The Sports Legends

They Create history


Updated on July 3rd 2022, 4:00:30 pm

Larry Bird: Biography, Stats, Facts and Achievements

Larry Bird: Biography, Stats, Facts and Achievements

Larry Bird was the heart and soul of the 1980s Celtics, leading them to three NBA championships while earning a reputation as one of the greatest players in league history. Check out his Biography, Stats, Facts and Achievements.

The Celtics' legendary playmaker is the only person in NBA history to win MVP, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year in a career. Larry Bird, AKA "Larry Legend," was selected by the Boston Celtics with the sixth overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft. He was the heart and soul of the 1980s Celtics, leading them to three NBA championships while earning a reputation as one of the greatest players in league history.



Bird received a scholarship to play for the Indiana Hoosiers in 1974, but he dropped out after only one month at Indiana University. In 1975, he enrolled at Indiana State. The highlight of Bird's three-year collegiate career came in 1979 when he led the Sycamores to a 33-0 record and their first NCAA Tournament berth in the program's history. They battled against Earvin "Magic" Johnson -- Bird's rival throughout his professional career -- and Michigan State in the championship game, falling 75-64. Bird earned an assortment of accolades during his time at Indiana State. He was a two-time consensus first-team All-American in 1978-79, the College Player of the Year in 1979, a two-time MVC Player of the Year in 1978-79, and had his No. 33 retired by the school.

Under his leadership, the team made its debut appearance at the NCAA tournament. The tournament played a significant role in shaping Larry’s career. Despite losing the championship, Larry was awarded the player of the year for his incredible performance.

The tournament also introduced Larry to his lifelong professional rival, Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

Larry’s breakthrough came in the year 1978 when he was chosen to play for ‘Boston Celtics’. But Larry declined the offer and decided to play in the final season for Indiana State. He continued playing for ‘Sycamores’ and led the team to qualify for the NCAA title game.

He then got involved in a contract dispute with Arnold Jacob "Red" Auerbach, the then coach of ‘Sycamores’. Larry did not accept the offered amount as he wanted a hike. The dispute finally got resolved and a year later, Larry signed the contract after agreeing upon a negotiated amount of 3.25 million dollars which was the highest figure at that time. This contract brought about a major change in the NBA selection committee. A new rule called ‘Bird Collegiate Rule’ became mandatory for all the new players thereafter. Larry led the team to newer heights and was named in the All-Star Team and also won the Rookie of the Year. He contributed to the growth of the team by winning 32 games in total with averages of 21.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game. After a few defeats, the team finally won the championship, beating ‘Houston Rockets’ in the finals. With a score of 19 points, Larry won the All-Star Game MVP Award in 1982 and was the runner-up for the Most Valuable Player Award. Larry then faced a bit of downfall, but it did not stay for a long period of time. After losing seven games for the Conference Finals, the team finally won five Conference Finals. During the games between 1984 and 1985, Larry scored a record 60 points in a game and was honored with the MVP award for the second consecutive year.

Larry once again encountered a career downfall. In 1987, he could not save his team from losing six back-to-back games against ‘Lakers’ and eventually, the team lost the Eastern Conference Finals. Despite delivering remarkable statistics, Larry failed to make it to the NBA finals that year. A heel injury kept him from playing for quite a long period of time. Though he made a comeback in 1989, his health once again failed him. In 1992, Larry played and won a gold medal for the United States basketball team in the Olympics that was hosted by Barcelona, Spain. On August 18, 1992, Larry announced his retirement.

Larry Bird's career NBA stats

Here are some of Larry Bird's notable career achievements and statistics:

  • Three-time NBA champion (1981, 1984, 1986)

  • Two-time NBA Finals MVP (1984, 1986)

  • Three-time NBA MVP (1984-86)

  • 12-time NBA All-Star (1980-88, 1990-92)

  • Nine-time All-NBA First Team (1980-88)

  • All-NBA Second Team (1990)

  • Three-time All-NBA Defensive Second Team (1982-84)

  • NBA Rookie of the Year (1980)

  • NBA All-Rookie Team (1980)

  • Three-time NBA Three-Point Contest champion (1986-88)

  • Career-high in points: 60 (March 12, 1985) -- tied for franchise record with Jayson Tatum

  • No. 33 retired by Celtics

  • Career averages:

    • 24.3 points per game

    • 10.0 rebounds per game

    • 6.3 assists per game

    • 88.6% free throw percentage

    • 49.6% field goal percentage

    • 37.6% 3-point percentage



Grew up in the formerly famed resort town of French Lick, Indiana.

Nicknamed the "Hick from French Lick" and "Larry Legend."

He stands 6'9".

Wore the number 33 on his basketball jersey in high school, college and with the Boston Celtics.

Attended Indiana University for only 24 days.

Three-time NBA champion with Boston Celtics - 1981, 1984, and 1986.

Won three consecutive NBA MVP awards - 1984, 1985, and 1986.

12-time NBA All-Star.

Two-time NBA Finals MVP - 1984 and 1986.

He was the first person to win NBA MVP, NBA Coach of the Year and NBA Executive of the year.

Twitter named its original bird logo after him, "Larry the Bird."


Awards And Accomplishments


John Wooden Award as Collegiate Player of the Year, Los Angeles Athletic



Named NBA Rookie of the Year

1981, 1984, 1986

NBA championship (with Boston Celtics)


NBA Most Valuable Player in Playoffs


Named NBA Player of the Year


Man of the Year, Sporting News


Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year


Olympic Gold Medal (U.S. men's basketball team)


Inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame


Named NBA Coach of the Year

Also Read | Top 10 Indian Basketball Legends of all time