Born: December 7, 1956 West Baden, Indiana American basketball player and also coach

few players have left a note on 1980s skilled basketball like Larry Bird, the famous forward for the Boston Celtics.

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Larry Bird was born on December 7, 1956. He to be the fourth of Joe and also Georgia Bird's six children. His birthplace, West Baden, Indiana, is a little village just external the slightly larger town that French Lick, Indiana, i m sorry a had actually a population of two thousand. French Lick was when a renowned resort neighborhood that civilization visited because that its mineral springs (healthful waters). French Lick had actually fallen upon tough times by the moment Bird was a youngster. His father managed to find factory occupational in the town, yet the Bird family always struggled to make ends meet. The bird had enough coal to stay warm, yet many nights the old heater would break down. The home would fill with black smoke, and the household would all need to stand outside, freezing, if Joe Bird make the efforts to settle things.

Bird and his brother played every sorts of sports, consisting of baseball and softball. In fact, Bird did not resolve on basketball together his primary sport till he was in high school. As soon as he realized he could excel in the sport, he began to exercise day and night. "I played when I was cold and my body was aching and also I to be so tired," that told sporting activities Illustrated. "I don't know why, I just kept playing and also playing.… ns guess I constantly wanted to do the many out that it."

Bird sharpened his talent in among the many demanding basketball arenas. In Indiana, the sports reigns supreme. When he remained in high college in French Lick, he play guard during his sophomore and junior years. He proved no great ability at the time, and at 6 feet 3 customs (1.9 meters) he was not especially tall. By his senior year, however, Bird had grown four an ext inches. At 6 feet 7 customs (2 meters) he came to be an superior physical specimen and retained his agility (ability to move quickly) and also hustle (speed, drive). Numerous universities wanted him for your teams, however Bird decided to remain at home. He entered Indiana university in the autumn of 1974. Bird lasted only twenty-four days at the college. He felt uncomfortable about the size and the impersonality (lack of emotion) that the school. He went back to French Lick and also entered small college there, however within two months he had actually dropped the end of the college together well.

Bird had a short marriage that finished in divorce. In stimulate to support himself and also his daughter from the marriage, Bird take it a job with the City room of French Lick. That drove a garbage truck and helped to preserve parks and roads in the district. Such work-related may have seemed a low allude to some people, yet Bird said Sports shown that he actually delighted in it. "I loved that job," that said. "It was outdoors, you were about your friends.… i felt choose I was really accomplishing something. Had actually the chance to do my neighborhood look better."

Overcomes tragedies

Bird faced personal loss during the same period when his dad committed suicide. After that tragic event, Bird chose to return to college. This time he visited Indiana State. He had small confidence in his scholastic abilities, however felt that he could aid the basketball team, the Sycamores. Already he had grown an additional two inches. He was 6 feet 9 customs (2.1 meters) in height and weighed 220 pounds (99.9 kilograms).

Bird had to sit the end his first season in ~ Indiana State due to the fact that of rules having actually to execute with players relocating from one institution to another. That year the Sycamores walk 13–12 (won thirteen games and also lost twelve). When he was permitted to pat in the 1976–77 season, his first year ~ above the team, the very same Sycamores deserve a 25–3 record—their ideal in nearly thirty years. When he to be at Indiana State, Bird became the most talked about college player in the country. Bird constantly played with and also for the team and always shared his fame v his other players both on and off the court.

The Boston Celtics drafted Bird in 1978. He had actually the option of playing skilled basketball ideal away, however he made decision to stay in school and finish his degree. The Celtics cleared up a transaction for Bird after his graduation. The contract signed on June 8, 1979, offered Bird $650,000 per year for 5 years, a complete of $3.25 million. This sum was a record for a rookie (first-year player) in any sport. The Boston pan made no an enig of your expectations because that their brand-new headliner. Bird did no disappoint them.

Bird took the nationwide Basketball association (NBA) by storm together a rookie in 1979, dominating the league practically without a


Larry Bird. Reproduced by permission that the

Corbis coporation, group
break throughout his career. He assisted the Celtics reclaim their position as a basketball superpower. That made the NBA All-Star team his very first year, play in every constant season Celtics game, and also led the team to a very first place complete in that is league. Bird was called Rookie that the Year and finished third in the Most valuable Player polls.

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Bird soars with Celtics

Those who had actually predicted that Bird might never revolve Boston around had to take earlier their statements. ~ Bird's first year, the team play in the championship series again and also won in 1981, 1984, and also 1986. The Celtics' gamings at the Boston Garden (their house stadium) were offered out because that years because fans wanted to clock Bird play.

Bird was never the flashiest of players in the NBA. He to be not an extremely fast top top the court and was no a remarkable jumper. Bird has completed greatness the old-fashioned way—by being consistent, through contributing no as a grandstanding superstar yet as a team player, and by attacking every video game with every ounce of effort. That spent hrs practicing both v his team and also alone. Sportswriters and also fans alike have been amazed at exactly how Bird knew the game, the basketball court, and also where the round was going to be. His timing and feel for the video game was exceptional. He always seemed to understand where he need to go and where he need to be.

Bird was constantly somewhat injury-prone. He missed much of the 1988–89 season after major surgery ~ above both heels. He continued to battle back problems and also other injuries throughout the next couple of seasons. He retirement from the Celtics ~ a thirteen-year career. He play his last game of basketball together a member that the U.S. Olympic Dream Team (a basketball team consisted of of U.S. Superstars) at the 1992 Summer Olympic gamings in Barcelona, Spain.

~ retiring together a player, Bird functioned for the Celtics as a consultant. In 1997, Bird went back to his home state of Indiana and became the coach the the Indiana Pacers. The led his team to the east Conference finals in 1998 and also 1999; in 2000, the Pacers lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the finals before Bird stepped down as coach.

For much more Information

Bird, Larry, and Jackie MacMullan. Bird Watching. new York: Warner, 1999.