Larry's legend lives on, 25 years after retiring
Twenty-five years ago today, Larry Bird retired. Here's a look back at some of the highlights of a legendary career.
THE LEGEND BEGINS
Larry Bird was drafted with the sixth overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft as a future selection. In 1979 he signed a five-year, $3.25 million contract with the Celtics. That deal was the highest rookie contract at the time in ANY sport.
Celtics Draft History 1978: How the Celtics landed Larry Bird
A GOOD START
Bird made his NBA debut against the Houston Rockets on Oct. 12, 1979. He had 14 points, 5 assists and 10 rebounds. It was a strong start to a season that ended with a Rookie of the Year award.
CHAMPION . . . MANY TIMES
Bird was part of three NBA championship teams in Boston. In fact, he was a pretty big part. . .
MVP! MVP! MVP!
He claimed the Finals MVP in 1984 against the Los Angeles Lakers (27.5 points, 5.9 assists, 11 rebounds) and 1986 against the Houston Rockets (25.9 points, 8.2 assists, 9.3 rebounds).
SPEAKING OF MVPs . . .
Bird won three consecutive league MVP awards (1983, 1984, 1985).
’86 Celtics: Larry Bird steals the show at All-Star game
Bird played his final NBA game on May 17, 1992. He scored 12 points, 5 rebounds 4 assists in a 122-104 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
ALL LEGENDS HAVE A CONCLUSION
Bird announced his retirement from the NBA on August 18, 1992 due to a back injury. He played 13 seasons with the Celtics.
“Sometimes it’s been a long thirteen years. Sometimes it’s been a very slow thirteen years. The last couple years have been very tough on me, on my back, on my body,” Bird said in his retirement press conference. “I would’ve liked to play a little bit longer, maybe a year or to more, but there’s no way possible I was going to be able to do that."
INTO THE RAFTERS
The Celtics celebrated Bird's career and retired his number on February 5, 1993 in front of a jam-packed Boston Garden crowd.
The best part? There was no game that night.
"Tonight my basketball career is officially over, and I had a blast," Bird said standing in a spotlight. "I dedicated my life to basketball. I dedicated myself to the Boston Celtics."