Larry Bird Had a More Humble Career Path in Mind Before Becoming an NBA Legend
Larry Bird was a man of many talents. As an NBA player, he dominated the game with his shooting and rebounding abilities like no other before him. But before all that, Larry was just living life in Indiana, not thinking about basketball at all; until one day when fate intervened and changed everything for Mr. Bird
Larry Bird had a more humble career path in mind before becoming an NBA legend. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the sixth pick of the first round of the 1978 NBA Draft and played for nine seasons, all with the Celtics. After his retirement, he became a successful businessman and broadcaster.
Larry Bird is a well-known figure in the is one of the best basketball players of all time, yet he nearly never wanted to play in the NBA to begin with. Bird saw himself pouring concrete as a construction worker before entering the NBA draft in 1978 out of Indiana State.
Yes, I’m serious.
Larry Bird’s NBA career was legendary.
Bird was given the moniker Larry Legend for a reason. The Boston Celtics legend played 13 seasons in the NBA and is widely regarded as one of the top five players in league history.
Bird averaged 24.3 points and 10 rebounds a game with the Celtics throughout the course of his incredible career. He shot 49.6% from the field and 37.6% from three-point range, and he topped the league in free throw percentage four times.
Bird was a member of 12 All-Star teams, 10 All-NBA teams, and three All-Defensive teams during his 13 years with the Celtics. Three NBA championships, three MVP honors, and two Finals MVPs were all earned by the great forward. Bird has a flawless résumé that is chock-full of awards and NBA records. It’s crazy to believe he had any other plans before choosing a career in basketball, but it’s true.
Larry Bird had planned to work as a construction worker.
Before a game between the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks, Larry Bird watches on | Tom Berg/WireImage
Bird was a standout basketball player in high school at Springs Valley High School in French Lick, Indiana. He was so good that he was offered a scholarship to play at Indiana University in 1974, but he struggled to acclimate to life in a larger city.
So, after joining the Indiana basketball team, Bird dropped out of school. Bird enrolled at Indiana State to resume his basketball career after returning to French Lick and worked as a trash guy for a year. He became such a great sensation there that he developed into a top draft prospect, going No. 6 overall in the NBA Draft in 1978.
Bird, on the other hand, thought he’d wind up as a construction worker if he didn’t make it to the NBA. At least, that’s what he told Boston Globe reporter Dan Shaughnessy in 1985.
They had me teaching special needs students in a high school while I was at [Indiana] State finishing up my degree. That was a difficult task. It instilled in me a great deal of admiration for those who go to such lengths.
I saw myself as a concrete pourer in the building industry. I wasn’t very excellent in shop in school, but I’d worked in the construction industry. In basketball, all I wanted to do was be the greatest player on my high school squad.
If Bird had chosen to work in the construction industry, he would have been one of the best concrete pourers of all time.
In the end, it was a good decision.
Larry is a legend. He was the ROY in 1979-80. ’81-’82: 12x All-Star MVP of the All-Star Game All-NBA 10 times a three-time NBA champion MVP of the Finals twice MVP three times HOF
On NBA TV at 10:30 a.m. ET, see Larry Bird’s 50 Greatest Moments! pic.twitter.com/ul2yqDenvw
December 7, 2020 — NBA TV (@NBATV)
Bird was a humble guy who grew up in a little Indiana town. He had no expectations of being famous or wealthy as he grew up, but he immediately discovered he had a remarkable skill on the basketball floor. Although his skill earned him a lot of money and a Hall of Fame plaque, he would have been just as content working in construction and living a modest life in his hometown.
Pouring concrete, on the other hand, would not have helped Bird amass a $75 million fortune. It’s fair to say he made the correct decision.
Basketball Reference provided all stats.
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Larry Bird made $24 million in the NBA but never spent it on frivolous purchases: ‘I’ll wear pretty about anything if it’s free,’ he says.
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Larry Bird had a more humble career path in mind before becoming an NBA legend. The basketball player was born in West Virginia, but his family moved to Indiana when he was just six years old. He grew up playing for the local YMCA team and eventually went on to play college basketball at Indiana State University. After three seasons of collegiate success, Bird was drafted by the Boston Celtics. Reference: larry bird career high points.
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