During Larry Bird's final year at Indiana State, he averaged 29 points and 15 rebounds per game and led the team to an undefeated season.
"Over the Grand Canyon, off your face, through the window, off the floor.....nothin' but net." Who remembers this great McDonald's commercial featuring Michael Jordan and Larry Bird?
Oh, and don't forget Charles Barkley. "Hey, can I play?"
For those of you who don't remember this classic, check out the video below!
Happy 55th B-day to “The Hick from French Lick”. Born in West Baden, Indiana on December 7th, 1956, Bird was a standout basketball player in high school and received a full scholarship to go play for Bob Knight the University of Indiana in 1974. However, after only 24 days on campus, Bird left Indiana and went back to French Lick. Bird was persuaded to give school another shot in 1976 by Bob King, the basketball coach at Indiana State University. The smaller campus would prove to be a much better personality fit for him. Indiana State had never appeared in the Division 1 NCAA tournament, but in his senior year, Bird led the Sycamores to a #1 rank in the tournament. Indiana State would eventually lose to the Magic Johnson led Michigan State Spartans in the 1979 NCAA Championship game. Despite the loss in the National Championship game, Bird would be selected as the USBWA, the Naismith and the John R. Wooden College Player of the Year awards.
After his senior year, Bird was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 6th overall pick. Just like at Indiana State, his impact on the Celtics was immediate. The season before Bird’s arrival, the team finished 29-53. Led by the rookie Bird, the Celtics would finish the 79-’80 season 61-21. Bird played 13 seasons, all with the Celtics, in the NBA. He won 3 NBA Championships, 3 NBA MVP awards (consecutively from ’84-’86) and 9 All-NBA First Team awards. His career was cut short with chronic back issues in 1992, but not before winning a Gold Medal for Team USA in the ‘1992 Summer Olympics. His #33 Celtics jersey is one of twenty-one jerseys retired by the team. Bird was also selected to the NBA Hall of Fame in 1998.
After his retirement, Bird would accept the Head Coaching position with the Indiana Pacers and again his impact would be immediate. In his rookie coaching campaign, he would coach the Pacers to a 58-24 record (the best record in franchise history at the time) and would win the Coach of the Year award. After 3 seasons as the Head Coach, Bird resigned and made the transition to President of the Pacers, a position he still holds today.
Throughout his 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics, Larry Bird was the embodiment of work ethic, consistency and excellence. He thrived in all aspects of his basketball career: scoring, passing, defending, rebounding…and just being clutch.
Aside from leading the Celtics to three NBA titles and 10 Atlantic Division wins, Bird racked up a ridiculous list of personal honors and achievements: he was only the third player (first non-center) to win three consecutive NBA Finals MVP awards, was a 12-time All Star, a nine-time member of the All-NBA First Team and also led the league in free-throw percentage four times throughout his career.
Hands down, one of the most memorable moments of Larry Bird’s career occurred on March 12, 1985, when he set a new franchise record and scored 60 points against the Atlanta Hawks. Words cannot describe this awesome shooting display, so whether you call him Larry Legend, The Great White Hope or The Hick from French Lick… sit back and enjoy the show!
Oh by the way, after watching the video, this jersey should look familiar…it’s one of our favorites…