NBA Championships: 3
Larry Bird is a retired professional basketball player who played his entire career for the Boston Celtics. During his thirteen-year career in Boston, Bird won three NBA championships.
An Indiana legend growing up in French Lick, Bird earned a scholarship to play with the Bobby Knight-coached Indiana Hoosiers in 1974. After experiencing difficulty adjusting from small-town life to the exceedingly large student population in Bloomington, he dropped out to attend a community college before enrolling in mid-major Indiana State. While playing with the Sycamores, he helped the school reach its first NCAA tournament. Fueled by a 33-0 regular season record, Bird helped the team to an NCAA championship appearance against Michigan State in 1979. They ultimately lost to the Spartans, but the game set a record for viewers due to the highly-anticipated matchup between Larry Bird and Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
Bird was the sixth overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics, and he made an immediate impact, helping the team win 32 more games than the year prior. He also won three consecutive MVPs from 1983-86.
Larry Bird’s NBA Rings
Larry Bird’s immediate impact helped the Celtics to three NBA titles in 1981, 1984, and 1986.
1981: Boston Celtics vs. Houston Rockets
A dominant frontcourt consisting of Robert Parish (acquired in a trade from the Golden State Warriors), newly-drafted Kevin McHale, and Larry Bird helped power the Celtics to an NBA Finals. To reach them, Bird had to overcome a 3-1 deficit against the Philadelphia 76ers. Bird’s first championship came as he averaged 15 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists, defeating the Rockets in six games (4-2).
1984: Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers
A nasty brawl in game four highlighted Bird’s second title with the Celtics. It ignited a team facing elimination to earn a comeback victory that propelled them to win the series in seven games. Bird’s 27 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 assists per game netted him a Finals MVP trophy.
1986: Boston Celtics vs. Houston Rockets
In their playoff run, the Celtics were dominant, losing only one game in the first three rounds, highlighted by a Game 6 tripe-double from Bird (29 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists) that saw Boston earn Bird his third ring. The 1986 team is considered one of the greatest NBA teams of all time.
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