“I knew I was as good as anybody. That’s not really bragging; it’s just that I’d put the time in.” – Larry Bird
Unintentional philosopher. Legendary trash talker. Cut throat competitor. All-time great clutch player. Twelve-time NBA All-Star. Three-time Three-point Shootout Champion. Member of the 1992 Dream Team. Named to the NBA’s 50th anniversary team. Three-time (consecutive) League MVP. Three-time NBA Champion. Two-time NBA Finals MVP. Boston sports icon.
As a lifelong, die-hard Boston sports fan, my first love in sports was Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics. It will always be the era of the NBA I cherish the most.
While some people prefer the Lebron’s, the Durant’s and the Harden’s of today, give me the Jordan’s, the Magic’s and the Bird’s any day over that.
I feel bad for the young fans of today who never witnessed that era. They’ll never know what it’s like to sit in the historic Boston Garden and watch Bird toy with his opposition like a game of cat and mouse.
Bird played his entire career with the Boston Celtics, which would be an outlier by today’s standard. Over his career, he averaged a double-double, and had an astounding 69 triple doubles (still the 7th most in NBA history).
He wasn’t concerned with chasing individual awards and he wasn’t a prima donna. He hated losing more than winning. His practice and preparation were second to none. His battles with Jordan and Magic were epic. Basketball was truly his obsession.
Ultimately, the only player that could stop Larry Bird was Larry Bird. Shortly after winning an Olympic gold medal with the infamous 1992 Dream Team, Bird was forced to retire due to a debilitating back injury, after only 13 seasons.
After playing, Bird would go on to become the Head Coach of the Year for the Indiana Pacers during the 1998 season, and Executive of the Year for the Pacers during the 2011 season. He became the first and only player to win an NBA MVP award, an NBA Coach of the Year award and an NBA Executive of the Year award. He was a rare person in the NBA who could truly do it all at the highest level.
Larry Legend – a nicknamed well deserved.