Larry Bird us star sport

Larry Joe Bird (born December 7, 1956) is a former American NBA basketball player and coach. Drafted into the NBA sixth overall by the Boston Celtics in 1978, Bird started at small forward and power forward for thirteen seasons, teaming with legendary center Robert Parish and forward Kevin McHale. Due to back problems, he retired as a player from the NBA in 1992. Bird was voted to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team[1] in 1996 and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame[2] in 1998. He served as head coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1997 to 2000. In 2003, he assumed the role of president of basketball operations for the Pacers, which he currently holds.

* 1 Early life
* 2 Collegiate career
o 2.1 NCAA Career Statistics
* 3 1979–1981: Immediate impact
* 4 1982–1987: MVPs, championships and the rivalry with Magic Johnson
* 5 1988–1992: The twilight years
* 6 NBA career after retirement
o 6.1 Head coaching record
* 7 Legacy
* 8 Player profile
o 8.1 NBA Career Statistics
+ 8.1.1 Regular season
+ 8.1.2 Playoffs
+ 8.1.3 Career highs
* 9 Personal life
* 10 In popular culture
* 11 See also
* 12 Footnotes
* 13 References
* 14 External links

[edit] Early life

Larry Bird was born in West Baden, Indiana, the son of Georgia (née Kerns) and Claude Joseph "Joe" Bird. He grew up in both West Baden and the adjacent town French Lick, which earned him the nickname "the Hick from French Lick" in his later basketball career. Financial troubles would plague the Bird family for most of Larry's childhood. Bird recalled how his mother would make do on the family's meager earnings: "If there was a payment to the bank due, and we needed shoes, she'd get the shoes, and then deal with them guys at the bank. I don't mean she wouldn't pay the bank, but the children always came first."[3] According to Bird, his being poor as a child "motivates me to this day".[3] He sometimes was sent to live with his grandmother due to the family's struggles. The Bird family's struggle with poverty was compounded by the alcoholism and personal difficulties of Joe Bird, who likely suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from serving in the Korean War.[4] Joe and Georgia Bird divorced in 1975; Joe Bird committed suicide the same year.

In spite of his domestic woes, by the time he was a high school sophomore, Bird had become one of the better basketball players in French Lick. He started for French Lick/West Baden's high school team, Springs Valley High School, where he left as the school's all-time scoring leader. Bird's high school coach, Jim Jones, was a key factor to Bird's success. "Jonesie", as Bird called him, would come help Bird and his friends practice any day of the week.[5] Bird would often go to the gym early, shoot between classes, and stay late into the evening. He quit both football and baseball to focus on basketball.
[edit] Collegiate career

Bird received a basketball scholarship to Indiana University in 1974. However, he was overwhelmed by the size of the campus and number of students and was not mentally ready for this stage of life; according to Bird, "it didn't take long to realize that I was out of my cocoon."[4] Bird was also treated poorly by an established IU star, Kent Benson; as Bird recalled, the other upperclassmen of the team treated him well.[6] He dropped out of Indiana after 24 days, disappointing his mother.[4] Bird returned home to French Lick where he enrolled in the nearby Northwood Institute before dropping out and getting a job with the Street Department (the department picked up garbage, repaired roads, removed snow, mowed lawns, etc.) for a year.[7] He played AAU basketball for Hancock Construction[8] and, after that year, decided to enroll at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, where he was coached by Bob King.

King suffered a stroke prior to the 1978–79 season and assistant Bill Hodges, who had persuaded Bird to return to college basketball,[4] was promoted to head coach. Before Bird the Sycamores had never been to the NCAA tournament;[4] he led the team to the NCAA championship game in 1979, his senior season, only to lose to the Michigan State University Spartans, who were led by his future NBA rival, Earvin "Magic" Johnson. The Sycamores finished the season 33–1. That year, Bird won the USBWA College Player of the Year, Naismith and Wooden Awards, given to the year's top male college basketball player. After his three seasons at Indiana State, he left as the fifth-highest scorer in NCAA history. Bird finished his collegiate career with an average of 30.3 points per game. In 2007, he was voted as one of the Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball 50 greatest players.[9]
[edit] NCAA Career Statistics
Larry Bird
Larry Bird