If there is one phrase that describes Larry Bird, it‘s the living legend, emphasis on the “living” part. The three times-in-a-row MVP has celebrated his 59th birthday just a few days ago, on December 7th, and with the Boston Celtics trying to rebuild to their former glory there is no better time than now to look at Bird’s impressive career.
The guy was a proper character, too – just take a look at this tale about the time when he won a shooting contest with his right hand all taped up, granted, against a sports journalist. It gives you a real insight though into who Larry Bird is a person and a player: competitive, brilliant, and positively passionate - maybe even a bit hot-headed.
And then Larry on the court was a real show. His steals, passes, and difficult shots were something of an art. He wasn’t only impressive to look at, too. Not many basketball players can claim they’ve pulled their whole team into becoming the title contenders, but that’s exactly what Bird did: when he started for the Celtics, the win total shot up by amazing 32 games.
Larry’s first MVP title of the 1983-84 season came after him averaging 24.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. No wonder the Celtics won NBA that year! It wasn’t the only trick up Bird’s sleeve, either: on March 12 of the 1984-1985 season, he scored a ridiculous 60 points against Atlanta Hawks, and ended the season with the average of 28.7 points per game.
The story that the numbers tell is clear: he was absolutely brilliant. While Larry himself said that growing up poor was what kept him motivated, there’s no denying he had a passion not many players – not many people – can say they’ve been blessed with. Combine that with his skills, and you’ve got yourself a legend.
“I never root against the Boston Teams,” Larry said to Boston Globe. “There’s no sports town like Boston.” Even though the Celtics are currently a work in progress and bookies like TonyBet only give them the odds of 49/1 at winning NBA, after listening to him you start to believe that maybe it’s just a matter of time until the team pushes itself to the next level.
Larry Legend, truly, and always. There are always new stars coming in to play in the NBA, there is always that one player that anyone can’t stop talking about during a particular season (I’m looking at you, Stephen Curry), but once you’ve carved a place in the fans’ hearts, it’s yours to keep. And that is exactly the case with Larry Bird.