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Larry Bird Biography

"hoosier Hysteria", Standout Player At Indiana State, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments, Signs With Boston Celtics

1956-

American basketball player

By the time he joined the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1979, Larry Bird was already a basketball hero in his home state of Indiana.

Larry Bird

After a brief stay at Indiana University, he transferred to Indiana State University (ISU) and led the men's basketball team to thirty-three consecutive wins in his senior year. The perfect 1978-79 season for the Sycamores ended with a dramatic loss in the NCAA finals to Michigan State University, led by Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Forever linked in the annals of college sport, the two players became friendly rivals during their NBA careers and helped the league soar to new heights of popularity in the 1980s. Bird also reversed the fortunes of the Boston Celtics, a team that had gone 29-53 the year before he joined the roster. With the addition of Bird, the Celtics made the biggest turnaround in NBA history, winning sixty-one games after he joined the team. The Celtics went on to win three NBA championships with Bird, who retired in 1992. After working for the Celtics as a special assistant for five years, Bird returned to Indiana to coach the Indiana Pacers. Although he won NBA Coach of the Year honors in 1998 and took the Pacers to the NBA championship in 2000, Bird decided to retire from coaching after just three seasons. In characteristically modest fashion he told Indianapolis Monthly in March 2000, "I'm not great at coaching. I came in here really raw, and I didn't know what was going on. I thought I did, but there's a lot more to it than I thought there was."

Sketch by Timothy Borden

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Famous Sports StarsBasketball