Larry Bird – The Man Who Put the Game on the Map
American former basketball player, coach and executive in the National Basketball Association (NBA), Larry Bird is known by several nicknames including “the Hick from French Lick” and “Larry Legend”. He is widely considered one of the best basketball players of all time, and is a living legend. He is also known as a man who put the game of basketball on the map. In fact, he has received more accolades than any other athlete in the history of the sport.
While playing in the NBA, Larry Bird broke numerous records and redefined the position of the small forward. In fact, by the time he retired from the NBA in 1992, he had 27 championship banners to his name, a record that stands until this day. In addition, Bird continued to battle back injuries and other health issues. He opted to stay at Indiana State University instead of signing a contract with the Boston Celtics, but his decision to play in the NBA was the right one.
After graduating from Indiana State University, Bird was offered a basketball scholarship from Indiana University, but dropped out after just a month on campus. The basketball player returned to his hometown of French Lick, where he attended Northwood Institute. In 1975, he went to the Indiana State University, where he led the Sycamores to a championship game. His game against Michigan State was the highest-rated college basketball game at the time. In his first season in the NBA, Bird had already won an All-Star award. Many say that he was better than Michael Jordan.
Bird played for the Celtics for 13 seasons. He was 6 feet 9 inches and known for his clutch shooting ability. He helped the team win their first NBA title in 1981 and won a second in 1984. In 1986, he was named NBA MVP. In 2007, he won his fourth and final championship. This is the only NBA player who has won more than one championship. The Boston Celtics have never lost a game to Michael Jordan in the past 30 years.
After retiring as a player, Larry Bird worked in the Boston Celtics’ front office. In 1997, he became the head coach of the Indiana Pacers, where he led the team to an NBA championship. In 2000, the Pacers won the Central Division for the first time. At that time, the Pacers were the most successful team in the league. That season, Bird was named Coach of the Year. He coached the Celtics to two more championships.
After retiring as a player, Larry Bird returned to the game as an advisor. He was a popular player, and the Celtics were lucky to have him. In fact, he is still active in the league as a consultant. Although his career was short, it was memorable for many reasons. The Pacers won the championship in the 1992 Summer Olympics and he has become a part of the community in his hometown. He was a great inspiration to many young athletes.
After graduating from the University of Indiana, the legend joined the Boston Celtics. The team was a mess that year and Bird was a major contributor. His teammates were talented and skilled, but they couldn’t stop Bird from doing anything he wanted. The NBA Finals were tape delayed, and it took a while for it to finally reach the finals. However, he had no choice but to stay. The 61-point mark of his first season in the NBA was a personal high for the legend.
After retiring from the NBA, Bird remained with the Boston Celtics as a special assistant. In 1998, Bird became the head coach of the Indiana Pacers, which he did for three years. The Pacers had a 58-24 record that season and Bird was named NBA Coach of the Year that year. In addition to winning the title, he was also named a Hall-of-Famer for the second time.
In the 1988 Eastern Conference semi-finals, Bird was the only player to score 20 points in the final quarter. Dominique Wilkins’ team lost the game, and Bird was sidelined for the remainder of the game. In the finals, the Boston Celtics were defeated by the Detroit Pistons. This was Bird’s last NBA appearance, and he did not play in the conference finals that year. Nevertheless, he is still regarded as one of the best in the NBA.