Larry Bird: NBA’s Only Side-by-Side MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year Awardee
It is not common for most former NBA players to retire and still choose a profession relevant to the sport they are leaving. Yet it is more uncommon for one to do so but still reap awards they otherwise would not thought about winning apart from being an actual player in the sport, like Larry Bird.
Born Larry Joe Bird from the state of Indiana, this household troubled teen has had a remarkable beginning with the sport by high school. Enrolled as a student and basketball player to the Springs Valley High School, Larry Bird used basketball as an escape from the troubles he experiences at home, but not necessarily resulting from domestic violence.
As a consistent player throughout his high school years, Larry made a record at his school as its all-time scoring leader.
By the year 1974 when Bird was already at an age for college, he received a scholarship and became a varsity player for the Indiana University Hoosiers. However, overwhelmed at the apparent changes with his new-found place and his hometown, Bird soon found himself out of college less than a month since getting foot in its grounds.
Instead of going back, Larry Bird enrolled at his hometown’s nearby college, the Northwood Institute while also employed doing municipal jobs until he decided to re-enroll to Indiana University a year after. Like initially is the case, Bird was once again a varsity for Indiana University which, by record, was said to be led by the budding basketball player to the NCAA Tournament—the school’s first.
Yet Larry Bird’s greatest record as a varsity player was during his senior years when their school managed to have won the championship against the Michigan State in 1979.
Making both a fateful and historical record, it is also during this point when Bird met his all-time rival in the sport, Earvin “Magic” Johnson—the kind of rivalry that lasted even in the NBA when both aspirants got drafted into the professional basketball.
Generous in his overall performance during college as a basketball player, Bird has won multiple year-end awards, one most notably is the Naismith College Player of the Year.
However, like many serious aspirant of the sport, Larry Bird attained full popularity from a sport renowned worldwide when he played for the Boston Celtics in the NBA, his one and only team throughout his 14-year career in the sport. Bird got drafted by the Celtics in the year 1978 and got retired as a player by the year 1992.
But instead of reaping the fruits of his labor as a former successful basketball player from the NBA, Bird instead chose to head the Indiana Pacers team as a coach for three consecutive years since 1997 until the year 2000.
By 2003, Bird made a comeback to the Pacers, but this time, as its president instead of a coach. But this position, too, was let go by Larry Bird on year 2012 due to health concerns but only to return again for the same position exactly a year after since after recovery.
Making an undisputed historical record in the NBA, however, Larry Bird was the only person in the sport’s league that has ever hold multiple titles as a player, a coach, and an executive side-by-side—Most Valuable Player, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year award.
(Interested in getting the same jersey that Bird wore back in high school? Get it here at Boriz Jersey!)