Boston Celtics icon Larry Bird used to hand out autographs, signing the baseball legend – Pete Rose’s name.
Long before the fans were entertained by the likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan, Larry Bird was the one dominating the league in the 1980s. Bird is one of the biggest and greatest icons to grace the association.
In his illustrious 13-year career, he had 12 All-Star appearances, 10 All-NBA selections, 3 MVPs, 3 NBA championships, 2 Finals MVPs and even got enshrined in the prestigious Hall-Of-Fame in 1998. Representing the Boston Celtics, Larry put up quite the resume to make him not only a Boston legend but also a fan-favourite throughout the globe.
Very early in his career, Bird became a star every fan wanted to see in action. Of course, with the popularity he had, each and every single fan wanted an autograph from the Larry Bird. However, listening to a few stories, it doesn’t seem like Bird was a huge fan of handing out autographs.
Larry Bird used to sign as baseball legend Pete Rose on his autographs
According to a “Sports Illustrated” story, Bird found the whole autograph game quite “hypocritical”.
“These guys, most of ’em, will say, ‘Hey, Larry, you’re the greatest,’ and when I don’t sign three autographs for ’em, they’ll turn around and say, ‘Asshole. Piece of shit. Hey, what an asshole Larry Bird is.'”
“I hate it when somebody comes up to me when we’re out of town and I sign for him, and then he turns around and says, ‘You know, we’re gonna kick your ass tonight.’ Why does he say ‘we’? I always ask the guy, ‘How many baskets will you score?'”
The 6-foot-9 even admitted to signing baseball legend- Pete Rose’s name on his autographs. However, this practice was forcefully asked to stop when Larry signed the wrong name on the team photo.
“But Doc (Coach Chris Ford) made me stop when I signed it on the team photos.”
There are several stars in the league, who love the attention and stardom which comes along with being a professional NBA player. Clearly, Larry Bird was one of those players, who just wanted to play the game he loved and be left alone. Despite all the antics and him fooling his fans, Bird was and will continue to be one of the most loved players ever.