There are a lot of things that we don’t know about Larry Bird. But one thing we do know is that he was a humble man who played the game as he did because he loved it and it brought him joy. Over the years, we’ve learned that Bird enjoyed nothing more than playing backyard basketball with his sons. That’s when, amidst the hustle and bustle of life, he was most content.
Larry Bird was the one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and his 16-year career in the NBA was marked by a series of incredible highs and lows. He was named MVP and Finals MVP for the Boston Celtics, won the Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards twice in his career, and was an 11-time All-Star who set the record for most All-Star Game selections. However, his life outside of the game was often overshadowed by his obsessive love for the Indianapolis Colts and former coach, Tony Dungy.
Although Larry Bird has long since left the floor, his name still holds an important place in basketball history. During his time with the Boston Celtics, the forward established himself as a formidable scorer and goal-line fighter. Those two realities, along with three NBA titles, have also earned him a hefty salary. Despite earning more than $24 million in the NBA and amassing a huge fortune, Byrd remained a simple man with ordinary interests. Despite his fame and fortune, he derived his greatest pleasures from modest sources.
Larry Bird earned $24 million in the NBA and created a net worth of $75 million
. Over the course of their club’s rich NBA history, Celtics fans have been fortunate to see many talented players wear the famous green and white jersey. Larry Legend, as his nickname suggests, was one of the best. Before turning pro, Byrd wanted to play basketball at Indiana University. But he doesn’t like the Bloomington campus and returns to French Lick. He got a job there as a garbage man until a man named Bill Hodges convinced him to give basketball another chance. The attacker joined the Indiana State Sycamores. Byrd became a force to be reckoned with and even led his team to the 1979 NCAA title. Although Magic Johnson of the Michigan State Spartans came out on top in that famous game, Larry Legend still had a lot of success on the field. With the Celtics, Byrd became one of the biggest stars in basketball. He spent 13 seasons in Beantown averaging 24.3 points, 6.3 assists and 10 rebounds per game. The forward also won three NBA championships and was a three-time NBA MVP. This success, of course, helped Bird become a very rich man. According to Spotrac’s contract records, Larry Legend earned just over $24 million. These earnings, combined with his sales contracts and his career as an executive in the NBA, gave the forward a fortune of $75 million, according to estimates from Celebrity Net Worth.
No amount of money can change preferences
As a seasoned sports fan, you’ve probably heard many stories about how professional athletes spend their fortunes on all sorts of luxury purchases. But despite his wealth, Byrd did not follow suit. What impresses most people who know Byrd – from his few new friends in Boston to his friends in Terre Haute, Indiana, to the French Lickers who have known him since he was a little critter with a basketball under his arm – is that nothing about him has changed, John Papanek wrote in an article in Sports Illustrated in 1981. Not a celebrity. Not the money. $650,000 a year. Nothing. According to this story, the Celtics star has made his fortune from several main sources. None of them are worth more than a few dollars, if not more. The typical team player in the typical team game still wears jeans and baseball caps, and being alone with the basketball and the target to hit is still a third of the fun. Another third is teamwork, Papanek says. The rest of his fun comes from winning, mowing lawns, drinking beer, chasing squirrels, fishing, golfing and spending time with friends and family.
These habits are not surprising, from what we know of Larry Bird
Larry Bird poses during the Boston Celtics’ 1985-86 NBA campaign. | Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images Given the extent of his fame and fortune, it seems almost impossible that Byrd would set aside large sums of money to mow his lawn and have a beer. But from what we’ve heard about the striker, it looks like he’s going to do just that. As previously mentioned, Byrd worked as a garbage collector after graduating from Indiana University. One might think that Larry Legend reluctantly took this job to fill his time and make a few pennies, but that is not the case. In an article in Sports Illustrated in 1998, the striker said he loved his job and felt like he had really accomplished something. That anecdote aside, there’s also evidence that Byrd has no problem ignoring the spotlight. After winning the 1984 NBA title, the Celtics prepare to travel to Washington, D.C., to visit the White House. But the team’s star striker didn’t want to make the trip. If the president wants to see me, he knows where to find me, he told his teammates. While most basketball fans don’t know the true content of Byrd’s character, people close to him said he was really the same person no matter how much money he made. Those who know Vogel have a saying: It’s Larry, Penander wrote. And they always say it with a smile. COMPARED TO: Larry Bird welcomed Dominique Wilkins to the NBA on a night of trash talk: You don’t belong in this league, Homes.
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