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 33    Larry Bird 

Career Statistics

 PPG          24.3
 RPG 10.3
 APG 6.3
Position: Forward
Born: Dec. 7, 1956 (in West Baden, IN)
Height: 6-9 /  2,06
Weight: 220 lbs. / 99,8 kg.
College: University of Iowa

1. Bio from hickoksports.com
2. Bio from indystar.com  
3. Bio from hoophall.com
 
4. Bio from unc.edu

From hickoksports.com

Only 6 feet tall as a high school sophomore, Bird played guard for two years, then grew to 6-foot-4 and became a forward as a senior, averaging more than 30 points per game. He won a basketball scholarship to Indiana University in 1974 but left school after a month, went to a junior college for two months, then dropped out and returned home.

In 1975, he was given a scholarship at Indiana State, but had to sit out a year to become eligible. After averaging more than 30 points a game for two years, he was drafted by the NBA's Boston Celtics in the first round of the 1978 draft because his original class had graduated.

Bird opted to finish college. Now fully grown to 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds, he averaged 28.6 points and 14.9 rebounds a game to lead Indiana State to an undefeated regular season and the NCAA tournament finals, where Michigan State, led by Earvin "Magic" Johnson, won the title. Bird was a consensus All-American and college player of the year.

He then signed a five-year contract with the Celtics, reportedly for more than $3 million. Some critics doubted that he would be a professional star, because he lacked foot speed and jumping ability. However, with Bird averaging 21.3 points and 10.4 rebounds a game, Boston had the greatest turnaround in NBA history, going from a 29-53 record to 61-21 in 1979/80. Bird was named the league's rookie of the year.

He led the Celtics to NBA championships in 1981, 1984, and 1986 and was the most valuable player in the playoffs in 1984 and 1986 and the league's most valuable player three years in a row, from 1984 through 1986. He was also named the Associated Press male athlete of the year and the Sports Illustrated sportsman of the year in 1986.

Heel problems began to bother him during the 1986/87 season and he played in only six games in 1988/89 before having operations on both heels. He returned to play 75 games in 1989/90, but appeared in just 60 games in 1990/91 and 45 in 1991/92 before retiring.

Perhaps the most versatile player in basketball history, Bird could rebound and score from inside and was an outstanding outside shooter. He led the NBA in free throw percentage four times. And he may well have been the greatest passing forward ever. Although not a strong defender one on one, his anticipation and court sense made him a good team defender who often came up with important steals, especially on inbound passes.

An all-NBA forward nine consecutive seasons, from 1980 through 1988, Bird was named second-team all-NBA in 1990 and he was named to the all-defensive second team from 1982 through 1984.

Career Statistics  
G Min FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG Stl Blk Pts PPG
897 34443 .496 .376 .886 10.0 6.3 1556 755 21791 24.3

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Larry Bird from INDYSTAR.COM
Former NBA player, Indiana Pacers coach
File updated: 6-28-2000


Pacers Coach Larry Bird on the sidelines at Market Square Arena during a Pacers home game in December 1997. (Staff photo / Paul Sancya)
Larry Bird - fast facts

Born: December 7, 1956 in West Baden, IN to Joe and Georgia Bird (both deceased)
Family: Married briefly to Janet Condra (Nov.8, 1975 - Oct. 31 1976); one child daughter Corrie born Aug. 14,1977. Married Dinah Mattingly Oct. 1, 1989; two children by adoption son Connor and daughter Mariah.
Education: Springs Valley High School; Indiana State University, BA (Physical Education) 1979

 

After 13 seasons as a player in the NBA, including three championships with the Boston Celtics, Larry Bird returned to Indiana to coach the Pacers in 1997. He agreed to coach for three seasons stepping down at the end of the 2000 season.

In his third and final season as coach the Pacers made the NBA Finals for the first time, but lost in six games to the Los Angeles Lakers. Although he was asked to stay on as coach, Bird declined.

A native of French Lick, Larry Joe Bird was born on Dec. 7, 1956, the fourth child of Joe and Georgia Bird. At Springs Valley High School he played guard during his sophomore and junior years but did not truly excel until his senior year. During his senior year he averaged 30.6 points and 20 rebounds per game, and colleges around the country began scouting him.

Bird initially decided to play for Indiana University but felt overwhelmed by the size of the campus and left after only 24 days. He returned to French Lick and entered the Northwood Institute for a brief time. He finally decided to attend Indiana State University but had to sit out the first season. He began his college playing career with the Sycamores in 1976 and emerged a national collegiate star.

On June 8, 1979, Bird signed with the Boston Celtics. The contract netted him $3,250,000 for five years -- at the time the largest rookie contract in NBA history.

During his years with the Celtics Bird grew to become one of the greatest talents in the NBA. He led Boston to three NBA championships, won numerous MVP awards, and is credited with again making the Celtics a formidable franchise.

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Related library files
History of the Pacers
NBA Finals 2000

In 1992, plagued by back problems Bird retired and accepted the position of special assistant in the Celtics front office for five seasons. In 1997, frustrated with his largely ceremonial duties, Bird decided to pursue other options.

On May 12, 1997, he became head coach of the Indiana Pacers, and a year later he was named NBA Coach of the Year after leading the Pacers to a 58-24 season, the best in franchise history. That same year he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

In 2000, the Pacers finally made it past the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference and to the NBA Finals against Los Angeles. Led by NBA MVP Shaquille O'Neal, the Lakers defeated Indiana in six games to win the NBA championship. Although the Pacers offered him a new contract to continue as coach, Bird declined and stepped down when his three-year contract expired. The Pacers hired another former NBA star to replace him -- Isiah Thomas.



Indiana State's Larry Bird (33) gives a helping hand to a fallen Magic Johnson, of Michigan State, during the championship game of the NCAA tournament in Salt Lake City, in this March 26, 1979 photo.

Career Highlights:

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1974- Honorable Mention All-State (High School)

1979-Collegiate Player of the Year awards from Associated Press, United Press International, and National Association of Coaches; wins John Wooden Award, given to the nationís best college basketball player; selected to the 1979 All-America team; leads ISU to the NCAA Final Four, losing in the championship game to Magic Johnson-led Michigan State University; signs a five-year, $3.25 million contract with the Celtics.

1980- NBA Rookie of the Year; named to the All-Rookie team and first-team All-NBA.

1981- Wins NBA championship; held scoreless at Golden State; voted first team All-NBA.

1982- All-Star Game MVP.

1983- Breaks Sam Jones?18-year team regular-season single-game scoring record (51) by scoring 53 points against the Indiana Pacers; in the same game sets a Celtics record with 24 points in the third quarter.

1984- Career high 17 assists in a win against the Golden State Warriors; wins NBA championship; named Finals MVP; named league MVP for the first time.
Going up for a layup against the Pacers in the 1980s

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1985- With a 33-point game against the Washington Bullets, he goes over 10,000 career points; wins second straight league MVP award.

1986- Wins the inaugural long-distance shootout at All-Star Weekend; wins third consecutive MVP award; wins NBA championship; wins Finals MVP award.

1987- Wins second straight long-distance shootout at All-Star Weekend; becomes first player in NBA history to shoot .500 from the floor and .900 from the free-throw line; wins NBA championship.

1988- Wins third and final All-Star Weekend long-distance shootout; Finishes the season with a career high of 29.9 points per game.

1989- In the season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks scores 32 points in 33 minutes.

1990- Collects 5,000th assist of his career against the Charlotte Hornets; scores the 20,000th point of his career against the Washington Bullets.

Coaching Reggie Miller in 1999.

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1991- Has surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back.

1992- Wins gold medal in Barcelona as a member of the original Dream Team; announces his retirement, finishing his career with 21,791 points, 8,974 rebounds, and 5,695 assists.

1993- The Celtics hold 'Larry Bird Night' in the Garden -- with no game scheduled -- to celebrate Birdís career and retire his number.

1997- Becomes head coach of the Indiana Pacers, signing a five-year, $22.5 million deal

1998- Named NBA Coach of the Year, having led the Pacers to a 58-24 record, the best in franchise history; coaches the East to a win in the All-Star game; Elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame

2000 - Leads Pacers to NBA Finals, but stands by his previous decision to retire after three years as coach.

Statistics: 

Regular Season Record:

Years Games Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks Points
13 897 8974 5695 1556 755 21791

Playoff Record:
Years Games Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks Points
13 164 1683 1062 296 145 3897

Coaching Career:
Regular Season Postseason
Year Team Wins Losses Wins Losses
97-98 Indiana 58 24 10 6
98-99 Indiana 33 17 9 4
99-00 Indiana 56 26 13 8
Totals   147 67 32 18

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Larry Bird
(from hoophall.com)

Enshrined: As a player on October 2, 1998
Born: December 7, 1956 in West Baden, IN
Height: 6-foot-9
Weight: 220 pounds

 

High School:
  • Springs Valley High School (French Lick, IN) (1970-74)
High School Playing Highlights:
  • Averaged 30 ppg and 17 rpg during his senior year
  • In one particular game, scored 54 points with 38 rebounds
College:
  • Indiana University (1974-75)
  • Indiana State (1975-79)
College Playing Highlights:
  • Played three years at Indiana State (1976-79)
  • The Sporting News College Player of the Year (1979)
  • Naismith Award winner (1979)
  • John R. Wooden Award winner (1979)
  • The Sporting News All-America First Team (1978, 1979)
  • Led Indiana State to the 1979 NCAA championship game against Michigan State
  • Led Indiana State to an 81-13 record, including a 50-1 record at home
  • Holds 30 Indiana State records, including most points (2,850), steals (240) and rebounds (1,247)
  • Graduated as the NCAA's fifth all-time leading scorer (30.3 ppg)
  • U.S. Team member, World University Games (1977)
Pro:
  • NBA Boston Celtics (1979-92)
Pro Playing Highlights:
  • NBA Rookie of the Year (1980)
  • NBA Most Valuable Player (1984-86)
  • All-NBA First Team (1980-88)
  • All-NBA Second Team (1990)
  • NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1982-84)
  • Twelve-time NBA All-Star (1980-88, 1990-92)
  • NBA All-Star Game MVP (1982)
  • Long Distance Shootout Winner (1986-88)
  • NBA Finals MVP (1984, 1986)
  • Scored 21,791 points (24.3 ppg) in 897 professional games, including a career-high 28.1 ppg in 1987
  • Scored a career and team-high 60 points against the Atlanta Hawks in New Orleans on March 25, 1985
  • Led the NBA in free throw shooting (1984, 1986, 1990)
  • NBA championships with the Boston Celtics (1981, 1984, 1986)
  • In a 12-year time span, Bird teamed with Kevin McHale and Robert Parish to form
    one of the greatest frontlines in professional basketball history
  • The trio compiled a 690-276 record, won nine Atlantic Division titles and five
    Eastern Conference championships
  • NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team (1996)
  • Member of gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic Team (1992)
Pro Coaching:
  • NBA Indiana Pacers (1997-2000)
Pro Coaching Highlights:
  • NBA Coach of the Year (1998)
Bio:

In a storybook career that began in the small Indiana town of West Baden, where he led Springs Valley High School to the state sectional championship, and concluded with his number 33 jersey being retired by the Boston Celtics, Larry Bird enjoyed a legendary 13-year professional career with the Celtics. In 1979, when Bird joined the Celtics, he launched an era both in Boston and throughout the NBA that may never again be duplicated. At a time when the league and the Celtics needed a boost, Bird and fellow rookie sensation Earvin "Magic" Johnson provided the spark. By the time Bird retired in 1992, he held or shared 27 Celtics' records and had brought three more NBA championship banners to Boston in 1981, 1984 and 1986. On two other occasions (1985 and 1987), the Celtics reached the NBA Finals.

A 12-time NBA All-Star and MVP of the 1982 All-Star Game, Bird was selected as the sixth overall pick in the 1978 draft. Following the draft, Bird returned to the college ranks for his senior season and completed a memorable career at Indiana State. Bird, who won the Sporting News, Naismith and Wooden awards as national college Player of the Year in 1979, led ISU to an 81-13 three-year record, including a 33-1 mark in 1979, the year Bird's Indiana State team lost to Johnson's Michigan State squad in the national championship game. Bird holds 30 ISU records, including most points (2,850), steals (240) and rebounds (1,247). He scored in double figures in 93 of 94 games, tallied 40 or more points 15 times and recorded six triple doubles.

Prior to Bird's arrival in Boston in 1979, the Celtics had failed to make the playoffs for two straight seasons. His first season, Bird was named NBA Rookie of the Year and the Celtics advanced to the conference finals, the start of 13 straight postseason appearances. In Bird's 13 seasons, Boston won 10 Atlantic Division titles, had six 60-plus-win seasons and toppled the 50-win mark 12 times.

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From unc.edu

Larry Bird

Larry Bird is one of the greatest basketball players of all time and one very good reason to have Celtic Pride. Along with Magic Johnson, he reinvigorated the NBA in the 1980s with a competitive rivalry between the Celtics and the Lakers. He has won every major distinction professional basketball bestows on its players. He was the MVP in 1984, 1985 and 1986. He was named to the all NBA First Team for 9 consecutive seasons from 1980-1988. He was a twelve time NBA All-Star, including ten times elected by the fans to start, and All-Star Game MVP in 1982. His Celtics won the World Championship in 1981, 1984 and 1986. He was the NBA Playoffs MVP in 1984 and 1986. He was also a member of the Dream Team that brought home a Gold Medal from the Olympics in Barcelona. Larry won the Long-Distance Shootout 3 times, proving he could play a game inside out...all by himself.
Bird's impact on the game of basketball goes beyond the awards he has collected. He was a remarkable athlete who could shoot, pass, rebound and defend...an all-around player. At six foot nine inches, he could play either forward slot, and he would get his share of rebounds AND assists from either the "3" or "4" spot. He was the first player in NBA history to shoot over 50 percent from the field and over 90 percent from the foul line. He led the league in free throw shooting four years over his career. Did I mention he could also play defense....he was a 3 time All-NBA Defensive Second Team Member (1982-1984). He was also an extraordinary team player. His Celtics never suffered a month with a losing record during the regular season while he was in the lineup.

Bird was a celebrity on his High School basketball team in French Lick, Indiana. The population of the town was only 2,100, but 4,000 people attended his last HS game. He enrolled at Indiana, but never played, leaving to attend Northwood Institute, a local Junior College where he spent one year, waiting to be eligible to play at Indiana State, where he transferred the next year. He brought respectibility to the Indiana State program which culminated in losing to Magic Johnson's Michigan State team in the NCAA Tournament Title Game in 1979. Larry left Indiana State with a career scoring average of better than 30 points a game, fifth all-time in NCAA history, and a 3 year school record of 81-13. Larry was named the 1978-79 Sporting News Player of the Year and won the Naismith and Wooden Awards. He was the number six pick in the 1978 draft by Boston, as a junior, but he joined the team a year later, because he chose to stay in school for his last year of eligibility. His stellar play in his first year led to his Rookie of the Year selection in 1980.

Overall, Larry Bird will be remembered with an elite five or six players including Chamberlain, Magic, Jordan and Erving. He will be known for both his individual ability and being a team player, and boy were his teams great with the likes of Robert Parish and Kevin McHale who joined Bird on the NBA's All-Time 50 Greatest Players Team which was announced prior to the 1996 season. Don't forget other supporting teammates who were superstars in their own right such as Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge and Cedric Maxwell. Larry Legend was a terrific competitor and a classy sportsman.


We all remember his ability to hit the remarkable shot and don't forget his commercials with Michael Jordan where he makes the unbelievable shots. NBA players probably still have nightmares of his smooth jumper that would fall with deadly accuracy from ten feet or twenty feet. There may never be another with such a consistent sweet stroke. He played his entire career with the Celtics. The Boston fans were the envy of many others who couldn't count on their star to score 25 points or more a night, combined with making 5 remarkable passes and grabbing 8 rebounds, including 2 or 3 when they counted the most. His #33 Celtics Jersey has, of course, been retired to join all the other Boston Greats who have their numbers hanging from the rafters. On June 29, 1998, Bird was bestowed with the highest honor given to a basketball player, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. He was inducted in ceremonies on October 2nd. Now he can go for dual election...ala Lenny Wilkens...as both a player and a coach...but that will be another day.

Bird's all-time stats are impressive: 21,791 points (11th. all-time), 1,556 steals (8th all-time), 0.886 FT Percentage (fourth all-time), 8,974 rebounds, 5,965 assists and 897 games played. He has a career 24.3 scoring average to lead the Celtics all-time list. Larry Bird was a successful player due both to talent and hard work. He was ususally the first Celtic to arrive on game day when he would practice hitting jump shots for hours from everywhere on the floor, including dozens of free-throws. HIs consistency was evidenced in the similar stats he compiled year after year during his legendary career.

Bird retired in 1992 after 13 seasons. His last two years were plagued with chronic back problems, he often spent his time laying on the floor to rest his back when not playing on the court. After retiring, he worked for the Celtics Front Office as a Special Assistant for 5 years. Many thought he might replace M.L. Carr as coach, but Rick Pitino was given that job, and Larry Legend returned to his home state of Indiana to succeed Larry Brown as the coach of the Indiana Pacers for the 1997-98 season. He's never coached at any level, but do you think that will stop him from doing an excellent job? I don't. The first half of his rookie year as Indiana's coach was unprecedented and better than even the most devoted Larry booster would have imagined, leading to his team having the best record at the break and an AS Game coaching selection. He led the Pacers on a record setting pace for the most wins in franchise history with 58 and a second place finish in the Eastern Conference to Chicago. Larry brought two unique contributions to the table as a rookie NBA coach. First, he immediately won the players respect and they want to both play and win for him, doing whatever it takes. He has focussed on the basics, which has so far paid off. Second, he has implemented a rather unique coaching paradigm using an offensive and defensive coordinator like the NFL. His coaches implement separate strategies and drill for offense and defense which Larry oversees. Bird was named Coach of the Year his very first year as a coach at any level. In his rookie year as coach he led the Pacers to the second best record in the east, and a trip all the way to the conference finals, only to lose against Jordan's Bulls.

Bird's Stats

°° PPG RPG APG BlkPG StlPG
College 30.3 13.3
Rookie (1980) 21.3 10.4 4.5 0.7 1.7
1980-81 21.2 10.9 5.5 0.8 2.0
1981-82 22.9 10.9 5.8 0.9 1.9
1982-83 23.6 11.0 5.8 0.9 1.9
1983-84 24.2 10.1 6.6 0.9 1.8
1984-85 28.7 10.5 6.6 1.2 1.6
1985-86 25.8 9.8 6.8 0.6 2.0
1986-87 28.1 9.2 7.6 1.0 1.8
1987-88 29.9 9.3 6.2 0.8 1.6
1988-89 19.3 6.2 4.8 0.8 1.0
1989-90 24.3 9.5 7.5 0.8 1.4
1990-91 19.5 8.6 7.2 1.0 1.8
1991-92 20.2 9.6 6.8 0.7 0.9
Career 24.3 10.0 6.4 0.8 1.7
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