Larry Bird is a wealthy American businessman and former professional basketball player. His net worth is estimated at $75 million. From 1979 through 1992, he was a member of the Boston Celtics, where he achieved legendary status as one of the game’s finest players.
Larry Bird Early Life
Larry Joe Bird’s parents, Georgia and Claude Joseph “Joe” Bird, welcomed him into the world on December 7, 1956, in West Baden Springs, Indiana. His father was a Korean War veteran, and he is the youngest of five children, including four brothers and a sister. Bird’s family lived in the adjacent town of French Lick, where his mother worked two jobs to provide for him and his three younger brothers and sisters.
The divorce between his parents occurred when he was in high school, and his father committed suicide a year or so after that. Bird resorted to basketball as a means of getting away from his familial problems. His senior year, as the standout player at Springs Valley High School, he posted averages of 31 points, 21 rebounds, and 4 assists per game.
Larry Bird College Career
Bird attended Indiana University on a basketball scholarship from 1973 to 1974, but he struggled with the transition and dropped out after less than a month on campus. Upon returning home, he enrolled in Northwood Institute (now Northwood University) for a year before transferring to Indiana State University in 1975.
A great collegiate basketball career with the Indiana State Sycamores resulted in his leading the team to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 1979, which was the first time the school had done so. The Sycamores competed against Michigan State in the 1979 championship game, which received the greatest television rating ever for a college basketball game at the time, despite the fact that they were defeated by Michigan State.
Bird received a Bachelor of Science in physical education from the University of Illinois in 1979. Over the course of his collegiate career, he averaged 30.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists in 30.3 minutes per game. Furthermore, he was the recipient of various accolades and honours, including the Naismith College Player of the Year Award, among others.
Larry Bird Professional Basketball Career
Bird was the sixth overall pick in the 1978 NBA draught, and the Boston Celtics chose him to be their centre. However, he did not immediately join them, preferring instead to complete out his final season at Indiana State University. Initially, the Celtics stated that they would not pay Bird more than any other player on their roster; however, Bird’s agent, Bob Woolf, stated that Bird would reject any sub-market offers made by the Celtics and instead would enter the 1979 NBA draught.
Bird’s agent, Bob Woolf, stated that Bird would simply enter the 1979 NBA draught instead. Bird eventually agreed to a five-year, $3.25 million contract with the Boston Celtics after lengthy discussions, making him the highest-paid rookie in sports history at the time. The NBA amended its rules regarding draught eligibility not long after, enacting what is now known as the Bird Collegiate Rule in order to prevent teams from picking players who were not yet ready to sign contracts.
Following Bird’s addition to the squad, the Celtics improved their victory total by 32 games when compared to their previous campaign. Bird contributed to the team’s 114-106 victory over the Houston Rockets in his career debut, with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists in the victory. This past season, the Celtics advanced all the way to the Conference Finals before being eliminated by the Philadelphia 76ers.
After his debut year, Bird finished with averages of 21.3 points per game, 10.4 rebounds per game, 4.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game. His tremendous play helped him earn a spot on the All-Star team, and he was also voted Rookie of the Year as a result of his accomplishments.
He remained a member of the Celtics until he decided to retire from professional basketball at the end of the 1992 season. Three NBA championships (1981, 1984, 1986) and being the first player in NBA history to shoot 50 percent or better on field goals and 40 percent or better on three-pointers in a single NBA season are some of the highlights of his career. He was also selected to 12 NBA All-Star teams and was named to three NBA All-Defensive teams during his career. Bird suffered from repeated back problems throughout his playing career, particularly in his final years. During his professional career, he earned a total of $26 million in pay.
Larry Bird Business Career
Bird continued with the Celtics after his playing days were over, serving as a special assistant in the team’s front office from 1992 to 1997. Later, in 1997, he accepted the role as coach for the Indiana Pacers, stating that he intended to remain in the position for no more than three years at a time. Bird was the head coach of the Indiana Pacers during the 1997-1998 season, and he guided them to a 58-24 record.
Their finest performance in the NBA’s history occurred during this game, and for his efforts, he was voted the NBA Coach of the Year in 2008. As a result of his efforts, the Pacers were able to win the Central Division crowns in 1999 and 2000. Bird resigned from his job as head coach following the conclusion of the 2000 season, keeping his promise to only coach for three years.
When the Pacers rehired Bird in 2003, it was as the team’s president of basketball operations, rather than as a player. The next season, he was honoured with the NBA Executive of the Year award and became the only person in NBA history to receive all three of the league’s major accolades, including the NBA MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year. Having left the Pacers for a brief period in 2012, Bird returned to his role as president of basketball operations for the team in 2013, a position he held until his resignation from the team again in 2017. In any case, he has remained on the team in an advisory capacity.
Larry Bird Personal Life
Bird tied the knot with Janet Condra in 1975, but the couple divorced after less than a year of wedded bliss. They enjoyed a brief reconciliation and were blessed with a daughter, Corrie, in 1977. They did, however, eventually decide to part ways forever. Bird then tied the knot with Dinah Mattingly in 1989. Conner and Mariah, their two adopted children, are the couple’s only offspring.
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