Larry Joe Bird, born December 7, 1956, is a former professional basketball player, coach, and NBA executive from the United States (NBA).
Bird, also known as “the Hick from French Lick” and “Larry Legend,” is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
In NBA history, he is the only player to be named Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, Finals MVP, All-Star MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year all in the same season.
Early life and Education
Larry Bird was born in West Baden Springs, Indiana in 1956. He was raised in a tiny town as the fourth of six children.
His father worked in construction, and his mother worked as a waitress. Bird was raised in poverty, and his family often struggled to make ends meet.
Bird attended Springs Valley High School in French Lick, Indiana, where he excelled at basketball.
In his senior year, he led the team to a 30-1 record and was voted Indiana’s Mr. Basketball.
Bird spent a few weeks at Indiana University before dropping out and returning home.
He later enrolled in Northwood Institute, a small college in Michigan, but dropped out as well.
In 1975, he enrolled at Indiana State University and began playing basketball, eventually leading the team to the NCAA championship game in 1979.
At Indiana State, Bird was a three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference nominee, a two-time national college player of the year, and a unanimous first-team All-American.
The Boston Celtics selected Bird sixth overall in the 1978 NBA draft.
He spent his whole 13-year career with the Celtics, leading them to three NBA championships (1981, 1984, 1986).
Bird was a twelve-time NBA All-Star, a three-time NBA MVP (1984-1986), and a nine-time First Team All-NBA pick.
He was also the NBA Finals MVP twice and a three-time All-Defensive Second Team selection.
Bird was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998.
Bird had a career average of 24.3 points per game, 10.0 rebounds per game, and 6.3 assists per game.
He ranks among the all-time leaders in several statistical categories, including three-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage.
After retiring from playing, Bird went on to become an NBA coach and executive.
He was the head coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1997 to 2000, leading them to an NBA Finals appearance in 2000.
He was the Pacers’ president of basketball operations from 2003 through 2012.
Larry Bird has been married twice. In 1975, he married Janet Condra, with whom he had two children before divorcing in 1976.
He married Dinah Mattingly in 1989 and they have two children.
Larry was injured several times during his playing career, including back problems that forced him to retire early.
He has also battled a number of health issues since retirement, including a battle with skin cancer.
On and off the court, Bird was noted for his competitive attitude, work ethic, and leadership abilities. He was also noted for his calm temperament and love for fishing.