This Day in Celtics History: #33 goes up in the rafters

"Once your name goes up in the rafters, that's the ultimate." - Larry Bird

Michael Jordan may have made me jump out of my seat as a kid with his gravity-defying athleticism, but Larry Bird is who made me truly love the game of basketball. The shooting, the no-look passes, the clutch factor, the trash talking, the needing a back brace just to move only to be diving on loose balls hours later, the double-achilles surgery. The beating of the Lakers. I was all in for all of it.

With career averages of 24.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.73 steals, 49.6% FG and 88% FT, not to mention slightly better playoff averages, Larry Bird brought three titles to the Celtics (1981, 1984, 1986).

So, it was only inevitable that Bird would join the ranks of Bill Russell and John Havlicek and others when his #33 was retired in the Garden 26-years ago today. While many numbers hang high up in the Garden, you truly have to be special for those honors. And that's just what Bird was: special.

From all of us at, we salute the man, the myth, the "Legend" himself. Cheers to you, Larry.

Follow Edward Babaian on Twitter: @bojixbabaian

Photo Credit: Lou Capozzola (Getty Images)