by 32 from the year of his draft to the Eastern Conference, where he finished first.
In the 1980 to 1981 season, Kevin McHale was selected forward to the Celtics, followed by the acquired center Robert Parish. With Bird, they would form a Hall of Fame trio for years to come, considered one of the greatest frontcourts in N.B.A. history. In this same season, Bird won his first but not the last championship. Bird’s story and career are very well known and respected. He was a player without weaknesses. He was a deadly shooter, a slick passer, a clutch performer, and a great coach. There wasn’t a thing Bird couldn’t do.
The Boston Celtics select Bird with the sixth overall pick in the N.B.A. draft.
The frontcourt dream team, Bird, McHale, and Parish, bring the Celtics to the N.B.A. championship.
He wins another championship, defeating the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Despite having no previous coaching experience, he leads the Pacers to a 58-24 record.
He becomes the only man in N.B.A. history to win M.V.P., Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year.
At the N.B.A., Bird and Magic Johnson share a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Why We Love Larry Bird
He gives back to his community
He is often endorsing and donating to a Larry-themed restaurant in his hometown without profiting from it. What a kind and compassionate soul, no matter his fame!
He is extremely confident
He used to go as far as predicting his scores, as well as warning the other team he would get the ball in clutch moments. His confidence helped him persevere in his personal and professional life.
He is an advocate for suicide prevention
He is an Honorary Director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. His father’s death is a driving factor behind his kind contributions to society.
5 Surprising Facts
His high school games were popular
French Lick was home to 2,000 people at the time and the average attendance of the games was about 1,600 people.
He was a garbageman
After dropping out of college, he went back home and eventually got a job as a garbageman, which he loved.
He turned the Celtics franchise around
Even though they selected him in the 1987 Draft, Bird stayed one more year at Indiana State University.
His rivalry became a Broadway play
After Bird and Magic Johnson retired from the N.B.A., H.B.O. Sports released the 2010 documentary “Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals,” which was later on turned into a Broadway play.
He was perhaps better than Jordan
When you compare the two, the only categories in which Bird doesn't beat or match Jordan are points and steals per game.
Larry Bird FAQs
Does Larry Bird have children?
Yes, he has three children, Connor Bird, Corrie Bird, and Mariah Bird.
Does Larry Bird still play basketball?
No. He was president of basketball operations for the Pacer but retired in 2012.
Are Larry Bird and Sue Bird related?
No, but when Sue was a child, she would tell people he was her uncle.
Larry Bird’s birthday dates