Cover Image for Larry Bird and Danny Ainge lost $500 each after their secret golf trips between Playoff games were made public by Celtics

Larry Bird and Danny Ainge lost $500 each after their secret golf trips between Playoff games were made public by Celtics

Achyuth Jayagopal
|Mon Aug 08 2022


Larry Bird was an embodiment of what the NBA wanted to be at the beginning of the 1980s.

Nonchalant, extremely skilled, and with the swagger of a champion, Larry Bird took to the NBA like a fish to water from day one. Being the face of one of the most prestigious organizations in the league did not faze the man at all.

Larry Legend was a stone-cold killer. Bird’s trash talking and how he carried himself only grew the legend around him and elevated his status as one of the top dogs in the league.

Also read: Larry Bird made a net worth of $75 million from a mere $24M career earnings because he didn’t need supercars or fancy cloths to “Build His Ego”

Bird and Magic, and their rivalry, soon became the talk of the town. The two superstars dominated the 1980s while fighting off competition from the Bad Boy Pistons for most of it.

Bird’s intensity, especially in Playoffs, was well documented. However, as former teammate Danny Ainge puts it, Bird wasn’t all about the on-court business.

Ainge describes a Playoff scenario involving Bird which is straight out of a movie. And, it involves golf.

What golf anecdote during the middle of the Playoffs did Ainge have, about Bird?

While one associates Bird to be a stickler for team rules and decorum, it appears Bird was quite the rebel.

Ainge’s narration paints a picture of the Celtics camp mid Playoffs. Bird, Ainge, Kevin McHale, and Rick Robey had taken off for a game of golf between the Playoffs.

Unsurprisingly at practice the following day, coach Bill Fitch decided to fine the foursome. All four were fined $500 each. While the fine and the dressing down made three of the four uncomfortable, one voice stood out. And it said, “Well, boys, it looks like we’d better up the stakes tomorrow”.

Thus spake Larry Bird.

Under the mop and unfashionable mustache was a badass who took no prisoners. There’s a reason why this man was renowned for talking smack.

With each story, Bird’s persona and the aura around it seem to grow. Well earned, one must say, to go with a trophy-laden career as good as anyone else’s.

Also read: “Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, LeBron James or Draymond green .. tall playmakers win championships”: NBA Reddit comes up with an excellent theory citing 22 champions of last 43 years


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