Basketball in Indiana is an art form.
It’s rooted in fundamentals: you make the simple play, the simple pass, the simple shot. You play as hard as you can, no matter the cost.
Larry Bird is the personification of this mantra to the nth degree.
Bird made the simple plays look so easy that he threw in his own style. His shot was as pure as could be, and he laced passes through microscopic windows. He didn’t know how to play other than his hardest.
As one of the sport’s icons, how much is he worth?
Larry Joe Bird was born to Claude Joseph aka Joe and Georgia Bird on December 7, 1956 in West Baden Springs, Indiana. Bird and his five siblings were raised in French Lick, where he thrived on the hardwood at Springs Valley High School. His parents divorced while he was at Springs Valley, and his father, a Korean War veteran, committed suicide shortly after.
Bird averaged 31 points, 21 rebounds, and 4 assists as a senior and received a college basketball scholarship to play at Indiana University for Bob Knight. He spent less than a month in Bloomington and moved back to French Lick, where he worked various jobs and enrolled at Northwood Institute.
After a year, he moved to Terre Haute to attend Indiana State University.
Larry Bird took a huge leap forward with the Syacamores. He averaged a whopping 30.3 points and 13.3 rebounds in three seasons, culminating in an appearance in the 1979 NCAA championship game against Magic Johnson and the Michigan State Spartans. Bird and Indiana State fell short, but a rivalry was born.
The Hick from French Lick was the sixth-overall pick by the Boston Celtics in the 1978 NBA Draft. He chose to play his senior year at ISU instead of heading directly to his NBA team.
Once he graduated, he signed a five-year contract worth $3.25 million that made him the highest-paid rookie in sports history at the time.
— 3x NBA Champion
— 2x NBA Finals MVP
— 3x NBA Most Valuable Player
— 12x NBA All-Star
— NBA All-Star Game MVP (1982)
— 9x All-NBA First Team
— All-NBA Second Team (1990)
— 3x NBA All-Defensive Second Team
— NBA Rookie of the Year (1980)
— NBA All-Rookie Team (1980)
— 3x NBA Three-Point Contest Champion
— 2x 50-40-90 clubAdvertisement
— AP Athlete of the Year (1986)
— NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
— No. 33 Retired by Boston Celtics
— Consensus National College player of the Year (1979)
— 2x Consensus First-Team All-American
— Third Team All-American (1977)
— 2x MVC Player of the Year
— No. 33 Retired by Indiana State Sycamores
The NBA player retired after 13 seasons. He averaged 24.3 points, 10 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.7 steals in his professional career.
He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998 and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. With three NBA championships and a truly amazing career, he’s undoubtedly one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
Coaching & Executive Career + Personal Life
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Larry Legend returned to his home state to be the head coach of the Indiana Pacers in 1997. He vowed to be on the job for only three years.
The three-time NBA MVP award winner was successful in his coaching tenure, earning the NBA Coach of the Year award in 1998 while leading the team to the Eastern Conference Finals against Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
In his last season at the helm, the Pacers secured a berth in the 2000 NBA Finals. He resigned following the six-game loss to the Los Angeles Lakers and fulfilled his promise.
Bird was named the Pacers president of basketball operations in 2003. He was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2012. He is the only person in National Basketball Association history to be named NBA MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year.
He stepped down in 2012 for health reasons and returned in 2013. He stepped down again in 2017 and remains in an advisory role.
The former professional basketball player is married to Dinah Mattingly. They adopted two children together named Connor and Mariah. Bird was previously married to Janet Condra, a high school classmate. The couple had a daughter named Corrie Bird in 1977.
Larry Bird Net Worth
Larry Legend is a winner through and through, and a staple of NBA history.