Larry Bird's Life

Larry Bird's Life

High School

1970 - 1974

Larry Bird attends Springs Valley High School and leaves as the all-time scoring leader.

Indiana State

1975 - 1979

Bird led the Sycamores to the NCAA championship game in 1979, his senior season, only to lose to the Michigan State University Spartans, who were led by his future NBA rival, Earvin "Magic" Johnson. The Sycamores finished the season 33–1. That year, Bird won the USBWA College Player of the Year, Naismith and Wooden Awards, given to the year's top male college basketball player. After his three seasons at Indiana State, he left as the fifth-highest scorer in NCAA history. Bird finished his collegiate career with an average of 30.3 points per game.

drafted by the Celtics!

1978

Boston Celtics draft Larry Bird with the 6th pick of the NBA Draft

Boston Celtics

1979 - 1992

Larry Bird played his entire 13 year NBA with the Boston Celtics.

As player:
3× NBA champion (1981, 1984, 1986)
2× NBA Finals MVP (1984, 1986)
3× NBA Most Valuable Player (1984–1986)
12× NBA All-Star (1980–1988, 1990–1992)
9× All-NBA First Team (1980–1988)
All-NBA Second Team (1990)
3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1982–1984)
NBA Rookie of the Year (1980)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (1980)
NBA All-Star Game MVP (1982)
3× Three-point Shootout champion (1986–1988)
NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
#33 Retired by Boston Celtics
John R. Wooden Award (1979)
Naismith College Player of the Year (1979)
AP National Player of the Year (1979)
Oscar Robertson Trophy (1979)
Adolph Rupp Trophy (1979)
NABC Player of the Year (1979)
2× MVC Player of the Year (1978, 1979)
2× Consensus NCAA All-American First Team (1978, 1979)

signs 5-year deal with the Celtics

6/8/1979

Signs a five-year, $3.25 million contract with the Celtics shortly before he would've reentered the NBA Draft. At the time, it was the largest rookie contract in sports history.

Rookie of the Year!

5/29/1980

Named NBA Rookie of the Year after averaging 21.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists, and leading the Celtics to a then-record 32-game improvement (29-53 to 61-21). Also is named to the All-Rookie Team and first-team All-NBA; finishes third in MVP voting.

wins first NBA championship

5/14/1981

MVP of the All Star Game

1/31/1982

Named MVP of the All-Star Game for the only time in 12 appearances. Scored 19 points, with 12 rebounds and five assists in the Eastern Conference's 120-118 win.

League MVP

6/25/1984

In 1984, the Celtics defeated the Lakers in a seven-game Finals, winning game seven 111–102. Bird averaged 27.4 points on .484 shooting and 14 rebounds a game during the series, earning the award of Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP). Bird was also named the league regular season MVP for that year. In 1985, however, the Lakers avenged the loss, defeating the Celtics in game 6 of the Finals in the Boston Garden. In a losing effort against Los Angeles, Bird averaged 23.8 points on .449 shooting, 8.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. That year, the NBA again named Bird the league MVP.

2nd League MVP

6/3/1985

3rd Leave MVP

6/2/1986

Announces retirement

8/18/1992

Following his Olympic experience, on August 18, 1992, Bird announced his retirement as an NBA player. He finished his career with averages of more than 24 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists per game, while shooting 49.6% from the field, 88.6% from the free throw line and 37.6% from three-point range. Following Bird's departure, the Celtics promptly retired his jersey number 33.

#33 retired

2/4/1993

On this day in 1993, there was standing room only in the Boston Garden as the Celtics retired Larry Bird's number. In his 13 seasons with Boston, Bird emerged as the embodiment of "Celtics Pride." He joined the team in 1980 and was the NBA Rookie of the Year. With Robert Parish and Kevin McHale, he led the Celtics to ten Atlantic Division Crowns and three NBA titles. The league's MVP three seasons in a row, he still holds the all-time Celtics record for free-throws. Bird's shooting prowess and brilliant defense drew crowds across the country, and helped rekindle enthusiasm for professional basketball. In 1996, he was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.

named Indiana Pacers head coach

5/12/1997

named NBA Coach of the Year

5/12/1998

Named NBA Coach of the Year, having led the Pacers to a 58-24 record, the best in franchise history. He is the fourth first-year coach to win the honor, joining Harry Gallatin (1962-63), Johnny Kerr ('66-67) and Mike Schuler ('86-87).

elected to Basketball Hall of Fame

6/29/1998

Elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Along with Hawks coach Lenny Wilkens, Harlem Globetrotter Marques Haynes, longtime NBA/ABA coach Alex Hannum, 13-year NBA veteran Arnie Risen, University of Texas women's coach Jody Conradt and European coach Aleksandar Nikolic, he will be inducted into the Hall, in Springfield, Mass., on Oct. 2.