Larry Bird is a former professional basketball player who played for the Boston Celtics throughout his career before retiring to become a coach and later, president of basketball operations of the Indiana Pacers.
The three-time NBA champion also received international honors with the United States men’s basketball team. He is celebrated as the only person to be named Rookie of the Year, MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year in the National Basketball Association.
Biography and Career Attainments
Bird was born Larry Joe Bird, one of six children to Georgia (nee Kerns) and Claude Joseph Bird, on December 7, 1956, in West Baden Springs, Indiana. His father was a Korean War veteran while his mother worked two jobs at a time to support her family.
Bird attended Spring Valley High School where he was a star player who showed promising talent. During his time there, his parents divorced and about a year later, his father committed suicide. As all other personal family issues attempted to derail his ambition to play in the NBA, Bird found solace in the sport and went on to graduate from his high school as the all-time scoring leader after averaging 31 points per game.
Like every other promising high school athlete, Larry Bird, in 1974, received scholarship offers to attend a number of schools. He opted to join Indiana University to play for the Hoosiers but dropped out after a month as he found it difficult to adjust in his new environment. He returned home and enrolled at Northwood Institute in West Baden as he also worked municipal jobs to make ends meet.
After spending a year at Northwood, Bird transferred to Indiana State University in Terre Haute where he again found his love for basketball playing for the Sycamores. In his three-year-long college basketball career, Bird averaged 30.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game. He helped his team reach the NCAA tournament final for the first time in its history in 1979. Despite losing the final game to Michigan State who was led by one Magic Johnson, Larry Bird still gained plaudits and awards, including the Naismith College Player of the Year Award.
Bird was selected by the Boston Celtics with the sixth overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft but chose to play one more college basketball season in order to have a go at the NCAA title. In 1979, when he was ready to begin his professional career, Bird signed a $3.25 million five-year contract, what was at the time the highest amount paid to a rookie player. The gamble by the Celtics management paid off as the player almost soon after transformed the team to title contenders although they were eventually beaten in the Eastern Conference Finals. On a personal note, Bird was named NBA Rookie of the Year and was selected to the All-Star team.
Following a few new acquisitions by the Celtics, the team was able to push themselves to a championship in the 1980-81 season. Larry Bird continued his meteoric rise in the league which cemented him as one of the greatest players ever. He managed to win three NBA championships, three MVP Awards, with twelve NBA All-Star appearances, among many other accolades.
Larry Bird Wife/Girlfriend and Children
Larry Bird is currently married to Dinah Bird (nee Mattingly) who was born on November 16, 1954. The couple got married in 1989 after his first marriage to Janet Condra, his high school sweetheart, ended. Larry and Dinah knew each other since his college days as they were both students at Indiana State University.
Together, the couple adopted two children; Conner and Mariah. Bird has an older biological daughter named Corrie from his first marriage.
Conner was in the news after he reportedly tried to run over his ex-girlfriend with his car at Indiana State University campus. He was immediately arrested and after he pled guilty to the charges, had his sentence deferred and was released. Mariah, on the other hand, was in the news after some publication mistook her to be Bird’s girlfriend.
Is He Broke, Where Is He Now?
Larry Bird is definitely not broke unless being broke is having a net worth estimated around $55 million. After retiring from playing, Bird took a job as a special assistant in the Celtics’ front office, a position he held until 1997 when he accepted the head coach position at the Indiana Pacers.
He went on to serve the franchise in various positions, first as head coach, then twice as President of Basketball Operations before ultimately resigning in 2017 to take an advisory role.
Height, Weight, and Other Facts
Birth Name: Larry Joe Bird
Date of Birth: December 7, 1956
Place of Birth: West Baden Springs, Indiana
Height: 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 m)
Weight: 100 kg (220 lb)