The first NBA Finals matchup in Larry Bird’s illustrious career is a rematch of Bird’s first NBA Finals appearance, where he was on the losing team as a member of the Boston Celtics in the 1986 NBA Finals. Bird, who has played in the NBA for 21 seasons, has been an integral part of 11 Eastern Conference championship teams. This feat was no doubt helped by Bird’s ability to efficiently set up teammates, as his 19.2 assist-to-turnover ratio is one of the best in the NBA.
Before Larry Bird turned into the NBA’s all-time scoring leader, before he became the greatest two-way player in NBA history, he represented the Boston Celtics during the 1980-81 season. The Celtics made the finals that year, but things didn’t end well. In Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers, Bird made a bad defensive play that nearly cost Boston the game.
In a career spanning 21 years, Larry Bird has led the Boston Celtics to nine NBA championships. But on the night of June 17, 1985, he may have made his worst mistake. This was the night that Bird — who began his career just three years earlier — became the first player in NBA history to have his number retired.. Read more about who was larry bird’s college coach and let us know what you think.
Larry Bird has learned much from his own experiences. He often did it alone. Bird discovered that his parents worked very hard and that this had passed on to him. His mother had many jobs, especially after his father Joe Bird committed suicide when Larry was in his senior year of high school. Through hard work, Byrd, who was not known as a gifted athlete, ended up with the Boston Celtics, where he had a 13-year career and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Baird was focused on and off the field. He learned from his mistakes. His biggest mistake was off the field, but it may have been his most important learning experience.
Larry Bird, legend of the Boston Celtics, waves to the crowd during the second half of Game 1 of the NBA playoffs between the Celtics and the Indiana Pacers at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, 14. April 2019. (Press photo: Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)
Ask anyone who knows Baird and they’ll tell you he’s the same as when he was a kid. Although he has a few extra pounds in his pocket, he is still the same old man from French Lake, Indiana. As a young NBA player, he always returned to his roots and ate at the same local restaurant when he came home.
According to a 1981 ESPN article, a local restaurant owner considered renaming his business Bird’s Nest, but he knew Bird wouldn’t like it. I’ll just say this, the man said, you won’t find a better man than Larry. It hasn’t changed at all. He comes back here every summer and only wants his best friends to know of his presence.
Bird’s mother, Georgia, was one of the hardest working women around. She had several jobs to make ends meet. When Byrd was making millions in his third year in the NBA, his mother was fighting blood clots in her legs. She had worked all her life and Bird felt she should keep working.
Larry thinks I should work, Georgia said. He thinks everyone should work. That’s how he became such a good player. My children were laughed at for the way they dressed. The boys in the neighborhood had basketballs or bikes. My kids had to share a basketball. Larry’s friend said: If you get to the post office before me, you can use my bike for 10 minutes. Larry always ran with his tail.
After the sudden death of his father, Bird is forced to help out financially and works as a garbage collector. He must have grown fast. Life has moved fast, perhaps too fast for a man who went to Indiana University to play basketball with Bobby Knight and then promptly dropped out. He enjoyed his life as a garbage truck driver.
I loved the track, Bird said, according to Sports Illustrated in 1988. It was outside, you were with your friends. Pick up the brush and clean it. I felt like I had really accomplished something. How many times have you said to yourself, as you drive through your town, why don’t they fix it? Why aren’t the streets being cleaned? And here I had the chance to do it. I had the opportunity to make my community a better place.
In 1975, at the age of 19, he married head over heels, which he describes as the biggest mistake of his life. The marriage lasted about a year. The couple divorced, but he was later told that his ex-wife was pregnant.
When I was a kid, I thought people who divorced were the devil, he said. And then I’ll do it myself.
Getting married was the biggest mistake of my life. I have learned the lesson of all that has happened to me, but the scars remain. It left a scar for life. That and the lack of money were the two things that struck me the most. It doesn’t matter.
Bird’s hard work has paid off. He became one of the greatest NBA players of all time. He also pulled the trigger and remarried. In 1989, he married his longtime girlfriend, Dinah Mattingly, in a ceremony attended by five other people, according to ESPN.
The wedding took place at a friend’s home near Terre Haute, Indiana. Bird and Mattingly were both at the wedding in faded jeans.
This big mistake stayed with Bird for the next few years. He said he had recurring dreams about the failed marriage. In ’88, he told Sports Illustrated about his dream.
A bad dream, he said. I still get it sometimes. My wife tries to talk me into going back to her, but Dinah is there too, and I keep telling her: I don’t want to go with her. I don’t want to go.
Bird clearly learned that mistake well, because he and Dinah have been married for 32 years.
COMPARED TO: Larry Bird still carries his strong dislike for Bill Laimbeer to thecourt
Larry Bird’s worst mistake lasted just 15 seconds. It happened on January 23, 1988—the last time Bird played a game for the Indiana Pacers. Bird drove past a teammate and cut to the basket without looking. He didn’t see a defender coming behind him and was fouled. The ball stuck to the hardwood with Bird’s left arm. The hard fall to the floor as Bird’s fingers slipped off the ball’s rim led to a season-ending left shoulder injury. It also had a lasting effect on Bird’s career.. Read more about larry bird children and let us know what you think.
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