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Larry Bird: The Legend lives on

 

  

     Larry Joe Bird also known as Larry Legend, The Hick from French Lick, and The Great White Hope. One of the greatest players of all time. Larry could do it all and he made sure his opponents heard it. His passing skills were second to none, He had eyes in the back of his head. He was a killer from three and had a great mid range game and could get to the hoop with ease. He literally and physically gave his entire body on the court. There was never a player more willing to give his body up for the good of the team

     Larry was a local phenom and originally played for Bob Knight at Indiana but he dropped out a month in. Eventually he made his way to Indiana State and led them to an undefeated season all they way up to the NCAA final where they fell to the Spartans and Magic Johnson. A rivalry was born that day and would spur each player to do their best. That 79 title game was the highest rated title game ever! Larry helped the Celtics to a 32 win improvement in his first year as a Celtic. In 1981 down 3 to 1 to the Sixers the Celtics made an incredible comeback in the Eastern Conference Finals. Then dispatching the Rockets in 6 to win the 1981 title. 

     Larry and the Celtics would capture the 1984 Finals vs the Lakers where, when asked, Larry said this one's for Terre Haute. In that series Larry averaged 27.4 points a game. In the 84/85 season vs the Hawks Larry put up 60 points just 9 days after teammate Kevin McHale put up 56. During the 85 season Larry did damage to his back when he was shoveling rock in his mom's driveway. In 86 at the All Star inaugural 3 point shoot out he went into the locker room and asked who's finishing second?! Talk about trash talk. In 86 Larry led one of the greatest teams of all time to a title vs the Rockets where in game 6 he had a triple double. In 87 most fans remember when he stole the ball and that iconic Johnny Most call. 

     Larry was part of the greatest frontcourt ever along with McHale and Parish. He was a three time champion and two time Finals MVP in 84 and 86. He won three MVPs and was a 12 time All Star. He won rookie of the year in 80. He was a three time three point shoot out champ. He was the 1986 AP Athlete of the year. He won college player of the year in 79. He was a member of the greatest team ever assembled when he won gold with the 1992 Dream Team. Larry's number 33 hangs in the rafters of the Garden and he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 98. He also got inducted with the Dream Team in 2010. 

     As a coach Larry won Coach of the Year in 98 and was also the 1998 All Star head coach. He won NBA executive of the year in 2012. He is the only person in NBA history to win Rookie of the Year, MVP, NBA Finals MVP, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year. What a resume! He was rated the greatest small forward by Fox in 2016. Larry was named as one of ESPNs greatest athletes of all time.  

     Did you know Larry was in three movies? He was in Space Jam, Blue Chips and Celtic Pride! He was in several video games as well. Dr J vs Bird and Jordan vs Bird! How about another "did you know", the Twitter logo is in honor of him

     Larry was tough as nails and gave it his all on the floor. In the playoffs vs Indy one year he smashed his face on the Garden floor and went to the locker room. Like he always did he came back out and led the Celtics to victory! Larry was one of the greatest players of all time. He was incredibly clutch! His play always elevated in high stakes games. He was an excellent passer and defender! Not to mention a top trash talker of his day! Larry could play in any ERA of basketball that's for sure. No one who ever saw Bird play could say he didn't give it his all - just ask his body! Truly he was one of the greatest of all time! 

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