Larry Bird was an amazing personality off the court, and a darling in the city of Boston, where he achieved greatness. Some of his stories from back in the days are expectedly hilarious.
One of the greatest to ever grace the basketball court, Larry Bird led the Boston Celtics to world domination in the 1980s. The only player to win 3 back-to-back MVPs, he won 3 championships with the Celtics, overcoming giants like the 76ers and Lakers.
With his friendly yet competitive rivalry with Lakers great Magic Johnson, the duo legitimately shaped basketball as we know it today.
Off the court, Larry legend’s personality was colorful, to say the least. In addition to being a legendary trash-talker, he had a charm about him that was irresistible to his fans around the world. A true testament to this fact is the innumerable stories surrounding him.
Magic Johnson had dominated the rivalry by defeating him in college and winning a title in his rookie season. When Larry had won his first championship in 1981, the erstwhile superstar was quoted saying, “I finally got Magic”. This was also when he started getting regarded as the one true superstar in Boston.
Larry Bird and teammate Quinn Bucker asked some Celtics fans to give them a lift to the post-championship celebrations.
Respected journalist Jackie McMullan shared a funny story regarding the legend’s approval. Larry and teammate Quinn Bucker weren’t able to reach the team’s celebrations due to high traffic. Angrily, they got out of the car and started walking. Luckily they found someone for help on the road.
McMullan revealed that the fans had asked if they could also attend the celebrations as a token of appreciation. To which Larry legend had a perfect response – “Sorry, champions only!”
Even if Larry Bird might have wanted to invite his hitch-hiking friends as guests to the party, the team security would have denied the request. So he did the denying his own way.
The legendary small forward has had a successful post-playing career. He has led his hometown Indiana Pacers to multiple conference titles and deep playoff runs both as an executive and head coach. It’ll be interesting to see what the legend’s next venture will be!